I don’t believe any educator or administrator wishes to start a cult, but far too often our leadership approach mirrors this kind of approach. Without knowing it, we can create a school or classroom that depends on us; one that revolves around our personality, our authority and depends on our presence to run smoothly.
Recent research from the Future Leaders Trust, Teach First and Teaching Leaders warns of a serious shortfall in the number of heads and senior leaders required over the next decade, as pupil numbers rise and the present incumbents retire or move on. Many of those currently in headship attest to the rewards and satisfactions of the role, despite its accepted demands and pressures. But how can we encourage those not currently in whole-school leadership roles to take the plunge – to embrace risk and uncertainty and step up to the challenge? How can we encourage, motivate and inspire them to ask: ‘If not me, then who?’, and how can prepare them and then support them throughout their time in the role?
I’m very fortunate to have been appointed head of school for the new Q3 Langley Academy, which opened its doors this September to 153 Year 7 students. It is a unique partnership with the local authority and a Multi-Academy Trust that has led to somewhat of a blank canvas in relation to curriculum. In an education world that has seen a sharp decline in non-EBacc subjects, we are still committed to offering a broad and balanced education for all our students.