Being in such a small school – I am the Leadership Team!  I do not have an SLT around me to make the big decisions or to bounce ideas around with.  I have a fantastic Finance Officer who I share ideas with, however, I am unable to delegate jobs to her regarding the everyday running of the school.  This can be a lonely place to work, even through I have an incredible team around me in school. Teachers and TAs are all amazing!

Because we are a small school, I have to wear many hats throughout the day meaning the bigger jobs that Heads have to do get put on the back burner until after the school day has ended.  It’s not only about the running of the school, everyone want a bit of you….someone once described to me that there is always a wood pecker at your door…you just sit down to do something and someone else comes along with a problem.  There is only one of me, but many members of staff who bring their own concerns/problems/even happy things to share with you as a Head.  I feel very privileged to be in the role as Headteacher at my school and I thrive on supporting everyone from children, staff, governors and parents – however this can be emotionally exhausting at times.

I joined HeadsUp4HTs because I liked the thought of giving myself time to reflect about my role as a Headteacher.  I felt I had lost my way a little with COVID and all the changes that have been made recently and felt I needed to really focus on what I want from being a Headteacher.  I thought it would be nice to meet other Heads who are going through similar things and find out what others are thinking as well as challenging my own thoughts in what I do next.

I participated in the HeadsUp support programme via my Local Authority. Each week after the HeadsUp meetings I felt ready to go again.  Reflected on the week and the weekly questions which refocused me and reminded me why I became a Headteacher.  Reminded myself why I do this job and how rewarding it is – support from the group through the challenges and the realisation you are not the only one going through tricky times.

HeadsUp has helped me to evaluate and refocus on the important parts of this role and given me the time to reflect on my practise and the drive to make changes to move the school forward.  From the groups meetings I have met some wonderful people who I continue to meet with as a facilitator of a Thursday night HeadsUp group.  From this I have met a few Headteachers who are also working in small schools and we have made links to support each other outside of the HeadsUp meetings.

Everyone should take time to reflect daily/weekly to ensure you remain positive and focused on the tasks ahead.  Allow others to challenge your thinking and ideas to support your journey as a Headteacher to be the best you can be.