Recently SLT chat got me thinking, the topic was about qualities of a great school and what makes successful schools stand out. I tweeted out this:




What follows is a few of the things I consider essential qualities that leaders in great schools possess and what solid leaders do.

Solid leadership: Six crucial ingredients



I’d put this at the top of my list..leaders with integrity walk the talk. They are consistent, honest, moral and trustworthy. Their deeds match their words. Leaders without integrity can’t be trusted – by their colleagues and inevitably that will lead to problems.

Keep Your Promises

If you say you’re going to do something, do it. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the commitment may be. At the end of the day, you will be judged on whether or not you kept your promises. You want people to know that you are always true to your word.


Develop a Thick Skin

The more successful you become, the more visible you become, which puts you at risk of being an easy target… Don’t let the “slings and arrows” get to you. If you come from a place of authenticity and always protect your integrity, you will always walk away unscathed. Give it 100% all of the time and somehow things just work out in the end…the universe does indeed works in mysterious ways….

Make people feel valued

After integrity and moral purpose, this is probably what I feel most strongly about, if you want the most talented and dedicated people on your team and you want to keep them, they need to feel appreciated and be compensated accordingly. Nothing will ever be more important than your people. If the staff in your school are not happy then it will never be a great school, it’s that simple.

Do the Right Thing

Keep your moral compass on track. Don’t ever compromise it. Your integrity is more important than personal gain. Karma also has a weird way of manifesting itself — usually when we least expect it… Make a decision because it’s the right and the decent thing to do. Make a decision knowing that it’s one you can justify — to your staff, the kids and one you can justify when you look in the mirror….


Take a Break

When you’re passionate about your goals and making your school great— guess what? You can easily lose sight of other important things in life. Like eating properly; getting enough sleep; exercising, making time for loved ones. Make time for any kind of break that will clear your head and improve your performance. You’re of little use to your school when you’re running on empty.

Rachael Edgar