Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Decisions, Decisions

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Decisions, Decisions

Article excerpt

Making the big calls can be intimidating for new school leaders, but they can also empowering if you approach them in the right way, says our leadership columnist

One of the most daunting aspects of school leadership is making decisions that will impact on the lives of your students and colleagues. When you realise that the buck stops with you, indecision can become paralysing, but I would advise you to instead feel empowered by the opportunity to move your school forward.

Difficult decisions can come at any point in the school year. They could be technical issues about the curriculum, such as making complex funding decisions to ensure that your school is providing the right level of support for all subjects. Or they could be practical day-to-day staffing decisions about who to recruit and the kind of training and development that you offer.

It can be difficult to know where to start when making such decisions. I began my commercial career as a financial analyst and, with this background, have always started by evaluating the options in front of me. That ability to question, interrogate and re-examine the facts and figures is key to making an informed decision.

I believe that these skills can be developed. But you also need to test your basic intuition in order to make clear-sighted decisions. It is crucial that you hear arguments from all sides and are prepared to change your mind.

If you haven't yet had opportunities to take on decision-making responsibilities in your role, seek them out. …

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