How to cope with sudden change

When Alex Yates faced the unexpected loss of his school building, the process of allaying organisational upheaval provided a leadership lesson in how to manage unforseen events and delegate responsibility

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There is no stasis in the world of teaching. The complex lives of teenagers throw daily curveballs into even the best-oiled machines, and you are only ever one key resignation away from a recruitment crisis. However, when I opened an email one day to read that my school had been given 18 months’ notice to leave our premises, I knew that I was facing change on a scale that I hadn’t yet experienced as a leader.

I’ve been headteacher of a community special school based within a hospital setting for four years now. Taking on the headship, I’d known that there was nothing permanent about our ...

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