Week Eight + Start of New Term- @ASTSupportAAli

Week 8- I was due to write a post reflecting on my final week of my first half term as an Assistant Head on the last day of term. However, unlike I previously intimated I have continued playing staff football and this week we were playing local rivals! Playing against a school of over 2, 200 students much to our surprise there was at least 150 students who chose to stay behind on the last day of term to watch us pitch up against their beloved school! Great school spirit… However, ironically we received more cheers than the home team! 🙂

Are you ever in?

Anyway… the last week of term involved me being out of school for 2.5 of the 5 days- 1 day was spent visiting schools (A primary, middle and Secondary) Thanks so much to the i2iPartnership in Surrey. This was organised in return for me presenting at a Teach Meet at the amazing Weydon School.

The second day I was absent was to attend my University course- which is going really well by the way!

The final day of me being absent was due to me chairing an Optimus Education Conference in London. Which was exhilarating! I really thrived on the corporate/conference type presenting. However, for the first time I was really nervous!!

The term ended on a high… however, I have now spent the last 2-3 weeks reading posts about Senior Leadership Teachers. Reading so many negative, yet unfortunately honest posts about peoples experiences with their SLTs. (Or Senior Management Teams- SMTs- I can’t remember which one I am – SLT? or SMT? Which links to a previous post about mine!)


As a result of this I dug up my log in for the NCSL Website- updated my profile/setting and went back to the Leading from the Middle programme resources. I then filled in the questionnaires about being an emotionally intelligent leader. I began to listen to the voice clips again and just recapped everything. Some obviously had escaped my memory! Most however, I am sorry to say was simple logic. Surely people in positions of responsibility can’t be that stupid!? Based on the blog posts- they really can… 😦

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 21.01.32

I personally do not want any of my team to ever write a blog post about how disappointed they were with me after an observation, after a conversation, after an altercation. I know and I accept we all make mistakes. I have already made some. However, learning and acting upon mistakes is what makes a person. I am hoping these blog posts are serving as a ‘mistake’ for me, ready for me to learn from them!


Therefore for this half term my main aim is to really solidify myself as an emotionally intelligent leader;

If colleagues are to perform well they must:

  • Feel valued– chocs/cards/thank yous/replies to emails/smiles!
  • Be clear about their role– letting staff know what they are expected to do and value what they do above this!
  • Be listened to– Having an open door policy is vital.
  • Know how their actions affect others– This is the main challenge- not just how their actions affect children but other adults too. Providing effective feedback is integral to all of these elements.


Therefore me being self aware and socially aware is vital. Some more NSCL Quizzes are going to be studied again later!!


  • Accept Them
  • Discard Them
  • Use Them
  • Manage Them

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 21.21.04

Aside from my personal target of going data crazy this half term-

I really need to grasp the targets of my SEN/D students, where they currently are, what they are expected to achieve and how we are going to go about it. This is my main challenge in my school- the underperformance of School Action Plus students.

My next post will be about annual reviews and target setting- and the whole label of School Action/School Action Plus…

So this term… I am really going to work on being an emotionally strong, self aware, respected leader. To ultimately benefit my team.

I have also embarked on setting up a free online twitter coaching programme– I sat and wondered why earlier! I have created a huge amount of extra work for myself- but I am happy to do it- if it means Teachers across the country will benefit. Thats the only reason I do this… blog, write, tweet…!

Wish me luck!


One comment

  1. Good luck!

    Being aware of your own strengths and limitations, being sensitive and empathetic in your dealings with others and treating people with respect and consideration are crucial for all of us, but ESPECIALLY those who have responsibility for leading people at whatever level. I have found the recent tweets/blogs about potentially damaging senior leadership sobering, but if they encourage senior leaders like you to reflect, ensure they continue to develop and set the bar high, then at least there’s been a positive outcome. And I hope that being exposed to negative role models encourages early career teachers to take on leadership responsibility in the future and do it BETTER – see my comment on Gwenelope’s recent blog:

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