Difficult situations, where things aren’t as they should be, are a hidden barrier to school improvement because they drain energy from the job of education in a variety of ways:

  • It might be poor teaching that isn’t improving.
  • It might be that mandatory paperwork has not been handed in, leaving your school leaders chasing people instead of thinking about school improvement, thus losing valuable hours every week.
  • It might be that someone is demonstrating bullying behaviours so that staff members are too afraid to challenge them or put forward ideas.
  • It might be that a TA isn’t supporting learning well enough.
  • It might be a parent who doesn’t want their child to be assessed in case they have a special need, which prevents you from implementing the best support for them.
  • It might simply be a member of staff who wears their ‘special face’ (you know the one) in staff meetings and assemblies and make others feel awkward.

I’ve seen all of these and more, and in these instances you lost on at least five fronts:

Firstly, you lose because of the issue itself, such as poor quality teaching.

Secondly, you lose because someone spends time trying to improve the situation.

Thirdly, time is often spent talking about the issue; maybe in senior leadership team meetings, or maybe through gossip around the school. This takes up your school’s precious time.

Fourthly, you can lose great staff members who may get frustrated at school leaders’ unwillingness to have the conversations that are needed, so you end up losing your best people and keeping poor performers.

Ultimately the real loss is for the children and the quality of their education. 

If any of the above resonates and you want to take the next step to deal with those difficult conversations both kindly and effectively, come to my 1-day training day: ‘successful difficult conversations’.

It’s 100% recommended by headteachers and I’m extremely confident you’ll get so much from it!

For further information visit https://ukheadsup.com/events/successful-difficult-conversations-training-day/

I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Warm wishes
Sonia Gill