In these unprecedented times, we want to support and encourage everyone leading throughout the education sector. As many of you will know, we regularly share resources in relation to the Foundation’s recently published document, ‘Called, Connected, Committed’. In these times which are so incredibly challenging for educational leaders, we humbly offer some thoughts for reflecting on these key concepts of vocation, relationships and purpose, which are perhaps being tested now more than ever. Each issue of this mailout will focus on one of the leadership practices from the document, and to begin this new season, we’re starting with ‘Offering Encouragement’.
It's difficult to imagine a time where school leaders have been called upon to show more courage and wisdom than the past few weeks, and in many ways, the school closure announcement brings another set of unique and un-faced challenges – for those still providing face to face education for many children, for teachers leading learning in new remote ways, for students having to work out their new identities (particularly those Year 6, 11 and 13 students for whom things have radically and rapidly changed), for families beginning a new phase of life – there has never been anything like it in peacetime. And yet, as leaders we are called to approach our present challenges by holding to a bigger picture, whilst holding our teams together in a period of unparalleled uncertainty.
This requires immense and sustained courage. We understand ‘en-couragement’ to mean the act of putting heart into another person or group – giving them the ability to take the next step together, even when that next step if far from clear in the dark. As Martin Luther King put it so eloquently – ‘you don’t need to see the whole staircase to take the first step’.
As we enter this new phase, we honour and cherish the incredible work that you are each doing in schools across the country to provide a beacon of courage and hope in a world of confusion and fear. It is utterly remarkable the lengths that school leaders are going to, in order to provide the very best for the children of this country – so thank you for everything you are sacrificing personally to do this.
We’ll look to share one of these each week on a Monday for this season – and upload all the back issues to our website so you can use them. It is our hope that these resources might provide you with real encouragement in your personal vocation, relationships and purpose; please do feel free to use these with your teams in whatever way best supports you. And do also let us know how you are navigating this season; we would love to share your ideas through this email and provide that which you would find most supportive.
Andy Wolfe, Deputy Chief Education Officer (Leadership Development)