Start 2024 strong: New Year’s Resolutions for School Leaders

Rachel Wood, former Head of Geography, brings you three New Year’s resolutions and challenges you to commit to one to empower excellence in your school.

1. Celebrate the success  

How often do you dwell on the negative aspects of school life? As a former teacher, I used to have an extensive list of negatives: not enough time, too many books to mark, difficult conversations, dealing with poor behaviour, issue after issue, what seemed like a never-ending workload and laborious data analysis!   
Between January to September 2023, I challenged myself to write one success in my planner every week.
Here’s a few examples of the success that I celebrated:
  • Taught a really engaging lesson about longshore drift. 
  • Listened, comforted and reassured a child when they were upset. 
  • Phoned home and praised a student for their effort in lessons. 
  • Reviewed and enhanced the year 7 ecosystems curriculum.   
  • Marked 100 mock papers. 
  • Closed the disadvantaged gap in my GCSE class on their trial exams. 
  • Had a student say thank you for helping them with their homework.
By highlighting all these little successes to myself it reminded what a positive difference I was making and gave me the motivation to continue delivering the absolute best for my students.  
If my experience resonates with you, this year I challenge you to celebrate the success! Whether you are a CEO, senior leader, middle leader or teacher, celebrate your own success and drive success in your school!  

2. Build self-evaluation into your weekly routines   

This New Year’s resolution comes from our advisory group who are our most active users, including Trust CEOs and School Leaders.  

On a weekly basis, our advisors are logging on, viewing the data dashboard, ticking off completed actions on the improvement planner and changing responses to questions to show progress being made over time. 

Benefits of weekly self-evaluation include:  

  • Live self-evaluation of your school at any time in the year
  • Identifying areas of excellence, strength, and development  
  • Initiating the change process 
  • Assigning, tracking, and monitoring of actions being taken to reach targets 
  • Drive school improvement 
  • Celebrates success!  

Plus, it saves you writing a long and stagnant SEF report at the end of every school year!   
Start today, do not delay! 

3. Develop a culture of self-evaluation within subject areas  

Do you conduct Subject Leadership Reviews? I bet you are surprised to hear that not all schools conduct an evaluation of their subject areas. I was quite shocked too!  
I have been lucky to work in schools where subject areas were evaluated. However, some processes were better than others. One of the main problems I encountered was that each year I would have a different line manager and each year my line manager would conduct self-evaluation in a slightly different way, so sometimes it felt like the goal posts were moving. Plus, documenting evidence took time a long time, as I found myself writing lengthy reports, which meant less time taking action to drive change in my subject.  
Why commit to developing a culture of self-evaluation using Evaluate-Ed?  
  • Evaluate the quality of subject leadership, intent, implementation, and impact.  
  • Consistent line management and evaluation across schools and trusts.  
  • Better insight of subject performance: areas of excellence, strength, and development 
  • Up skill middle leaders  
  • Enhance collaboration between senior leaders, middle leaders, and teachers.
  • Centralised area to upload and store evidence of actions being taken.  
  • Saves time writing reports.  
If you want to see how All Saints School are developing a culture of self-evaluation, you can read more here

Whatever New Year’s resolution you make plan it, commit to it and celebrate the success!  

If you want to supercharge your school improvement journey with Evaluate-Ed book a free demo today!

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A picture of Rachel Wood. Brown hair. brown eyes. Female.

Project Manager at Evaluate-Ed

Former Head of Geography, with over 10 years teaching experience. Passionate about empowering excellence in UK schools and driving improvement. 

Would you like to see first-hand how Evaluate-Ed can drive your school improvement journey forwards?


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