Subtitled ‘How to Lead a School without Selling Your Soul
In the chapter on brave choices he writes:
1. If it isn’t going to benefit the pupil’s learning, don’t do it.
2. If it can be done in a fun way, they why not do it that way.
3. When someone succeeds, share and celebrate it.
4. The glass is half full. Always.
5. If you wouldn’t want a visitor to see it – don’t do it.
HOW TO LEAD A SCHOOL WITHOUT SELLING YOUR SOUL
School leadership brings with it tremendous pressure from the government for results at all costs. It?s the outcome that counts (and the league tables), not the process. Which means, now more than ever, for genuine leaders leading schools in the right direction for the right reasons, bravery is key. Dave Harris is well placed to write the ultimate guide to bravery in school leadership. As the principal of a high-profile brand new Academy he has had to stand by his beliefs about the role of the school in the community ? ?It?s a marathon, not a sprint? ? despite the pressure to forget genuinely educating young people and just focus on ?floor targets?. A book for every leader who wants to make a genuine difference (and get great results, as Dave has done)!
Brave Heads is a personal account, a smart synthesis of current thinking about leadership and an invitation to reflect on and review how leadership might need to change to respond to a turbulent and often contradictory environment. It is a powerful and very welcome addition to the literature on how leadership needs to develop in order to create an educational system rooted in authentic values and a belief in the transformational potential of schools.
John West-Burnham, Professor of Educational Leadership, St Mary?s University College, Twickenham
Brave Heads works both as a very useful handbook full of practical tips that any new head teacher would be wise to adopt and a timely reminder to more experienced leaders about what matters most in schools. For both, it emphasises the perennial privilege of being a head teacher ? being a driver of change that benefits children and communities.
The book takes a refreshing look at both the challenges and the joys of leading a school, describing the bravery needed by head teachers in respect of facing up to external political imperatives, curriculum design and delivery, securing short- and long-term success, the leadership styles necessary at different times and the wealth of research into school leadership that can have real-world relevance and application.
Mike Butler, Chief Executive, Djanogly Learning Trust, Director of the Independent Academies Association