WomenEd Blogs

Leadership Blogs from WomenEd

My Leadership Journey

by Christalla Jamil @ChristallalJ

I graduated from teaching when I was 36 years old. I have been in education for seventeen years now, nine of which have been as a headteacher. I commenced my career in teaching in a maintained primary school in Palmers Green, North London. I was a teacher with TLR2b responsibilities and Training School responsibilities. I became a Consultant Leading Teacher and an Advanced Skills Teacher whilst in my first school. I trained all NQTs in Science for the Borough of Enfield for 8 years too! This allowed me to support school improvement and develop a hunger for leadership.

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Leadership: enabling others to share their opinion

by Lucy Flower @MrsLFlower


After my post on ‘Forming an Opinion’ I had some incredible responses, particularly from the #WomenEd community. Most shocking was the article I read from BYU, ‘When Women Don’t Speak’.

It transpires that simply having a seat at the table does not mean having a voice.

The study conducted by Professor Jennifer Preece, Professor Olga Stoddard and Professor Christopher Kravitz on mixed gender groups of women and men, found that when asked to make a majority decision, the perspectives of influence meant that women were routinely interrupted, had unequal talking time, and as a result were seen as less influential in shaping the direction of the decision making in the group.

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Leadership Lessons from Lockdown

by Tracy Goodyear @Miss_Goodyear

It’s 5pm on Friday 5th June and I’ve decided to stop and to just do some thinking. It’s all too easy at a time like this to just carry on, to take action, to plough on through until the bitter end. It’s far too easy to forget to take stock of where we’ve been, what we’ve achieved in these extraordinary times and to plan some next steps, knowing that the future seems so uncertain.

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Moving on

by Nichola @Nichola80

'I’d like to offer you the job'. The best sentence I’ve heard during lockdown and possibly the best one for a very long time. Doing an interview in the middle of a pandemic was strange to say the least. No shaking hands, no tour of the school or teaching a group, sitting in a room socially distant from the 2 people in the room and a 3rd member of the panel via video. But ultimately I’m still me, still the same passionate teacher. Turns out they thought so too. So in September my new challenge begins.

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#WomenEd, Karen and me.

by Rachel Stone @SBMCoventry   #BirthdayCelebration

Well, here I am writing a blog for the first time.

Why now? Well, probably because I have always been encouraged behind the scenes by Hilary Goldsmith, aka @SBL365, since I joined #SBLtwitter but politely ignored the challenge, until now. It has always been on my tah-dah list to write a blog post, but I have just never really had the confidence to do so. My fears? Would others find me interesting? What could I say to make a difference to someone else? Am I gifted enough to be a writer? I have read so many great things that have made me punch the air in delight for the genuine achievements of some School Business Managers. How could I possibly compete and make a difference?

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Interviews: Grill them, grilling you.

by Kaley Riley @MrsRileyEnglish

On Friday, I attended an interview. On arrival, the other candidates and I got chatting. We all spoke about our current roles, why we had applied and the usual, tense pre-interview small talk amongst competitors who are- essentially- trying to scope one another out. I mentioned, as part of this small talk, that I had applied a year ago for the same school, and a similar role, but was unsuccessful. I could see their surprise. 

‘Oh really? Why were you not appointed?’  ‘It is very brave to apply again after getting knocked back!’

They were right. It was brave, but it was also telling of my commitment to wanting the role (albeit, this time around, much more senior), my resilience and of my sheer dogged determination.

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Courage and compassion: leadership that builds community

by Elise Ecoff @EliseEcoff        Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

For most of us, the first community we know is the one we are born into: our family and relatives, neighbors, and friends. As we grow, we begin formal education and learn we can belong to communities that are our own, separate from our families, where we begin to carve out our identity. Being part of a class, team or club further expands our understanding of what it means to belong.

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Leading without a title

It’s a funny thing, going from huge responsibility for the running of the school to…nothing. After planning my lessons, marking my books, and printing my resources, I simply…go home. At breaks and lunchtimes I sit and eat my lunch, have a chat, surreptitiously check the BBC news website. It’s liberating, it’s relaxing, it’s peaceful, calming and it’s stress free. It’s weird.

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by Jill Berry @JillBerry102

On Sunday 12th January 2020, the wonderful Caroline Spalding led an #SLTchat discussion on the subject of Motivation, and this made me thoughtful. I’ve mentioned motivation in a number of blog posts, but have never written a post specifically focussed on the subject. Until today.

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Lose the guilt #PledgeForChange20

by @MrsB_hums

Since having my first daughter in 2014, I have experienced many emotions – love, contentment, stress, desperation, absolute joy but most regularly, guilt. Guilt about my role as a mother, guilt about my role as a wife, guilt about my role as a teacher and leader in school.

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#PledgeForChange20 - my first blog

by Claire Lowe @ExecPrincipal    @CharlieMackesy The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse

Ever since I can remember I wanted to teach.  At an early age I used to love playing schools with my little sister, she was always the pupil, and, at my forward thinking primary school, I had the privilege of being a teacher for a day – first one in my class to have the honour of doing it and I loved it, the planning, prepping and thinking all at the tender age of 10!

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In 2020, I’m telling guilt to get lost

by Emily Rankin @TeachRankin #PledgeForChange20

Two massive things happened for me in the second half of the 2016-17 academic year: my husband and I found out we’d been matched with our daughter and would begin temporary custody in June. I got my first Deputy Headship, to begin in August.

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The Power of 10…how I’m 100% ready now!

by Annelouise Jordan @Leazy84  #Pledgeforchange20

10 years later and absolutely 10%braver! I signed up for the #WomenEd #DGMeet #Pledgeforchange20 blog event in order to see what it was all about. So, here I am and here goes…

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By Jessica Webster @jgroteweb

Collaboration has been a key to success both personally and professionally for me. Often educational leaders are faced with tough decisions that require complex solutions. By collaborating with others, soliciting multiple viewpoints and welcoming those stakeholders with diverse experiences, issues are framed and solutions are provided that allow for growth.

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From SBM to COO – an Origins Story

by Abigal Evans @LwLAT_COO

I’ve been reflecting on what actually inspired me to set off, tentatively, down the road from School Business Manager (SBM)  to Chief Operating Officer (COO) and have narrowed it down to two significant light bulb moments. 

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