As the summer term of 2021 was drawing to a close, I chatted with a number of sector pioneers and practitioners, and gained insights and guidance on priorities for school leaders ahead of the new academic year, and explored what lessons have been learnt that can be carried through to the next term, and beyond.
Here I provide a summary of four key sessions put together exclusively for IG Schools, and available for you to watch and listen to on-demand now.
Ian Bauckham CBE
Firstly, in a conversation about transformative school leadership, the ever-informative Ian Bauckham CBE, CEO of Tenax Schools Trust, outlined some practical advice for utilising existing guidance and standards for school leaders, as part of the road to recovery from the pandemic and its wider impact.
Offering top tips for headteachers and other leaders to determine core priorities, and how to implement related action plans in the coming months, key themes we covered in this conversation include the National Professional Qualifications, Early Career Framework (ECF), Teaching School Hubs and how the Oak National Academy has become a resource for pupils and staff alike.
Crucially for headteachers who will be hiring new Early Career Teachers from September 2021, Ian highlighted how these staff will be required to do an ECF Compliance Induction, which should be arranged ahead of September.
Click below to watch the session now for important guidance on how to meet this requirement, as well as on how to utilise guidance and resources across the sector.
Dame Alison Peacock
Following this, in an insightful guidance session, Professor Dame Alison Peacock, CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching, explored what it means for teachers and senior staff to lead with compassion, as well as the importance of having and demonstrating professional courage.
Alison examined priorities for making a difference in coming months and through the next academic year, and the increased importance of compassion in education settings as a result of the pandemic.
Highlighting the importance of wellbeing among staff as well as students, Alison also explored opportunities for altered curriculum delivery, taking a collective response to key issues, and considers next steps for the education sector as a whole.
Bringing a positive dose of encouragement to staff after a difficult year, Alison offered thoughtful advice, which you can listen to now by clicking below.
Debbie Clinton, Dr Fiona Hammans, and Danielle Lewis-Egonu
In another discussion session, this time with a panel of experts, we considered what effective leadership and governance practices look like in different educational settings, as experienced CEOs and Executive Headteachers explored what can be learned from each other’s approaches.
Joining me for this informal yet informative, and at times humorous, conversation were Dr Fiona Hammans, CEO at Abingdon Learning Trust, Danielle Lewis-Egonu, Executive Head Teacher of The Galaxy Trust, and Debbie Clinton, CEO of the Academy Transformation Trust.
We focused on how effective leadership practices relate to recovering from the pandemic and its wider impact, and discussed specific approaches to this. These dynamic experts also examined the role of headteachers and other leaders in mentoring peers and more junior staff, and how the Headteacher Standards and National Professional Qualifications can help with this.
Successful approaches to working relationships between leaders and governors was another key topic, and how to balance operational and strategic priorities as part of COVID recovery. Debbie, Fiona and Danielle also shared examples of how to demonstrate robust leadership systems during Ofsted inspections.
All three were keen to share ideas for supporting staff through workload challenges and maintaining positive wellbeing, including through pooling resources where possible for more sharing and collaboration.
Click below now to access this broad-ranging, rich conversation among experienced education leaders, and learn how you can enhance your school's approach to leadership.
Sir David Carter
Finally, in a more formal guidance session, my fellow Welsh native Sir David Carter, who is Executive Director of System Leadership at Ambition Institute, outlined the importance of leading in a collaborative way, and the challenges of doing so for the education sector in the current climate.
Walking us through some practical strategies, David defined a five phase return to the "next normal" for schools, examining what this means in practical terms for school leaders. A model for leading strategic improvement was provided, guiding schools on how to measure progress across two halves of the year.
We’ll be continuing to have more interesting and comprehensive conversations through the autumn term and beyond, so to stay up to date with all IG Schools has to offer and the insights we can share, we’d invite you to join our community.
This article was written by Lauren Powell, Head of Portfolio, IG Schools