"I recently took part in a really enjoyable day with members of our ATL Future section about progression into management and leadership.
They raised some interesting points and asked fantastic questions of the panel, which included AMiE’s past president Julia Neal, Sir Richard Leese, Labour Leader of Manchester City Council and Jenny Goodall, service team manager at Skipton Building Society.
Hearing about the real people-focused management used in non-education workplaces, which has all but disappeared from our sector, was enlightening. The approach taken to appraisals was different. Renamed About You they were used more as a discussion of an individual’s thoughts, views and needs, rather than a list of targets.
Participants were worried about work-life balance and accountability, and the idea in many schools that the data seems to be more important than the health and well-being of students, and targets more important than staff.
Reverse mentoring also seemed popular. The links below explain how this works and may spark some ideas about how you could use it. Unsurprisingly, the audience certainly liked the idea of reverse mentoring and felt it had a role in education.
There was also palpable frustration. Participants were worried about work-life balance and accountability, and the idea in many schools that the data seems to be more important than the health and well-being of students, and targets more important than staff.
During the breaks, I was asked for advice by participants on what they should do if they regularly witness unethical leadership, and how they can make sure aren’t ignored if they raise concerns without putting their job at risk.
Belonging to a union is, of course, a good start. Getting advice is the best first step.
Hopefully the advice I gave was helpful. Despite the frustration in the room, I would like to think that the message taken away was one of hope. One of a belief that, just as we are refusing to accept the funding situation being forced on us by the Government, we must also not allow an intimidating, bullying or generally unsupportive culture to win in our schools and colleges."