I am off to fresh woods and pastures new.

I am in my eighteenth and final year as a secondary school headteacher. In September, for the first time in over three decades, I will not be a member of school staff.

So, many people get to my position and attempt to articulate what they have learnt about leading schools. Why should I be any different? This is the fourth in a series of brief posts over the last few weeks of the school year, in which I explain a number of things I have learnt about headship.

Senior leaders must teach. I know I go on about this (see above), but 18 years of headship have only made me more certain that this is true.

As Viviane Robinson points out, remaining in close touch with the classroom enables school leaders to experience first-hand (and subsequently remove because their teaching is impeded just like their teacher colleagues’) the barriers preventing teachers from doing their job.

School leaders cannot make teaching easy. We have to make it as easy as possible for teachers to do their incredibly complex job of teaching so that students can make good progress in their learning.

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