What is Education for? We would all (I hope) subscribe to the idea that schools, schooling, education and/or learning are most concerned with the development social, emotional and intellectual skills, preparing young people for the world they will face outside school, during and after formal education. It is a given that we all exist in fragile times. Economically, politically and especially environmentally, we can no longer ignore the ecological context of our interconnected world. We must, therefore, do what we can, with the skills and knowledge that we have in our particular spheres of influence, to play our part. In school leadership, this means, for me, recognising the future for the children in our care. And from this point we can develop learning opportunities, communities and the management of our own resources.
As a school leader we have to balance the needs of the many constituents for whom our schools are an integral part of life. Each has different needs; each needs something different from you. Our children’s needs are paramount, yet, as independent schools, they are only in our care because their parents subscribe to the usp of your school. You are only in post because the governors believe in your competences. And the staff team turn up to work because (you hope) they believe in the school’s direction and purpose. How do you balance all this out and still work for a future that will be more fair, equitable and safe for our children?
Purpose is at the core of the work of a leader and our purpose is driven by what we know is right and authentic about the needs of the people and the planet now and into the future.