Leading Together: "A school will not grow doing more of the same"
Nick Miller is Headteacher at Rowley Hall Primary School in the West Midlands. We asked how Leading Together has impacted his senior leadership team and school.
Rowley Hall is in a state of transition to becoming a sustainably strong school. When we learned about the Leading Together programme, we jumped at the chance. Our leadership team is newly formed, and we saw this as the perfect opportunity to work towards our vision of nurturing happy, healthy, confident learners who always aim high.
It was important to us that the support we received on Leading Together complements what we already have in place. For me personally, I wanted to ensure consistent, frequent dialogue and collaboration between our leaders and me, with a focus on the school's most pressing matters. I also wanted to link us with other schools locally and nationally, so we can learn from them and share best practice.
A school will not be able to grow by doing more of the same, so we knew going in that we needed to embrace new and innovative approaches. With Leading Together, we learned a lot about the latest approaches in teaching, learning and leadership.
Our leadership team have had one-to-one coaching and mentoring sessions on the programme, which have helped us work as individuals towards our own development objectives. And together we‘ve all had access to the online courses and materials. Plus, there are opportunities to work alongside other schools to share experiences and discuss challenges, and fortnightly meetings with our Achievement Partner.
Both the quantity and quality of support we’ve received has been amazing, and it astounds me that it hasn't cost us a penny.
Remaining united during the school closures
Leading Together has provided constant and consistent support with the challenges COVID-19 has created for our school, which has been really reassuring. We've been pointed in the direction of the latest guidance and given examples of best practice from other schools, such as risk assessments and approaches to home learning. And we've had multiple conversations with our coach through online meetings and a steady stream of emails. Help has always been based around our needs and availability. We've really appreciated this flexibility and the chance to bounce around ideas.
Every school in the country has approached the school closures ever so slightly differently. The information and guidance can be interpreted in different ways and we're all in different settings with different contexts, so it's been really reassuring to touch base with our coach to gain some perspective and clarity.
Growing as individual leaders and as a team
It sounds a bit cheesy, but Leading Together has definitely helped us lead together! It has united us. The sessions and training have provided all our leaders with a voice and nurtured collaboration within the team, so as a collective we dedicate quality time to listening to one another and discussing issues that are pertinent to the school. We’re celebrating the steps we’re taking, which is important, and we have our own individual objectives to work towards.
I feel that as a result of Leading Together, I'm developing personally as a leader and my team understands me better. They feel more comfortable discussing matters with me, and we've gained a reflective, honest approach to our school development. Perhaps most importantly, by virtue of consistent discussion, collaboration and support, our team have developed real trust in one another.
For any schools considering Leading Together, I'd say absolutely do it. It's united our leadership team and consequently our entire learning community.
If you would like free support for your senior leadership team tailored to your school’s needs, find out more on our Leading Together webpage.