Keith Budge talks leadership with the TES

Posted on 19th April 2016

With the Liberating Leaders conference in the offing – a collaborative venture between TES and Bedales – Keith Budge has offered his thoughts on successful school leadership in a TES webinar broadcast.  In conversation with Andrew Maiden on 11 April, Keith explored how leaders can establish their vision, and considered questions of management style, desirable experience, and the evolution of school leadership.

In order to establish their vision for a school, says Keith, leaders must listen – and keep listening – with a view to determining how well their vision will marry with the values intrinsic to the school.  He says: “It’s not easy, but if you’ve listened enough it isn’t impossible to steer people towards what you see as the best way forward. People need to feel that they have a stake in it.”

Whilst he believes that a good leader most understand the human perspective, and spend time with students and teaching, the most important thing is the big picture. It is important, he says, that governing boards ensure that their leaders have the space to lead, and are not constantly sucked into micro-management. How school leaders spend their time and what they worry about has changed considerably over time, he believes, although the fundamentals remain the same.

Keith is firm in the importance of school leaders having a background in education. He says: “If you are going to lead, you need to show your values in action, and if these don’t come from your own educational and vocational drive then it will show. As a leader, you have to live the life that you espouse, and if you do this your values and attributes will come to permeate the school.”

Finally Keith looks forward to the school leadership conference to be held at Bedales on Wednesday 25 May. Liberating Leaders will bring together staff and students from both the state and independent sectors to explore leadership as it applies to their schools’ distinctive values, practices and aspirations, and to new developments in teaching and learning. Keynote speakers include Sir Michael Wilshaw (chief inspector of Ofsted), Prof Barbara Oakley (creator of the world’s largest MOOC) and many more.

This event is designed for serving and aspiring school leaders (tickets £75 each + booking fee), with 100 free places available for sixth form student leaders. 

Keith will respond to questions from TES subscribers in a moderated webchat at 4.30pm on Tuesday 26 April. More details can be found here.