The last time I wrote a post I had just finished my last taught day for SQH. A few weeks after that I had my VIVA which thankfully I passed. Positive comments from my VIVA report included that I have very strong professional values and a strong commitment to the school and pupils and parents, as well as being self-reflective, have good inter-personal skills, am able to take others with me and that I am pragmatic, strong on the ground and practical. However, as I have recognised myself I am not always a very deep, analytical thinker and that some of my answsers lacked depth. Things for me to think about and work on!
The same week that I passed my VIVA my head teacher was successful in gaining a part time secondment to the local authority as a quality improvement officer. This mean that from a few weeks before Christmas I became official Acting Head Teacher for the first half of the week, thankfully with the PT acting up to DHT too so that I was not on my own! This I have found challening so far, mainly because of my own, often sub-conscious worry of something going wrong, and I have realised however many months I was able to go extremely low carb and no sugar before Christmas I am still a comfort eater and have also been having trouble sleeping on a Sunday night! I know this will calm down as I grow in confidence and all of the staff have been extremely supportive which has really helped.
One aspect of leadership that I have now been learning about/having to deal with quickly is delegating to other members of an SMT, in this case the PT/DHT. I felt awkward about this initially as I do not like asking other people to do things when I know they have other responsibilities too and there is still an element of me wanting to do things myself, which I know is unsustainable! I am slowly getting better at this and will keep working on it.
We had our Rights Respecting Schools Level 1 award assessment 3 days before the Christmas holidays; horrendous to get ready for at the time but great to get it over and done with! We passed and the assessors were pleased with warm welcome they received, the knowledge the pupils had and the way everyone was working together. Our primary ones absolutely blew us away with the way they talked about rights they know they, and all other children, have and how they are kept safe and protected in school.
We have since had an open afternoon for schools in the cluster to see how we laid out our evidence and went about the assessment and are going to be working with our partnership nursery to help them to undertake RRSA. I have also been asked to go on the RRSA assessors training as the QIO doing our assessment felt that the systematic, methodical and thorough way I had undertaken and implemented our action plan would be of great help to other head teachers so I have the training for that this Friday.
I am struggling just now slightly to find a focus for this blog as I feel there is so much I am learning about in this role but that is not appropriate for me to write about in a public context and I do not feel enough of an expert to write with authority either. I have been really enjoying other leadership blogs at the moment though including OldPrimaryHead, Johntomsett, School Leadership – A Scottish Perspective and One Head and Her Dog. These are giving me pause for thought, I guess I need to make sure I think deeply enough about them!