Leaders in Education

I have long been fascinated by education, my wife has been a teacher for almost 40 years and I have seen first-hand the increasing pressures she is under.  Corporate businesses have access to a variety of support to help shape cultures, develop highly successful teams, and develop leaders and it made me wonder what support there is for educationalists, how valued they feel and what is available to make educational leaders feel effective.  As such we ran a webinar exploring the following questions with a panel of speakers from the education sector; Angie Novell, CEO of MK Snap, Sally Hamson, a school improvement partner in MK, Toni Hudson, senior associate at Freeths, Deborah Mattock, Executive Director of human resources, Sarah Findlay-Cobb, CEO of Landau Forte Trust and Marie-Claire Parsons, ex Executive Head of the Village Schools Federation and now leadership development coach. 

1.What was your motivation to move on to senior leadership – and what did you gain and lose in doing so?

2.What has been the biggest challenge in your senior leadership role and what support is there/was there for you?

3.What are enablers and what are disablers to your effectiveness in your leadership role?

4.How valued do you feel as a leader in education and what gives you this value; and is leadership – as a capability and a role – respected in your organisation?

5.What do you think the challenges are for leaders in education today and tomorrow and how do you build a talent pool and plan for succession that is fit to deliver these challenges?

It was an insightful discussion and the following points emerged;

  • A coaching culture is fundamental to everyone feeling valued.
  • Ring fencing finance for a coach and development for the heads/ CEOs should be top of the budget but isn’t as education leaders prioritise budget for the pupils/students first.
  • There is a need for change of language in some education sectors, maybe even re-labelling every member of staff as a ‘leader of education’ rather than more traditional role labels AND ban the word ‘busy’.
  • There is a need for education leaders to make the role attractive for succession planning (this requires a mindset and culture change).
  • Budget and time were intertwined in being a disabler to feeling effective.
  • Spending time with the pupils/students and seeing/feeling the learning is what brings value to the role and time must be ringfenced for this.
  • Many leaders in education have moved up from teacher to middle leader to senior leader often because they have been given more responsibility as the requirement for leaders grows (curriculum leaders/phase leaders/subject specialists) and therefore most teachers have some additional responsibility.  However, there is less support to develop leadership skills in middle leaders than senior and there is little development of what leadership is in the training on offer.

We look forward to working more with education leaders and supporting the development of a coaching culture and leadership skills for succession planning.  If you would like to have a 30-minute exploratory call please contact us here: