Diary of a headteacher: Should a headteacher be ruthless?

When asked at interview about how ‘ruthless’ he could be, our headteacher diarist was taken aback and forced to reflect before offering his response…

In the complex and challenging world of headship you experience the full range of emotions, sometimes on a daily basis.

You can be experiencing a superb day at school – maybe you have observed an inspirational lesson or have had the joy of presenting a student with an award for an exceptional achievement. You could be walking around the school on cloud nine, but as many experienced headteachers will warn you, don’t get complacent up there because disaster can be lurking around the next corner.

There are some extremely unpalatable aspects of the job and I have found that a huge amount of resolve is required to lead difficult processes, especially in challenging financial times. I certainly didn’t go into headship thinking that everything was going to be easy; I served a couple of terms as acting headteacher before my substantive appointment and this was an eye-opening experience that exposed me to many aspects of the role that deputy headship hadn’t.

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