As I pensively sit across from my Year 9 son completing his last history lesson ever on the cold war, it made me think about great leaders. When as humans we reflect on the many achievements of leaders through the ages, we always find many supporters and detractors of their ideas and methodologies.
In what we now call ‘bubbles’ we are seeing many of these great leaders coming out within our schools. Covid-19 has really stretched and challenged the leadership capacity of many in our communities and as I write this, I thought it would be good to take time to reflect on and ponder the ‘new norm’ we now find ourselves living in.
The way schools operate has fast changed in so short a time, with little likely hood they will ever be the same again, though staff and students remain a constant throughout. As a school leader I was able to lead my staff to finding and ensuring the best outcome possible for the children within my care. The pace was constant, allowing little time to take a much needed breather at certain points during the academic year, before continuing on with the next uphill climb to that data review, Ofsted or trust visit.
We now find ourselves adding Covid-19 into the ever-changing mix of guidance rules from our scientific community on how best to stay safe.
Leaders and staff need to work together to ensure the children in their care have the best and safest education possible. As a school leader now on the outside, I thought it would be useful to open the door on and highlight some of the leadership traits that make me proud to be part of the UK education system.
At 7:30 in the morning, as I sit with my cup of coffee and watch breakfast news, I feel so unswervingly proud. I see a variety of people in schools being interviewed, trying to put on a brave face, trying not to show they are scared, while continuing to support all those around them. It makes me wonder how they feel at the end of the day, as they get in their cars to go home from school with all the empathy, flexibility and honesty drained from their bodies. To say ‘this has been a long term’ would be an understatement; this has been a long year. I hope before September arrives our school leaders will be able take some time for themselves and actually get a break. They have my upmost respect in what is the ‘most challenging of times’.