5 Things We Love To See in a School Leader

5 Things We Love To See in a School Leader

A school is a unique environment, unlike any other workplace, and every school is different. It takes a real mix of skills to be a good school leader as a school has so many varying needs and challenges. You’ll not only need to be a good leader that’s able to delegate and motivate, you’ll also need to be a good team player, incredibly organised with good initiative, and have strong emotional intelligence too. There are so many absolutely brilliant people working in schools and we are always amazed by the hard work we see our community doing! Here are some of the things we love to see in a good school leader…


A love of learning

We often talk about encouraging a love of learning in the pupils in our schools, but it’s important that school leaders have this too! Whether that’s our pupils and staff, new systems in school, or new research and teaching methods, there is always something to learn about. A good school leader is always open to learning new things and building up their knowledge, so they can best support the people around them and manage an often hefty workload.

Organisation and planning

Speaking of workload, we know that taking on a leadership role in a school will add a lot to your plate. This means that good planning and organisational skills are key for a school leader. Schools are busy places where people are always moving around; while a full day sitting at your desk getting work done would be lovely, this often just can’t happen as you’ll need to be out and around the school throughout the day. You’ll not only need to keep track of what you need to do, but where you need to be and who you need to speak to. That’s why we created our Subject Leader Journals, to help you manage your tasks and have one place where everything subject-related can go - click here to view them.

Communication skills

Communication is key, especially in a school where communication is also best when it is clear and succinct, as time is precious! The best school leaders are great communicators and are able to convey information, discuss issues, and listen to feedback efficiently and respectfully. Schools are run by an often huge team of people and different tasks require assistance from different people, so school leaders often have a lot of communication to manage. A good way to help manage this is to keep track of important discussions and meetings, so you can remember what has been said and refer back to it. Our meeting notes pad is a great way to help with this, as you can write general notes from your meeting, create a to do list or action plan moving forward, and it leaves some space for you to write any other thoughts you may have. You can file this away and have it ready to refer back to when you need it - click here to view it.

Honesty and empathy

It goes hand in hand with communication, but a good school leader is honest and shows empathy towards their team. It essential for building positive relationships, and the backbone of a good team. A good school leader is able to put themselves in the shoes of their staff or their team and understand each person’s challenges and priorities. You’ll also need to be honest with your team about your own challenges and priorities, so your team can understand where you’re coming from.

Creativity and adaptability

An effective school leader needs a huge amount of creativity, as you’ll need to problem-solve and adapt to new situations regularly. A school’s demographic changes each year, so you’ll often need to change the way you are doing things or change up your priorities. There are also many other changes, such as new staff, a change in the curriculum, or OFSTED guidelines, so adapting the way you do things will be pretty key. Challenges may not always have clear solutions, and you may not always have the most ideal resources to work with, so a good school leader knows how to get creative to support those around them. Things are ever-moving and ever-changing in a school environment, and an effective school leader is able to face this head-on!