23/03/2015

A total eclipse of the heart?

A solar eclipse was seen in medieval times as a portent of momentous events ahead.

Eclipse

We are 46 days - that's 1,104 hours  - away from the next general election.

What momentous changes will that momentous event bring for education, I wonder?

Last Friday and Saturday I attended the annual ASCL (Association of School and College Leaders) Conference in London. It was titled 'Trust to Transform'.

Whatever the colour(s) of the political complexion of the next administration, I hope they do just that.

A future for schools based on trust - trust from Government to believe in the professionalism of school leaders and their moral purpose to do the right things for their - our - students. And to share expertise in greater school to school self evaluation as a development of the current Ofsted Inspection regime. Not in some washy washy or cosily consensual way, but rather in terms of robust professional dialogue about strengths and areas for improvement, with associated support in addressing them from those who have done it, well.

As Atticus Finch, the lawyer who is the central character Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird', puts it:

'You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.'

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover

I like this article:

www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=11006530

I like it because it says rightly, very positive things about the characteristics of effective of school leadership when compared to that exercised in other contexts. I like it, although I don't necessarily agree with all of it. I don't agree with all of it because I also learnt a remarkable amount about successful organisations and what makes them tick well before I trained to be a teacher. My relatively brief time as a trainee accountant in the mid-1980s taught me about the inter-dependency of roles within truly great organisations, where shared vision and moral purpose runs through and from their heart.

Bonnie Tyler

Whatever the challenges that lie ahead, there won't be, as Bonnie Tyler lamented in 1982, a total eclipse of our heart...

Our commitment is to do the very best for those amazing young people who we are proud to have in our care every day.

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