Leadership can be a lonely place

Being on the Senior Leadership Team can be a lonely place. Don’t get me wrong, my school is an amazing place to work but I can’t deny that you get treated a little differently when you get appointed to the SLT.

I’ve worked at my current school for over three years now and I would like to think I have developed positive relationships with the people I work with. I spend most mornings before school eating my breakfast in the staff room, chatting with my co-workers. I make an effort with my colleagues to see how they are, how they’re getting on and I genuinely do care.

So why do I feel lonely? I think I feel untrusted. The moment you become a senior leader you are no longer ‘one of them’. Maybe I’m imagining this or I’m blowing it out of proportion, but I don’t think I’m the only Assistant Head who feels this way.

I’m happy working away in my office all day – even during my break and lunch times. But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s nice to have some company. To chat about what we’re doing at the weekend, who was sent home in the GBBO – normal things! I’m not interested in the staff room gossip but I would like to chat from time to time – not all the time(!) – about what strategies you’re using to engage a certain student that I could learn from or to chat about or to share ideas. I’m not a secret spy who is going to report your every word back in a LT meeting!

I don’t want to make Leadership sound like a negative experience, I work with a great team in a great school; we are all supportive of each other and I love my job. But I am just the same person I was without the responsibility and I hope people remember that at 7.30 when I’m eating my breakfast or at 12.45 at lunch time and that it would be nice to have a normal conversation!

Having people around you who care about you and check in is so important and we all need that – whatever your job title.


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