Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.
I don’t know what I would do without my deputy. I am very lucky that she has NPQH training and understands exactly what needs to be done and how things need to be carried out.
During our meetings I often use her as a sounding board and she is able to offer me the support I need while providing me with another voice that can support me in making the best and well-thought out decisions. Very often I have gone to her with an issue that I am looking to solve, thinking I already have the answer, but then she asks relevant questions which force me to look at the whole picture as well as think of the resulting consequences. This has ensured that many decisions I have made have been thought about from all perspectives and angles.
Having someone else in school who you can rely on and who you know will give you just honest and open answers to all of your questions, is what you need as a headteacher. Many issues you cannot discuss with other teachers or staff members, so having a deputy, rewards me with an additional senior leader, who can help me to resolve issues and make difficult decisions.
As I have mentioned before, being a headteacher can be a very isolating and lonely job. From past experiences, I have learnt that you must be careful who you entrust with certain information. I have seen too often, senior leaders confiding information to other colleagues who haven’t treated their discussion as confidential. This can be very dangerous and can have devastating results
Having been a deputy myself, I understand the role and the need for that person to feel valued, listened to and able to help make decisions. Not all schools are given the luxury of having a deputy or an assistant headteacher, especially not one who actually is given some time out of the classroom to take the lead on specific issues that can be handed over from the head. I realise this is a luxury but one well used!
How does your leadership team support each other? How do you make people feel valued, a part of the team and truly let their voice be heard?
Utilising people’s greatest attributes and letting them share their expertise with others, strengthens and develops any team.