Edition Overview

It has been a real privilege to partner with so many amazing educational establishments who have faced unprecedented challenges over the last year. We have been inspired by their unrelenting regard for their pupils’ education and well-being, and how they have taken all the issues with exams, technology, finance, pastoral care and well-being in their stride. As I write this introduction, more restrictions have been lifted and we all hope that some sort of normality can resume over the coming months.

Whether working with an independent or state school, a multi academy trust or a private equity group there have been some common threads across many of our appointments. Clients have been looking for candidates who have the ability to flex and work in different ways as circumstances change, and who are not afraid of being strong leaders. Experience of working with diverse teams and a track record of collaborative working have also been important. Many of our clients have used our psychometrics in order to test resilience in their potential leaders. Over the last year there has been a real emphasis on ensuring that the values of our candidates match the values of the organisation to which they are applying and we have been impressed by the care and attention which governors and leaders have taken in order to give new appointments the best support they can in the early days within the role. One way of doing this has been the opportunity for candidates to have some coaching before taking up their roles and we talk more about this later.

Not only has the education sector been coping with the pandemic but has it also had to show leadership in other crucial areas. Schools’ response to Black Lives Matter is has been impressive and comprehensive. We have worked with schools who have changed their governance in order to create more diversity within the leadership, as well as organisations who have looked very carefully at all their policies to ensure they have taken on board the very real concerns which have been brought to them. The issues of sexual harassment and consent have been brought to the fore through the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ website and again schools have responded swiftly and decisively to support their young people around this complex area.

We have very much enjoyed seeing many of you at our webinars which have covered a range of topics over the last year and we hope that you have found them helpful. If there have been any golden nuggets from the last year we do believe the education sector has been very supportive across schools and organisations and has used technology to make strong connections both within and outside its organisations. We very much look forward to working with many of you over the next year and would be delighted to hear from you if we can support you in any way.

 

Jenny Dwyer

Head of Schools Practice

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