What Matters To Me

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What Matters To Me

  1. 1. WHAT MATTERS TO ME? A Connecting Conversation Warwickshire Headteachers’ Conference Ettington Chase Hotel, Ettington 9 February 2009 What is good about leadership in Warwickshire schools? • Flexibility • Caring • Networking • Creativity • Supportive autonomy • Open minded • Flexible thinking to respond to need of local community through a range of services • Establishing, sharing and living vision • Positive response to change • Flexible • Hard-working • Innovative, forward-thinking • Networking/clusters • Confident • Supportive colleagues • Flexible, and responsive to change • Innovative leadership amongst headteachers and school leadership • We have freedom to act locally within the overarching vision of Warwickshire • Ambitious vision • Local networks, clusters and extended schools • Commitment of school leaders, positive and aspirational • Willingness to engage with the agenda
  2. 2. • Heads are supportive rather than competitive • Generally, heads feel the Local Authority do try to provide support • Team spirit and network amongst heads • Commitment to make things work • Dedicated • Focused on children • New Heads Induction • Adaptable • Questioning • “Good” leadership • Support for each other and networking • Clear visions for our diverse communities / setting the direction • Managing an “impossible” agenda and workload • Commitment / dedication of headteachers • Networking • Governors/officer support mixed • Dedicated and committed headteachers • A good level of autonomy • Breadth of training for leadership roles at all levels • Strong cluster links • Committed to change, forward-looking • Creative within budget constraints • Distributed leadership • Networking opportunities valuable • Dedication of the leadership teams • Strong local clusters • Good support from the authority • Passion
  3. 3. • Resilience • Perseverance! • Making a difference • Innovative approaches • Commitment • Dedication • We are willing to share good practice • Make the best we can for our children despite constraints • Local networking and support initiatives • Receptive and ambitious for children • Commitment to change • Personable • Can do/ resilience/ drive • Focussed • Concentrate on getting the job done • Mix of leadership styles • Pulling together closely • Open-minded and not frightened of change • Strong heads • Commitment • Vocation • Values shared—ECM • Child at the centre of what we do • Local Authority allows autonomy • Commitment • Resourceful and resilient • Collaboration across schools • Child-centredness—the child at the heart of school matters • Positive about embracing change in principle • Stability? +/- • The work of some clusters
  4. 4. • Loyalty • Commitment • Individualism • Head to head support network • Good collaborative working between heads in clusters • Headteachers bring their individuality, flexibility and ability to adapt to change to meet the needs of their specific communities (i.e. diverse leadership reflects Warwickshire’s diverse communities) What really matters now? (The biggest challenges we face or what you hold dear in your professional heart) Children leading the curriculum Enjoying learning—children and adults Confidence Preserving childhood Developing leadership capacity and succession planning What are the leadership roles of the future? Starting with children first—personalised learning Providing an outstanding service within a decreasing budget Extended / multi-agency provision The children Holidays Relationships Children are always at the heart of what we do Challenge—schools bear the brunt of responsibility for child’s welfare with few resources and expertise Class teachers having to cater for huge range of complex needs under inclusion agenda Education for the 21st Century Engaging the whole community / global community
  5. 5. Raising the profile of education as being central and valued Lack of challenge from School Improvement Partners Social and emotional aspects of learning Social cohesion (family breakups, instability) Supporting whole family Quality, manageable curriculum which leads to life-long learning Quality recruitment and retention of teachers Heads as leaders of learning Transforming attitudes Joy of living Joy of learning Emotional and time demands made on schools by increasingly poor families facing increasingly challenging social situations Balancing above and learning with increasing bureaucracy for DCSF etc. Preparing children for the 21st Century Preparing them to be adaptable to change/ transferable skills Putting school at the heart of the community (Surviving the ‘credit crunch’) The challenge of providing a shared vision with the resources we have The relevance of change and essential initiatives within schools Shifting sands—political Cohesion while balancing “competition” from other schools Inter-agency working e.g. social care / CAMHS/ Health Passionate about giving all children—especially vulnerable—a chance Using our judgment in our schools, in our situations (e.g. snow closure) Severe behaviour issues…we need to be listened to…inclusion sometimes doesn’t work Challenges: Conflict between focus on standards and the wider ECM agenda The size of the job—models for leadership and strategies as the head can’t do it all
  6. 6. Funding and sustainability for initiatives/ flexibility Securing appropriate resources, e.g. budget Managing extended services and multi-agency links Sustainability is a challenge Clarity—managing national initiatives cohesively Turning the vision into reality—practicalities Leadership succession The future of small schools (embedding extended services) Leadership of learning Challenges: Developing other leaders Harnessing technology and change Keeping focussed Hold dear: Children—ensuring we meet their needs Extended services Governance Funding / staffing structure New roles, sustainability Workload—retaining heads Ambition to provide the best for all children Pace of change too fast Need for consolidation now Focus on fewer top priorities—but Ofsted demands I all What works best for children Children at the heart of integrated services Each individual reaching potential The whole child—ensuring schools are skilled in range of areas to meet needs Succession and leadership Pupil progress – academic and personal development Life long learning / life skills Global interconnectivity / responsibilities Sustaining childhood
  7. 7. Budget cuts Equal pay Maintaining appropriate staffing levels Changes to the curriculum Unrealistic deadlines—new initiatives Please agree on a (joint) three sentence statement of the moral purpose you feel exemplifies why you are in this job. Making a difference to the lives of children Improving the life chances of children Develop a welcoming learning community for all stakeholders where all feel valued Provide a safe and secure environment where they feel able to make mistakes and learn from them To ensure every child has the opportunity to fulfil their potential and become resilient lifelong learners. To ensure children are happy and safe Our core purpose is to make a difference to children! Making a difference to address the needs of each person so that they can be well-rounded, confident individuals who have a commitment to lifelong learning, community well-being and improving the lives of themselves and those around them. Supporting the development of children from birth to be happy, successful adults in a global society To make a difference to children and their families. Access to rich and varied curriculum fit for the 21st century Safeguarding the emotional well-being of our communities to promote cohesion To make a difference to children and communities To raise aspirations / expectations of children and their families To contribute towards establishing strong moral values as good citizens
  8. 8. Defending childhood Question how and why we do what we do Nurturing and celebrating individuality of children and adults Children having choice and equality of opportunity We want to make a difference to life chances of children and families by provision of relevant, high quality educational opportunities To help our children make correct moral choices and to be fully human and not animal To eradicate inequalities and to build personal aspiration. To make a difference to children’s lives To share excitement and passion for learning To equip them with opportunities for quality life chances To make the difference to children, young people’s lives One thing you put in that will break the inevitable cycle of their lives To make a difference to the life chances of each child To build a sense of worth and self-esteem To develop aspirational, lifelong learners who are excited to learn Obliged to provide the best for our children so they can be the best they can be Help children to grow and be a “complete” person in society Promoting and developing learning in the community Moral purpose: Making a difference (positive!) to children’s futures, lives and education Creating the right attitudes and an enthusiasm for learning Supporting and developing children to contribute to others/ give back and shaping society Purpose of our job is to give every stakeholder the opportunity to succeed and be the best that they can be. We would attempt to achieve this by working together in partnership with all interested parties to meet the needs of our communities Ensuring opportunity for all-equity Enabling pupils to make a difference in the world they inherit
  9. 9. Serving a community—ethically, worthwhile job We aspire to create small, but outreaching communities which model equality, fairness and other moral qualities which we believe will change individuals and society for the better The opportunity to make a difference to the lives of children and families. The provision of a secure/ caring environment where children are valued Providing a role model of moral choices and realising potential Of paramount importance is our duty to children—nurturing their development To know the whole child and their context (i.e. family circumstances etc.) To develop future citizens What should Warwickshire Local Authority be providing to build up leadership capacity –what should/could we be providing? Help headteachers to focus on the core aspects of the job The LA should help grow future leaders…first step is to know schools more We need to define the role of future leaders / system leaders Enable future leaders to gain experience in a safe / supported context Consultant HT to support people new in role and work alongside those newly appointed. In school, for example, two days a week. Building leadership: Good coaching and support for leaders Clear vision (LA) Flexible funding to meet the varying needs of leadership roles Re-designing the “headship” role New headteachers’ induction—heads select their own mentoring arrangements Opportunity to learn from best practice and funding to ensure this happens
  10. 10. More opportunities for middle leaders to develop expertise through training and shared practice—signposting Better funding for courses etc. for aspiring leaders. Training should meet the needs of the job, e.g. managing change. Funding Greater continuity of support Fairness-equitable approach Clear communication for all Listen to parties but also take action Investigate—what is “inclusiveness” Flexibility of working and succession management e.g. job-sharing, heads’ secondments etc. Human resource management School governance—reclarify their roles and also their expectations of what heads can manage Headteacher secondment to inspire and be inspired by best practice Provide models of leadership outside the “norm”—maybe virtual? Deputy Headteachers to be paired with positive heads to inspire them to lead Support for individuals (equitable) People knowing people High quality effective communication Cluster collaboration with the Local Authority—are they working? How? Why? Universal support for cutting edge practice—could be through clusters Self initiated clusters appear to work well rather than enforced. All need to be accountable to participate Model policies etc. in one place Giving heads the capacity to focus on learning and teaching Subsidising leadership developments—NCSL To provide funding/ support for NPQH students Provide opportunities for secondments/mentoring/coaching Trial models of leadership Pathways to leadership for aspiring leaders—enabling this Preparing heads for a new model of leadership Strategic direction for future school leadership
  11. 11. Concerns over lack of support for new heads More support for headteachers Streamline access to CPD Value your headteachers More consistent and clear messages Better quality of services and systems which headteachers depend on And clarity and honesty! Training for governors Networking schools purchase services e.g. H&S guru, business managers etc. Clear leadership on new initiatives To help headteachers feel that they are contributing to the wider policy of the local authority Training and provision of professional development opportunities for middle managers and deputies Programme of practice / acting headships alongside mentoring and support Future sustainability--a more global view of leadership roles to ensure people coming through are prepared to take on leadership roles Succession planning Stronger networking / support / pastoral care Leaders concentrating in the crucial issues and having structures in place Signposting—other models Broadening the definition of leadership Leadership development at all levels with enables strong, sustainable networking Investment in studying a range of models of leadership Knowledge of areas of skill—further development and training Pastoral support for heads with one point of contact at the Local Authority for everyday issues Finance for succession planning not to come out of school budget
  12. 12. Part-time opportunities for headteachers with deputy job-sharing/ training on the job which also prepares head for retirement Support for heads Positive promotion of headship Removing tasks not linked to learning Encourage teachers to take leadership roles and resource them What changes would be required to achieve these new ways of working? Complete transparency in all departments Clearer communication User-friendly website—well organised Model policies etc. More integrated work with social services, who need more manpower Budget Passionate and charismatic leadership and staff in school etc. Improved opportunities for two-way influence through better communication Better relationship between headteachers and the local authority Money New leadership structure Overview of performance management Warwickshire more proactive on the “shop floor” / more pride in Warwickshire Resource/skill management—knowledge of where we can see good practice in a range of areas Quality and consistency across all agencies Improved level of funding to support initiatives Changes needed: Clearer leadership (local authority) Separate out challenge and support so heads can raise issues openly and honestly Flexible funding
  13. 13. More partnership between schools-a greater promotion of “leadership” and the importance of it Local Authority to take a stronger coordinated lead More support and training Succession management HR issues Better leadership training Consult more with leaders Funding Terms and conditions Governance Continuing professional development Programme “Leadership of the Future” Streamline and improve quality of systems and services Less fragmentation of support ASCOs need more school knowledge and clarity of role Pastoral support Conference Discussion Schools working together Support cluster participation (e.g. shared CPD) Admin/ICT support, financial roles shared among cluster schools Commitment to change Passion! Financial support Colleagues with expertise that you can trust More local authority input into headship appointments Shift of emphasis away from governing bodies so that local authority can strategically plan, with their overview of skill base and profile of experience Business manager—per cluster Within clusters
  14. 14. A change in attitudes towards the way we work and how rewards are structured What changes would be required to make Warwickshire’s schools lead schools in practice for a new form of public service provision in localities? Collaborative working with other schools Strengthening of clusters Use of buildings Integrated working with services Shared practice between schools with different but shared issues Effective parent support worker at schools (each school) Multi-agency working in the locality Closed door policy—ECM—sharing information, answering phone calls Make practice in multi-agency working effective (working with schools) Having all the pieces of the jigsaw fitting together to make the ultimate vision for lifelong learning Meet individual priorities Bureaucratic overload Harnessing energies within communities Link-inspector model—single point of contact for the network/ community: someone with relevant school leadership experience
  15. 15. What is the best thing that happened in your professional life in 2008? Taking a school out of Local Authority special measures Achieving International School status Achieving NPQH Achieving an outdoor classroom for the school Achieving Healthy Schools status Getting funding to create a new role to support 5-hour offer for Olympics Survived! Achieved FMSiS Achieved Healthy Schools status eventually Enrolling for the Leading from the Middle programme Took up new headship post Chair of governors of a secondary school Developing a younger member of staff Engagement of clusters with the School Improvement Planning Framework toolkit Surviving Ofsted Secondment to Extended Services Formation of a collaborative group of headteachers Visiting Uganda and having Uganda visit Successful Ofsted Good Ofsted outcome—reassurance Headship appointment Survived my first year of headship with “happy” stakeholders Ofsted Achievement of getting a business director in post Headships House of Commons Mandarin Successfully supporting schools to come out of Ofsted categories Getting a consistent head!
  16. 16. A child began to read Decision to retire! Good Ofsted “Dorothy Rikarby” Funding agreed for extended services Sustainability in headship Trust—vulnerable parent Good Ofsted Victorian market Young teachers taking schools forward Coming out of the category of special measures—capacity to move forward under own steam Going to a four-day week—reenergising, deputy headteacher empowered and equal partner Governors extended ISR beyond range to retain Head New headship—leaving previous school—pupils showed how much she was valued Employment of dynamic teachers—made such a difference A bus-full of children shouting “I love you, Mrs Edmonds” Coming out of “notice to improve”

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