Schools are not just looking to recruit teachers. They also need to find new school leaders.
Stepping up to school leadership is rewarding but requires a complete change in perspective with an increased workload and far more responsibility.
In this guide, we will examine what school leadership means and what you need to consider before making the leap.
School Leadership Explained
School leadership is far more than managing the school, staff and students. Leadership involves understanding and establishing your school’s values and being able to drive the school’s direction forward.
An effective leader will be able to communicate the values to all stakeholders and should impact all aspects of the school.
Are you ready for school leadership?
It is almost impossible to step up to a leadership role without some kind of training. It’s worth noting that not all excellent teachers can become amazing leaders.
The first step to becoming a leader is to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. You can find resources here to help you examine your leadership potential.
It is worth taking time to understand your motivation as this will impact your leadership style. You should also consider how effective your relationships are with colleagues, students and other staff.
Time management will be crucial if you are to survive the balance between leadership responsibilities and maintaining your teaching quality. Don’t underestimate the amount of extra admin you will be taking on.
One of the challenges of leadership is the ability to promote a shared vision. Sometimes, this means endorsing an unpopular policy or even one you disagree with.
Developing a vision requires genuinely seeking input from colleagues. It will be far easier to drive forward your aims if you have built them together with all invested parties. Open dialogue and being prepared to adapt are vital to successful leadership.
If you ultimately desire to reach senior leadership positions, you must also ensure you can make decisions based on a whole school perspective. Often, you will need to step outside of your current role to achieve this.
If you are interested in school leadership, it is worth approaching your manager or headteacher to find out about training available in your county.
Questionnaire for Potential School Leaders
Answer these ten questions and reflect on your answers.
- Can you meet the additional demands of leadership?
- How good are your relationships with the wider school team?
- How will you maintain your teaching standards?
- Do you have a vision for school improvement and success?
- Do you understand how strategic planning affects a school’s outcomes?
- Can you identify exceptional school leaders and understand what makes them so effective?
- Have you spoken with other school leaders about their role?
- Have you developed a plan to undertake some leadership training?
- What strengths do you have which will make you a good leader?
- Do you have any weaknesses that you can work on to make you a more effective leader?