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How to lead a school without selling your soul
All too often now schools are under immense pressure to demonstrate outstanding practice that can be documented on paper, which can often lead to schools that are genuinely improving their teaching standards long term and investing in pupils to fall short of the government's criteria for 'success'.
As the Principal of a brand new high profile academy, Dave Harris knows first-hand the frustrations of providing genuine education for children while maintaining high standards according to the guidelines set out by authorities. Dave has stuck by his principles, stating that 'it is a marathon - not a sprint' and while acknowledging the necessity for great results, has maintained a focus of providing young people with the education they deserve. The key to this, he believes, is bravery!
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Reviewed by John West-Burnham, Professor of Educational Leadership, St Mary's University College, Twickenham.The are few things in the literature of school leadership as compelling and authentic as a leader telling his own story in an analytical and rigorous way. Dave Harris has achieved this in a highly engaging account of his own leadership which combines a powerful narrative with thoughtful reflection and careful analysis. He skilfully combines theory and practice so that each informs the other in a way that enhances understanding and relevance.At a time when many of the fundamental assumptions about school leadership are being questioned Dave Harris focuses on the ideas of personal authenticity and moral courage in a way that provides a compelling model for all school leaders - not just head teachers.Brave Heads is a personal narrative, a powerful synthesis of current thinking about leadership and an invitation to reflect on and review how leadership might need to change to respond to a turbulent and often contradictory environment.It is a powerful and very welcome addition to the literature on how leadership needs to develop in order to create an educational system rooted in authentic values and a belief in the transformational potential of schools. Reviewed by Mike Butler, Chief Executive, Djanogly Learning Trust, Director of the Independent Academies Association.Brave Heads, the latest book from Dave Harris, works as both a very useful handbook full of practical tips that any new headteacher would be wise to adopt, and a timely reminder to more experienced leaders about what matters most in leading schools. For both, it emphasises the perennial privilege of being a headteacher, namely that one is a driver of change that benefits children and communities.The book takes a refreshing look at both the challenges and joys of leading a school, describing the bravery needed by a headteacher in respect of: facing up to external poli