Inspired by now>press>play’s participation at the Southwark Inspiring Leadership Annual Conference, we’ve scoured the internet for five top suggestions:
1. Think beyond the playground
The top quality for a head is having vision, according to The Guardian. This may all sound a bit ‘David Brent’, but according to those teachers interviewed by the newspaper, the best school leaders can look beyond the playground. They play an active role in shaping the future, rather than just being shaped by events.
2. Go back to basics
At the other end of the spectrum, and looking backwards, is The Telegraph, which claims that the finest headteachers are actually old-fashioned creatures. It describes a ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ type figure, patrolling school corridors and making sure that they know the name of all of the pupils, as well as doling out punishments or praise accordingly.
3. Give teachers their space
Blogger and teacher @MissAngry has some ‘friendly’ advice for teachers at the top of the school: ‘stay out of the staff room’. She concedes that they can pop their head around on special occasions but that the teaching staff need a place to let off steam or have a moan away from the boss.
4. Support your team in taking risks
Great heads are all about empowerment, The Independent finds. In particular, leadership is about allowing staff to have ideas of their own, safe in the knowledge that they will have the support of the school and management team behind them if they look to take a risk.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Finally, what do mums think makes a good school leader? Mumsnet contributors have varied opinions, ranging from being able to ‘communicate well to staff and parents’ to the simple message that leaders should ‘enjoy children’s company’ – a quality that all the teachers and leaders that we have met have by the bucketload!