On the day I had my first look at the school I would later come to lead, it had just received its second “requires improvement” judgement from Ofsted. The head had retired and left a leadership vacuum that the deputy at that point was bravely trying to fill. Staff morale was low.
Then, just after I started, we received a review visit from the local authority, which slammed the school.
Clearly, there were significant problems. As the new head, it was my job to find a way to fix them.
The common narrative for turning around a school in these circumstances almost always involves staff leaving. Changing trajectory, goes the thinking, requires a new head to freshen up the team; it involves a root and branch purge of the dead wood.”
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