Part-tribute to Sir Ken Robinson, and part-reflective, in this post we consider the answer to the question 'How do you grow a school's culture?'
Taken from a session at the recent ASCL National conference at the ICC in Birmingham, in this post I attempt to identify the golden thread that runs throughout ‘connected leadership’, the theme of the conference.
Much has been written about how crucial the first 100 days are for a leader in a new organisation. The temptation is to assume that if you haven’t made your mark by then, chances are you’ve blown it.
I am writing this in an Apple conference room in Cupertino, California as I await a transfer to San Jose airport. The past four days have been exhilarating to say the least. I’d even be so bold as to say it’s been the best PLD experience I’ve ever had.
It can’t have escaped your notice that earlier this week it was World Storytelling Day. As a leader, the only story you need to be telling is the one about you – who you are, what you stand for and why your school is the best party in town.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Sir Francis Bacon may well have been on to something here. In the late sixteenth century he inadvertently defined what the three key qualities of a really good leader are.
I finally set foot in the impressive National College for School Leadership building for the first time last week. Despite opening its doors in 2002 I never got to go there. I was a headteacher in the capital at the time and Nottingham seemed far too provincial. The NCSL was eventually closed down in 2013 when it was taken back by the DfE.
As we settle down to a new term and get to that point when we finally remember how the job’s meant to be done, it all comes down to two things: Rigour and Vigour.
Have you ever experienced what it feels like when you get several hundred like-minded people together and lock them in a room for the day to see where the magic can take you? And that during that day you get to dream about ‘what if…?’ and get to ask really powerful questions like ‘why can’t our schools be like Disneyland?’
Last week I had the pleasure of working with a group of leaders from Schools of Tomorrow. It was the first morning of their inaugural year-long Leadership for Tomorrow development programme. If you’ve never come across the Schools of Tomorrow network then you really should.