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Filling the School Leadership Void

classroom-strategic-directionFew would argue that leadership is a crucial factor in schools. We all know the difference that a great leader can have and also the impact of poor and ineffective leadership. We know, ‘the fish rots from the head’, ‘people don’t leave schools, they leave ineffective leaders’ and ‘the BIGGEST factor in staff morale is the leadership’, yet many teachers who are promoted to school leadership roles receive little professional development. Many appear to be expected to develop their leadership skills and knowledge through osmosis.

We often promote great teachers to positions of leadership. The increasing provisions of middle leadership positions in primary schools is a prime example. Skilled and talented teachers are identified and promoted to leadership roles. However, many of these great teachers receive little guidance or professional development on leadership.

The skills of effectively teaching a class are different to the skills and knowledge required to lead people, implement a program or drive an improvement agenda. Good people are hampered by very limited exposure to the skills required in leading others.

I am passionate about helping effective teachers become highly effective leaders. However, programs for aspiring leaders are only part of the solution.

Effective leadership teams need to be on the same page and have time to discuss a strategic approach.

Often the Principal or one member of the leadership team, attends some professional development in the form of a conference or workshop and then returns to school inspired to implement their idea.

Implementation of this idea is unlikely to achieve its potential as the key message becomes diluted, misinterpreted or buried in the operational matters that leadership teams need to address.

Now is the time to be planning to increase your leadership team’s effectiveness in 2017 by planning time to work as a team. We are currently setting up programs for leadership teams from clusters of schools based on very successful programs in Cronulla, Bankstown, St George, Canberra, Tweed, Murwillimbah and Bayside this year.

The leadership programs are designed specifically for school leadership teams and are being offered in a number of locations across Australia in 2017. The cumulative program is designed to build leadership effectiveness and density and is presented by experienced Principal and Leadership Development expert Steve Francis.

  • 4 Half days over 2017 – gather with teams from a cluster of nearby schools for lunch and then high quality professional learning, specifically on leadership and strategic planning.
  • Designed for leadership teams from a cluster of schools to experience the same professional learning TOGETHER as a leadership team
  • Provides time away from the operational demands of school to plan strategically.

The feedback from 2014, 2015 and 2016 teams has been awesome. They love having time to experience high quality professional learning together, to unpack and discuss what it means for their team and school and plan the next steps in implementing their shared understanding for school improvement.

The cost per participant for the program of four professional learning half days is $950 + gst. The programs are developed according to the needs of the cluster of schools from a wide range of contemporary topics.