5 mistakes schools make when writing their vision

There are mistakes I see time and time again when people create their vision.

Here are the top 5 so you can avoid them:

Mistake #1: Everyone should write your vision

No. You get a vision which seems to please everyone but really says nothing.

It reminds me of the phrase: A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

I think people do this because they think it’ll create buy in. But it doesn’t.

Who should write your vision: your Senior Leadership Team. A powerful vision which is communicated powerfully will create more buy-in than a one day INSET with everyone from your team.

Mistake #2: Your Governors should write the vision

Again, no. They can write it, they can be involved in it but they don’t have to. Governors do need to hold you to account on it.

Mistake #3: Everyone should like it

No, no, no. Sorry but this is fundamental point.

A good vision lets people decide if they want to be part of it. So it’s ok if people don’t like it as long as it’s clear enough for them to make a choice, to be whole heartedly on your bus, or to find another bus they want to be on.

I’m not saying purposely make it so that people don’t like it, but don’t worry if not everyone does- a great vision will let people decide for themselves.

Mistake #4: You can magpie someone else’s vision

No. I mean you can, but it won’t do the job a vision needs to do. A vision is like a fingerprint or DNA, it’s unique to you and your SLT and it’ll be why some people want to work at your school (even if it’s not as clearly articulated as it needs to be – we can pick up on the vibe of your vision).

Lifting another school’s vision doesn’t let you share and embed the nuances which are unique to your school and which are an important part of your vision.

Mistake #5: We have to re-write the vision every few years or when the head changes

Do it once and do it right. When a new headteacher is being recruited they should be recruited to the vision – as long as it’s a powerful vision. If it’s not then they can create a new one because the existing vision won’t be doing the job it needs to do.

But if there is a powerful vision in place, taking it out and replacing it loses your school team valuable time while they figure out what they are about. People leave because it’s no longer for them or because they no longer feel like this is somewhere they can do well.

If you’d like to know how we can help you create your school vision, please contact nisha@ukheadsup.com for a free 10 minute consultation.