In Making the Leap, Dr Jill Berry offers practical advice which will be invaluable to anyone considering headship, drawing on her personal experience, her doctoral research and her extensive reading on the subject. Are you considering headship? Are you looking for advice about whether that would be a good career move for you? Maybe you’re applying for roles, or have secured one and are wondering how to manage the transition.
Jill believes that the qualities that make you a good teacher are closely related to those which will serve you well in leadership. Every teacher is, in fact, a leader of learning within their own classroom. As your career progresses and you move from one leadership role to another, your sphere of influence gradually grows. You will have the chance to learn, to grow, to prove yourself. You will make mistakes and survive them. Headship is demanding, but it is also extremely rewarding: this book will encourage you to be clear-sighted about the challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead. Managing the transition from deputy to first-time headship successfully will ensure that you are on the most positive trajectory as you continue your leadership journey.
In Jill’s experience, new heads often ask themselves similar questions. How can I balance the two roles as I begin to hand over my senior leader responsibilities and, at the same time, begin to assume the mantle of the head? How can I establish the most positive and productive relationship with the outgoing head, so that confidence is maintained and the school is energised, rather than threatened, by the change of school leader? How can I ensure the early months and years of headship are as successful as possible, so that the school develops and grows even stronger under my leadership? This book will answer all those questions and more.
Suitable for teachers, middle leaders and senior leaders who are considering school headship.
1. Introduction: making the leap – why would you want to?
• Spheres of influence and what is distinctive about headship
• My own experience
• My research
2. Applying for headship: key principles of making a successful application
• Deciding what to apply for
• Making a strong written application
• Preparing for and performing well at interview
3. Managing the lead-in period: the challenges of finding the balance in the period between appointment and formally taking up the role
• The developing relationship with your predecessor
• The opportunities of the lead-in period
• The challenges of the lead-in period, and sources of support and strategies
4. The early months in post: ‘inheriting’ the role versus ‘inhabiting’ the role
• Learning to lead in a new context
• Navigating the differences between deputy headship and headship
• Continuing to build the bridge as you walk on it
5. Established headship and beyond: moving beyond being the ‘new head’
• Making the most of the joy of headship
• Balance and sustainability
• Next steps?