Succession planning should be at the heart of any medium/long-term planning within a school. With a national shortage of school leaders (Read more here), the idea of planning for future leaders is becoming increasingly important. According to figures released by Future Leaders, whilst 74% of teachers are women, only 65% of heads are women (original DfE report here). At a secondary level, the difference is more stark, with women making 36% of headteachers in a a sector dominated by women (62% women: 38% men) (read more).
In my presentation and workshop at the WomenEd residential, I’ll be exploring some of the perceptions of leadership that prevent aspiring leaders taking that leap and why some teachers with excellent leadership potential rule themselves out of leadership opportunities. Whilst I’m not going to do a review of research here, this page is a good starting point.
Discussions with colleagues (on and offline) suggest that women feel pressure to get as much progression as they can before having a family with worries from how they manage the demands of the job with caring responsibilities (which disproportionately still fall on women), through to concerns about not being taken seriously if they work part time. Anecdotal conclusions from exploratory discussions also suggest that the social view of female leaders is markedly different from men and much has been said on the typically gendered use of the word bossy (more here).
At WomenEd, we’re committed to being the change we want to see so that educational leadership can be more equal and representative of the profession’s diversity.
My session is aimed at teachers who are involved in training/mentoring trainee and early career teachers as well as aspiring leaders. In the session we’ll look at some of the perceived barriers to leadership and share ways to promote leadership skills/qualities so that we’re preparing the educational leaders of the future.
- For more information on my workshop ‘Teachers training teachers: promoting leadership qualities in teachers’ contact me.
- For more information about the WomenEd Residential Unconference, see our event page or purchase weekend and day tickets at EventBrite.