Sarah Stacey

School leaders shouldn’t just leave new staff members to sink or swim

Your latest appointee may have 10 years’ teaching under their belt, but throwing them in at the deep end and leaving them to get on with it could see them flounder, warns Sarah Stacey

Leaders: Don't leave staff to get on with it

I felt a creeping sense of new-kid fear on day one at my new school, despite having a wealth of experience under my belt. My CV includes 11 years of English teaching, a few as a head of year and, most recently, a whole-school teaching and learning leadership role. I was reasonably self-assured. I knew what I was doing, I’d worked in some challenging settings over the years and I’d read the school handbook. This would be fine.

As my new Year 9 form group filed calmly in past me, I greeted them at the door wearing a facial expression that I hoped said: “I’m new, but I’m not new-new. OK?”.

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