TES, 26.04.16, HMC Chair-Elect, Keith Budge Headmaster of Bedales Schools has offered his thoughts on successful school leadership in a TES webinar broadcast.
In conversation with Andrew Maiden on 11 April, Keith explored how leaders can establish their vision, and considered questions of management style, desirable experience, and the evolution of school leadership.
In order to establish their vision for a school, says Keith, leaders must listen – and keep listening – with a view to determining how well their vision will marry with the values intrinsic to the school. He says: “It’s not easy, but if you’ve listened enough it isn’t impossible to steer people towards what you see as the best way forward. People need to feel that they have a stake in it.”
Whilst he believes that a good leader most understand the human perspective, and spend time with students and teaching, the most important thing is the big picture. It is important, he says, that governing boards ensure that their leaders have the space to lead, and are not constantly sucked into micro-management. How school leaders spend their time and what they worry about has changed considerably over time, he believes, although the fundamentals remain the same.
Keith is firm in the importance of school leaders having a background in education. He says: “If you are going to lead, you need to show your values in action, and if these don’t come from your own educational and vocational drive then it will show. As a leader, you have to live the life that you espouse, and if you do this your values and attributes will come to permeate the school.”
Keith responded to questions from TES subscribers in a moderated webchat 26.04.16. More details can be found here.