Moving into Senior Leadership

Kate Marriott

For many, moving into Senior Leadership is the obvious choice after middle management. The opportunity to lead on a whole-school project linked to the school improvement plan or be directly involved in the strategic direction of the school, can be quite appealing to some.

Senior Leadership is a challenging and rewarding role, so what should you consider before applying to SLT? Have a read of How to make the step up to Senior Leadership by Shonagh Reid for insights into what to consider before applying.

Want to know more? Let’s hear from Ms Williams, an Associate Assistant Headteacher from the borough of Ealing, who shares her experience of Senior Leadership.

From the start of my teaching journey, I had clear aspirations to pursue a position in leadership. I ensured that I remained intentional with this goal throughout my career, by engaging with opportunities that would enhance my skills and place me in good stead to secure such roles in the future.

My motivations for securing leadership positions included wanting to have as much positive impact as possible within my school setting on both students and staff, having the opportunity to witness first-hand how ideas came to fruition, as well as how change was implemented and sustained over time.

Within my first year of teaching, I successfully secured my first middle leadership role as a pastoral lead. This provided me with the whole-school experience that was necessary to continue advancing in my leadership journey. Fast forward to six years (and many leadership roles later!), I have recently acquired an associate assistant headteacher position. I am grateful for the leadership experience that I was able to attain prior to being on SLT, as it shaped me as a leader and highlighted the importance of being authentic, leading by example, as well as holding myself and others to account.

One of the key strategies that influenced my line management of colleagues, involved my continuous reflection on the qualities that I valued from those that line-managed me throughout my journey. I have been greatly privileged to work in settings with strong leadership values at their core, and have had a number of role models shape my leadership practice.

Upon entering senior leadership, I quickly noticed the demand that senior roles can have on time which further highlighted the importance of working collaboratively and efficiently. Within one day as an SLT member, you might find yourself wearing many hats which may include class teacher, leader, counsellor, project manager and more. One area that has remained the same for me throughout my teaching journey, is knowing that no two days are ever the same in an educational setting and that adds to the excitement of it all!

Ms Williams, an Associate Assistant Headteacher from the borough of Ealing

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