The SecEd Podcast: School Leadership – The First 100 Days

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

This episode considers how to take on a new leadership role in schools – middle or senior leadership – and specifically how we should approach the first 100 days in post. We discuss what our priorities should be for the first 100 days, what not to do, as well as some general principles of effective leadership (and leaders).

This episode looks at how school middle and senior leaders should prepare for and approach the first 100 days in any leadership role.

The podcast offers advice, tips and ideas for school leaders new in post and discusses some key principles and traits of effective leadership and leaders.

Our panel looks at how we should prepare for a new leadership role and how we choose our priorities for the first 100 days.

We ask what a new leader should do and avoid doing in their first week in post and how we can engage effectively with our new colleagues. We also look at engaging with tricky or ‘difficult’ colleagues.

Elsewhere, we discuss how we begin to cultivate an effective school culture, how we can build a culture of trust and bring our colleagues with us. We discuss the levels of leadership, what we can do when something goes wrong, and where we can go after the first 100 days.

This episode is hosted by Pete Henshaw, the editor of SecEd, and our guests are:

  • Phil Denton is headteacher of St Bede’s Catholic High School in Lancashire and co-author of The First 100 Days: Lessons In leadership from the football bosses.
  • Caroline Sherwood is an experienced teacher and senior leader in secondary schools. She is currently working on secondment as part of the senior leadership team at Pilton Community College in Devon.
  • Adrian McLean is a Trust Leader at Severn Academies Education Trust, a Trustee of Governors for Schools and a former headteacher. He is an advocate for Character Education and Diversity & Inclusion.

To hear other SecEd podcasts, or to subscribe for free to new editions, search for 'The SecEd Podcast' in your podcast streaming application of choice. Or visit

For details about The SecEd Podcast, or to suggest future topics, email editor Pete Henshaw at


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