Talking heads are required for study

2nd December 2011 at 00:00

I have come across some bizarre and appalling behaviour from headteachers during my 31 years working in schools - the past eight of which I have spent as a head myself.

I have worked with heads who have been aggressive and bullying towards colleagues, occasionally going so far that they have destroyed lives. Others have exhibited quite bizarre approaches to leadership. I have personally observed a head who informed staff of a restructure by moving around colleagues' pigeonholes, and a female head who shouted at male colleagues if they crossed their legs when seated in front of her.

I am sure readers can tell us more. Why do some heads behave like this? Is this behaviour a result of the role?

If you are a head who has suffered "burn out", or other mental-health issues such as depression or stress, I would be grateful to hear from you. Having completed my master's studies into styles of senior leadership in this country and in Poland, and the competencies required to be a "good" head, I intend to further develop my work by interviewing heads, associated colleagues and even their partners. I can be contacted, in confidence, via email: Or get in touch through my blog:

Jonathan Block, Headteacher, Stevenage.

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