Managing Urban Schools: Leading from the Front

Managing Urban Schools: Leading from the Front

Managing Urban Schools: Leading from the Front

Managing Urban Schools: Leading from the Front


The success of our urban schools is a critical factor in the future of British society. A dramatic statement for sure, but justified by the fact that 89% of the UK population live in urban areas. Traditionally, "inner-city" schools have presented some of the greatest challenges to educators. With ever increasing numbers of pupils, and changing demographics, many urban schools now face similar challenges too. Tough, uncompromising and inspiring, this book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how urban and city schools need to operate and how they need to be led. Principals and Deputies, those studying for the NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship) and all aspirant school leaders will find the help and guidance in this book invaluable in shaping their work. The book will also help policy makers, school officials and superintendents. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with the reality of working in schools in urban settings.


getting one's head around headship

It has already been suggested that training can turn very many people into efficient administrators and, even, into effective managers. However, leadership requires more than training: it requires a set of values and beliefs. More than this, it requires that the leader is self-aware and that these values and beliefs do not conflict with the school's (possibly unwritten and/or implicit) own values and beliefs.

It is interesting to note that it is a requirement of becoming designated a specialist college that the governing body notifies the DfES (Department for Education and Skills) of any change of headteacher. the governing body is also required to ensure that new appointees are fully supportive of the particular specialism for which the school is designated. This supports the view that the leadership of the headteacher-and their understanding of the ethos of the school-is of paramount importance.

what matters to ME?

Before one considers applying to become a headteacher of a school, potential applicants should examine what it is that matters to them. There are many ways of going about this, but the following is offered as a starting point. It makes sense to write the answers down and, if necessary, to revise them after a further period of reflection.

Many of the questions are of a very personal nature, but it is argued here that headship requires leaders and that the personal qualities of leaders are very important, particularly in urban schools. Teachers cannot hide their personalities from their students, since being a teacher is not a job for automatons. in this country, at least, one's personality will determine to a large extent how effectively one teaches. What is true for teachers in general is even truer for headteachers. Stamina, resilience and self-belief are all necessary qualities in a headteacher. Self-awareness is also essential.

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