I was recently asked by a friend to share tips and advice on how to approach applying for senior leadership posts in school. Here is the list so far, thanks to kind colleagues for sharing. What would you add?
1. Go through the job spec and person specification and methodically answer every part of it with evidence of what you have done to positively affect outcomes.
2. Use bullet points rather than extensive prose to communicate evidence and factual info.
3. Refer to inspection reports and exams analysis overtly so you can show your capacity to understand and interpret data and how it shapes the school improvement plan.
4. Make the key principles that shape your leadership style clear.
5. K now the issues in school and don’t be afraid to tackle them head on (using your in-house advantage if you are an internal candidate)
6. Be prepared for lots of ‘what if’ scenarios at interview that may be outside of a middle leader’s experience, especially things to do with child protection, inspection scenarios, performance management / tackling inadequate or unprofessional teaching
7. Be absolutely clued up about the ‘next big things’. Assessment for learning is now 10 years old and should be well embedded (!). Papers on personalising learning were coming out 6 or 7 years ago. Learning styles is now old hat and hemispheric dominance never really hit the big time. Innovative ways of adapting and using learning spaces, 24/7/365 learning, interactivity and communication skills for the 21st century learner are right up there at the moment. Politically so is safeguarding, e-safety, making learning budgets go further in a sustainable way and investing in technology appropriately.
Image credit: Terry Hart