guest post #11 – Steve Taylor – @tambotaylor

The Power of Networking

I have worked for some talented leaders in truly exceptional schools and I have also worked for some poor leaders in schools that could have done more for the children. There are many factors that distinguished the talented leaders from the poor ones but by far the most obvious was the ability to network and draw upon other schools’ great ideas.

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The talented leaders naturally looked outwards, wanted to innovate and improve and used networking as a key driver for school improvement not only for themselves but also for their staff. They also welcomed visitors to school and shared the strengths of the place and areas for development. They displayed a real air of transparency and were acutely aware of what they needed to do to the school to improve it.

The poor leaders were generally afraid to leave the school either because they thought the place couldn’t operate without them or they were afraid of what they would see. Poor leaders will often make sweeping statements e.g. ‘We’ve completely covered the new curriculum and life without levels!’ Finally, the poor leader would never let staff out to see another school because they see absolutely no value to it.

If you’re a leader then what kind are you and if you’re an aspiring leader then what kind do you want to be? I know which one I want to be. I want to see great ideas. I want my thinking to be challenged. I want to be inspired. I want to share what’s good about my school. I want to always improve the quality of education for children in our care. There are some great schools and great leaders out there who are willing to share their journeys so my advice is get out there and meet them! One way of doing this is through @PairandShare which will link you to another school in the name of school improvement. To sign up visit


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