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Building Better Leadership

Written by Makeda Cole

The role of a school leader can be likened to that of an architect; they must design the layout and supporting body to bear the pressure of internal and external forces on the school structure. Before anything can be constructed, it is essential to sustain the presence of a solid foundation lined with personal values. The foundation serves to reinforce the leadership culture that is subsequently built from values. It is inevitable that overtime the ground will move. The absence of a set foundation creates an unsupported structure that could crumble at any given time. Thus, creating a stable foundation can aid to anchor your school and minimise opportunities for disaster in the future.

After the foundation is set, the next steps are to create structural holes in the foundation which allow for the leadership team to acts as powerlines, creating a community circuit connected by shared values. Values play a large part in getting your leadership narrative right and should be emphasised through all leaders by modelling behaviour. Values become a framework for building a common language across your school community that becoming ingrained into your structure.

Nethertheless, we must remember that values are not merely words and require to be shared in action.  Leaders must revisit the principles of behavioural psychology (such as modelling) and demonstrate expectations for behaviour not just for staff leadership, but also for pupils to foster a school culture powered by core values.

Experienced senior leader Rob Carpenter reflects upon his own school leadership journey, sharing useful examples and resources for improving top-down leadership.

So, how solid is your school’s foundation? Ten top tips for effective and impactful leadership…

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