A few years ago a began writing a blog. The blog was a reflection on some of the leadership training I had been participating in and had some deliberately antagonistic title like “Leadership skills, fools gold and the personality cult of ‘strong leadership’: Why school leadership is in crisis”. I had become frustrated that so much of school leadership appeared to be focused on personality-driven generic skills, transformational leadership theory and vision communication. Let me be clear; I understand those things have a role to play in leadership, and even desirable in some roles. However it appears to have completely overrun the role of domain specific knowledge in leadership. I was hoping to learn more about assessment, curriculum theory and implementing teaching strategies. I wanted practical advice for supporting staff in crisis, leading a team of individuals and creating a climate of improvement for my team.
So I began to read around a variety of topics; from psychology to economics. I began to listen to expert teachers working in real schools and I began to reflect on my own experiences working in a large coastal comprehensive and leading a department.
The blog began to grow as I aggregated all the things I thought needed to be well understood for a middle leader to be successful. It grew way beyond my initial thoughts and became the book; Middle Leadership Mastery.
The book aims to equip middle leaders of subjects, Key Stages and pastoral teams with the kinds of expertise that will allow them to thrive. The book is broken down into 9 chapters which aim to encompass the main areas of middle leadership including those often ignored in generic leadership training. I hope this helps existing middle leaders and those who are aiming to take on a new role.
The 9 Chapters are:
- Teaching and learning
- Quality assurance
- Teacher development
- Decision making
- Pastoral issues
- Leading others