Leading Together: Creating lasting change in school leadership
King George V Primary School is a one-form entry primary school in the centre of West Bromwich. We spoke to Simon Reed, Deputy Headteacher, to find out how Leading Together helped his school’s senior leadership team develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to follow their ambitious plans for the future.
We decided to take part in the Leading Together programme as we were a newly formed senior leadership team.
In our 2017 Ofsted inspection, we were judged to be ‘Requiring Improvement’ in all areas. Although we were already making rapid progress, we were all committed – both individually and collectively – to being the very best leaders we could be. We were keen to secure sustained improvements in our school. Leading Together presented us with the opportunity to do just that.
The impact of Leading Together on our school has been significant and multifaceted.
The learning modules and programme content has been hugely valuable to us. We approached each module with a ‘now what?’ philosophy. I strongly believe this has helped us to use what we learnt to full effect in our school.
The programme modules have been a catalyst for us to really take the lead in our own development, which has been an empowering experience. We’ve undoubtedly developed our knowledge, skills and confidence in our leadership. Leading Together provided us with the opportunity to carefully consider our core values, as well as our long-term goals for ourselves, our staff, our pupils and our community.
At its heart, the programme has given us the time to prioritise our professional development.
This is very difficult when leading a school in challenging times and circumstances, but it has been vital for us to have this time – it has unquestionably made us better school leaders.
The fortnightly meetings with our Achievement Partner have also been a fantastic opportunity for the senior leadership team to work collaboratively with an experienced school leader on projects determined by us. It helped us refine our thinking and practice.
The impact of the programme has cascaded to our pupils.
Pupils are now benefiting from teachers who are research-informed, self-reflective practitioners and who are engaged in their own research and not afraid to take risks in the classroom.
Pupils are also benefiting from a senior leadership team with a clear, sharp vision, who are able to lead the way in driving teaching and learning with a great deal of passion, enthusiasm and boundless energy.
To any schools thinking about taking part in the programme, I would strongly urge them to do so. The programme presents an opportunity to initiate positive change and, although we faced challenges in juggling the operational day-to-day running of a busy school with the research and wider reading we were so keen to engage in, we worked hard to allocate weekly protected time for our own professional development as senior leaders. The programme goals we set with our Achievement Partner were key priorities for our school and already on our school development plan. While the learning modules require an additional time commitment, the value and impact far outweigh the time they take.
Great leadership is the single most fundamental factor in ensuring the very best outcomes and progress for the children in our care.
Great leadership in schools enables children to achieve and even exceed their expected potential and improve their life chances. It also empowers, motivates and inspires staff at all levels, so they strive to be better teachers every day.
Over the last year, Leading Together has supported the senior leaders in our school to make rapid improvements in all areas of school life. We have ambitious plans for the future, and we have every confidence that we’ll achieve them.
If you’re looking to build stronger school leadership across your senior team, apply now for our free Leading Together programme.