The People Management Business
The independent HR and Coaching consultancy enabling excellence in leadership, management and development of people across schools, academies, colleges and the wider public sector
“When there’s that moment of, “Wow, I’m not sure I can do this” and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough. That’s how you grow”
Melissa Mayer, former CEO Yahoo
Roger Black, former UK 400m record holder and Olympic silver medallist, describes the point in the race where you hit the last bend with body drained of energy and fast filling with lactic acid, look up see the finish line, check where your competitors are and you just have to dig real deep if you want to achieve your goal. It is a great metaphor for where schools/academies will be at this stage of the year and it also chimes brilliantly with the quote above.
Melissa Mayer may be something of a Marmite personality. By age 37 she was a senior executive at Google, leaving to become CEO at Yahoo and then implement a 1.1 billion dollar acquisition of Tumblr. Her personal stock fell sharply for a while along with Yahoo, but the real power of her quote above is the link between perseverance and resilience with learning and growth, not just goal achievement.
That is why we have chosen the theme of resilience for our website this time. For our ‘In a Nutshell’, book review we’ve chosen How to Survive in Teaching by Dr Emma Kell, an enticing blend of research, expert advice and relevant further readings. Some stats that hit you between the eyes from her extensive survey:
54% of practising teachers reported experiencing depression at work
66% had been tearful at work at some stage in the last year
29% would not see themselves remaining in the profession for another 2 years.
Shocking stuff, but you can find scope for hope for the future in the excellent third chapter that sets out 3 key themes to help teachers to survive and flourish: realism and resilience; relationships and workload management.
Building on this, we have published our very own research on Headteacher resilience and well-being. In March this year, we sent out a 4 Question survey on the theme of Well-being to 40 Headteachers with a return of 35, an impressive 87% indicating the understandable strength of interest on this issue. The 4 questions were:
- What is the single biggest thing that you find most demanding/stressful in your role at the moment?
- What is the most important thing you do to support the well-being of your staff?
- What is the most important thing you do for your own well-being?
- What is the one, best thing your Governors could do that would help you further with your well-being/work-life balance?
The responses are fascinating with some expected. It is no big surprise that budget management, especially High Needs Funding came out as a top concern for question one but there were some unexpected responses. There are also some great ideas and initiatives suggested – you can check out the report here.
One of the ideas that seems to be gaining ground is the nomination of a senior teacher/SLT member with specific responsibility for staff well-being. We have done some work supporting one such person, Ana Hutton at Grove Park Primary who has sent us a brilliant article, an excellent read on the important links between staff well-being, coaching and achieving ‘big potential’ – you can find it here.
We had the pleasure of launching our Coaching into Appraisal programme at Grove Park Primary recently and so it was highly encouraging to hear both Ana, the school’s Coaching Champion in her article and Ceranne Litton, the Executive Head in her survey response being so positive about the benefits coaching and our CiA programme has brought already. Please do contact Gary Edwards (email: email@example.com) if you would like further information or an informal discussion at your school/academy.
In support of the resilience agenda we have set up a separate section with free to download Well-being documents and articles. This includes a short 10 question survey you can use to assess how well your staff well-being is. Please do contact us if you would like some help in developing a strategy or action plan in this area – some schools/academies are further down the road than others and we are delighted to be able to share with you a Welfare Policy document for Support Staff we helped Simon O’Keefe to develop at Stour Academy a while ago.
We have also added new resources for Managing Performance, Appraisal including a short guide on How to Receive Feedback and also Managing Change with a model Performance Improvement Plan pro forma. These are all free to download from here.
We also like to highlight great resources from other places and here are two brilliant videos that are certainly well worth the time to watch and listen. Dr Brene Brown’s Ted talk The Power of Vulnerability is a masterly insight into how to reframe something that many would regard a weakness into an essential strength. It has been viewed an astonishing 31 million plus times.
In a different genre, Greatness by David Marqet is a wonderful, illustrated YouTube video that brilliantly shows how the traditional ‘command’ leadership style needs to be turned on its head even in the military. We can learn a lot about truly effective and powerful school leadership from this 9 minute video.
In other areas, our 3 hour Safer Recruitment training programme is proving a very popular and highly cost-effective session. And we are also delivering a best practice Appraisal for Appraisers course either as a twilight or half day session for new Appraisers [teaching and/or support staff] or for more experienced colleagues seeking a refresher update. Both sessions are delivered on-site at times to suit and we encourage the involvement of other local school/academies to ensure even better value for money.
We do deliver other training sessions and you can find further details on the Training page or you can contact us if you need something more bespoke.
And finally, if you haven’t already done so you really must check out the school video produced by Clare Owen and her fantastic team at Bishops Down Primary School – it is probably the best school video ever!
“Mountain tops inspire Leaders but valleys mature them”
- The PMB Report no 1: Wellbeing and Worklife Balance for Schools/Academies
- The Stour Academy: Welfare Policy for Non-teaching staff
- 10 Question Survey: Staff Well-being
- Performance Improvement Plan – a model pro forma
- Commitment/Influencer Planning
- How to accept the 'gift' of Feedback
- The Power of Vulnerability by Dr Brene Brown [Ted Talk]
- Greatness by David Marqet [YouTube]