Thursday, 29 July 2010

Putting your head above the parapet

I have had a couple of conversations in the last week about the benefits and dangers of putting your head above the parapet, so thought I might share my thoughts on the subject.
Sitting back and just letting things happen whilst we keep our thoughts, supportive or critical, does not come naturally to some of us - and just as well too because if all governors did this we would end up with passive nodding dog governing bodies. So some of us routinely speak out, sometimes being deliberately provocative in order to generate debate - we 'put out heads above the parapet'.
One consequence of this is that we become targets for others who disagree with what we are saying or the way we are saying it. My experiene is that I even get arrows fired at me when I am silent, as people make all sorts of wierd assumptions about what the silence means.
The constant barrage can be tiring and ways of dealing with that are useful:
1. Remember that it is not you that is being attacked - at worst it is your opinion and that is 'just' a mental construct, not any part of your core identity
2. Regard all comments as valuable feedback - they generally say as much about the other person as about you, so what can you learn from the interaction?
3. Remember that even the strongest warriors need a rest from time to time - take time out to listen or observe
Then get back in there and make a difference, nothing was ever changed by those who sit on their hands wishing for a quiet time!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Staff or stuff

Let's imagine your, averagely performing, school has just got a windfall of £50k revenue - guaranteed for the future. How do you spend it?

I am wondering if there is any reliable research about the relationship between what I will call 'staff or stuff'?

We could spend the money on staff, teaching or non-teaching, or we could buy some kit for the school. Which i smost likely to have the consequence of improved outcomes for our pupils? Would the answer be different if it were a one-off (employment law aside)?

Thoughts on a postcard please....