Herding sheep in the desert taught me how to be a head

Taking the idea of pastoral care to a new extreme, AlBaraa H Taibah set off into the Sahara with a flock of 164 sheep when training to become a headteacher. Here he explains how shepherding prepared him for school leadership

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Training to become a headteacher, I took a slightly different route to most: I went into the Sahara Desert and took charge of herding 164 stubborn sheep through the deadly sand dunes. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

For the world around us is changing and changing fast. The requirements on teachers and on pupils, both during their schooling and when they enter the world of work, look very different compared with a generation ago. Yet education is not keeping pace – we continue to teach and learn in the same old ways: inside a classroom and theory-based. I wanted to challenge ...

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