If the report in this story is even remotely true, then how is this “command and control” culture going to impact on the leadership culture in our schools? For so long the approach to leadership in schools has been nurtured and encouraged towards more collaborative, enlightened processes. Successful schools exemplify a strong sense of purpose, rigour, challenge and support but retain a moral and ethical standard for relationships with others within the school community.
Here are some points made by OfSTED in their annual report 2011/12 on schools rated ‘outstanding’ for leadership and management.
- All leaders and managers, including those responsible for governance, are highly ambitious for the pupils and lead by example.
- Staff model professional standards in all of their work and demonstrate high levels of respect and courtesy for pupils and others
The National College, in their document 10 Strong Claims About Successful School Leadership, point to the following:
- The headteacher is the main source of leadership in a school and plays the lead role in promoting change for improvement
- Schools that achieve and sustain improvement in pupils’ academic performance and wellbeing are led by headteachers who have strong ethical values and moral purpose
- Trust and trustworthiness among staff, pupils and the community are key elements in the progressive distribution of leadership
We can only hope that the behaviour of those in ‘power’ is not considered an example for others to follow and that we remain mindful of the fateful statement on the pedestal at the feet of Ozymandias in Shelly’s poem:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.