What are the biggest challenges facing middle leaders?

Tes Editorial



Working in a school, you are always wishing for more time. More time for marking. More time to fit everything in during the day. This is only added to when taking on added leadership responsibilities.

Time management is the biggest challenge middle leaders face, according to James Bowen, director at the NAHT Edge union for middle leaders. 

"I go up and down the country talking to middle leaders and say, "What are the biggest challenges you face?" Time and time again, it’s that issue of I just don’t have enough time. I think the solution, if there is a solution, is focusing on the stuff that’s high impact."

Another challenge, on top of the time pressures, is being a manager for the first time, Bowen explains.

“I think the other challenge is often it’s their first taste of managing a team of people. They’re used to managing a classroom, working with children, but obviously, that’s very different to suddenly being responsible for and managing a team of peers or a team of adults.

"It might be that you are working alongside and leading someone who previously you were friends with in the staffroom, you might be colleagues with. Suddenly now you’re their boss. Making that jump up can be quite a challenge."

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