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Go home at 4pm and get a good pair of shoes!

Heath-headshotGo home at four o’clock once or twice a week – now there’s a piece of advice, in this week’s Pivotal Podcast, that teachers and school leaders will be happy to hear!

Heath Monk, currently Executive Director of The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham, shares his thoughts with Paul about changing the culture of our schools and developing our school leaders. Heath, who introduced the Workforce Agreement during his time as Deputy Director of the DfE says, “It’s got to be possible to be an effective teacher in an effective school and not work 70 hours plus” a week. Leaders working long hours sets the culture of a school – it has to change – if they leave at 4 o’clock once or twice a week that sends the message that to be effective we need to “have lives outside of school” to be “happy, fully realised people”.

As well as impacting on the quality of teaching long hours affects how potential leaders perceive the demands of being a Headteacher. Heath talks to Paul about how these demands, and other pressures placed on teachers and leaders by the system impact on the recruitment and retention of leaders – especially in primary schools.

Of course, as Chief Executive of the Future Leaders Trust for 7 years Heath saw many potential leaders grow and has plenty more to say about the development of new school leaders – about getting the balance right between developing the “skills that great leaders need to have” and “the values and behaviours that inspire others” as well as the role that MATs and TSAs can play in leadership development and the future of Ofsted.

If you want to find out why it is important for school leaders to buy a good pair of shoes you’ll have to listen to Heath on the Pivotal Podcast.

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