The Magic of Leadership

This month we're thrilled to welcome Angela Armytage to The Potting Shed. Angela has over three decades of experience working across numerous parts of the education sector, from headteaching to her current role as Director of EOS School Review at EOS Education. We found her insights into 'The Magic of Leadership' inspirational, and we're sure you will too...

After over 30 years working in the education system in the UK and over 20 years in senior leadership positions, including eleven years in secondary headship, I am delighted to have the opportunity to follow my passion to support leadership development that inspires and creates special opportunities for all.

Leadership principles and practice are the same across all sectors and I have the privilege of working both with secondary schools and also extensively with a wide range of amazing primary and special schools.

What is it that creates the Magic of Leadership for me?

  • Leaders who believe that anything is possible and have a growth mindset
  • Leaders who focus on 'We' rather than 'I'
  • Leaders who co construct a compelling vision with all stakeholders so that the vision is understood and owned by all and revisit this on a regular basis
  • Leaders who have created magical places to learn as a result of clear and 'thinking outside the box' visioning!
  • Leaders who are clear about their values, both personally and professionally
  • Leaders who are emotionally intelligent and can inspire others to become leaders thereby creating leadership capacity through distributed leadership
  • Leaders who are 'outward looking' and gather intelligence from across the country/world (and enable other leaders to do so) to build on their vision
  • Leaders who take their own personal and professional development seriously and lead by example, constantly reflecting on their practice

The Secret of Leadership in UK schools

For me the role of the school leader today is the ability to understand the global context that we are preparing young people for and to be creative and inspirational in personalising learning journeys for all students and staff! It is about celebrating the uniqueness of every individual and developing them as leaders.

The skill is to do this within the context of the UK education system and to find creative and innovative ways to deliver learning that students see as relevant to the real world whilst at the same time delivering the outcomes required by the system. In some schools this has become known as the 'split screen approach', protecting the students and the school by delivering outcomes in a traditional way with lots of intervention, whilst growing a new and compelling vision from the ground upwards that delivers even better outcomes!

The Fear Factor

We have a culture of fear across the country and this relates to data and outcomes. It demands brave leadership and this is where I believe that coaching plays an important role. All too soon leaders in challenging schools start to identify themselves by their roles and positions and their work becomes their life, excluding family, friends and self care. This ultimately impacts negatively on the people in their schools.

My passion and my ambition is to use my own leadership experience and experience of schools across the country to support leaders to become great, healthy and happy leaders of inspirational organisations that are able to truly live the life/work balance that we have been talking about for so long!