The Persistent Problems of School Leadership: Jen Barker and Tom Rees 

 With an introduction by Steve Walton, Delivery Partner Lead at Ambition Institute.

 There is a lot going on in the world of education. In fact, there is a lot going on in the world in general but the changes in education may well be the most exciting that any of us have seen in our time in the profession. For the very first time with the new suite of NPQs, we have a cohesive curriculum for teacher development; the so called ‘golden thread’ which runs from Initial Teacher Training, through the entirety of a teacher’s career. 

This is important. It is important for us nationally, but more so, it is important for us as a region. The West Midlands often feels like the overlooked cousin to London, or the media darlings of Manchester and Yorkshire. As a region, however, we have enormous potential, with one of the youngest and most diverse populations in Europe, world-class universities and a real drive to succeed. The new NPQs will help our young people to achieve this potential in two important ways: 

  1. Using the most up to date educational research to create a curriculum for leaders and aspiring leaders of what works. What is it that effective school leaders do? A real move away from more generic approaches to leadership and a national, cohesive approach to leadership development. 
  2. Using the delivery partner model, with partners such as Manor Teaching School Hub to really contextualise local educational problems in order to develop leaders with expertise in leadership but also leadership in their region and community. This can only help the Midlands to give its young people the best possible chance to succeed. 

 After speaking to a number of teachers and leaders at the beginning of this new (hopefully more normal) school year, there is a true feeling of hope that we can make positive, real changes to our education system and develop leaders who impact the young people that we work with. It may, therefore, be useful to look more deeply at what we mean by leadership development. What do good leaders do? How do you develop as a leader when 90% of your time is swallowed by other things? Below is a discussion piece from Tom Rees & Jen Barker looking at some of the persistent problems of school leadership: a real common-sense approach to leadership development and definitely worth a read. Enjoy… 

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