Talking shop;Problems;Questions amp; answers

22nd October 1999 at 01:00

We are at our wits' end. Our new headteacher, who has been with the school for about 10 months, is causing havoc. She is constantly moving furniture and displays, throwing out books and expecting policies and planning to be rewritten. She has even mentioned changing some of the classrooms around for next term. All this movement is causing a lot of disturbance for the staff. How can we get the head to stop?


Sounds like a case of "New Broom" syndrome. It also could be the school is dizzy from all the turmoil, and hasn't been given enough time to plan together for necessary changes.

The kindest way of looking at this is to appreciate how enthusiastic the newcomer must be feeling having secured a headship and how much she will be wanting to make it her own.

However, the unintended outcome, of staff feeling disenfranchised, is very serious and can lead to underperformance in the team. It may well be that certain aspects of the school need to be improved but the head needs to know the effect of disturbance in the environment.

Managing change is nearly always difficult and the best way to get through it is by taking on bite-sized bits in the right order, by talking to each other and by relating everything to how it can make the teaching more effective.

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