Saturday, August 3, 2013

Baby wipes & Bike sheds....its all in the job

School Leadership V Headship

In 2009 I was successful in passing & obtaining my NPQH, National Professional Qualification for Headship.

Designed in collaboration with current leading head teachers and academics it is a rigorous masters level course running over 6 -18months. It comprises all elements, both academic and practical of Teaching &Learning, Educational Management and high quality professional leadership. It is one of the best higher level studies I have undertaken, with wide ranging applications.

I mention because of a conversation I had recently with an NPQH qualified friend and practicing head teacher. She mentioned that she had concluded that headship was ‘a marathon not a sprint’. Furthermore, excellent as the NPQH preparation was, it could never cover the day to day continual twists of school life. All those unplanned, unexpected areas & events that no training can prepare you for.

Here are listed ‘one hour in the life of headship’, all before 8.30am:

·         School caretaker, collecting the school minibus has not informed anyone & is waiting to be picked up from the MOT garage.

·         Cycle safety officer arrives, unscheduled and the key member of staff is not in school. Keys to said bike shed need to be located.

·         Informed that the drains are blocked and need immediate action, possible baby wipe overload.

Now STATS, Educational Standards, NC Planning &Ofsted, Performances management and Safeguarding, you expect in headship. Teaching & Learning Strategies, Behavioural Management, Dyslexia Awareness, Setting the Vision, strategic management and effective School Improvement Partnerships, are all predicted.
But baby wipes and bike sheds, now that’s in a different league. In headship, as in teaching, you’ve got to love it to do it well.