Category: ambition

“You wouldn’t be such a good coach if everything had always gone right for you”

Sitting in the warm sun outside a café in North Parade in Oxford on Friday afternoon last week, sipping tea with a friend and colleague in education, and reflecting on how we had both come to be where we were, we ruminated upon the imperative that exists to ensure that leaders in education have their …

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Happy New Year!

At the dawn of 2022, let us commit to making it a year of hope! In doing so, I wanted to reflect back on my experience in late 2021, when I was lucky enough to visit the vast learning emporium that is Expo 2020 Dubai. Delayed for a year because of the pandemic, but nonetheless …

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A meeting of minds in Dubai

I felt genuinely fortunate and blessed this past week to have navigated reams of pre-travel requirements successfully and to have had the opportunity to contribute as a speaker to the GESS Dubai conference. I was speaking on values-led leadership in schools, and the importance of understanding and developing self in order to be a highly …

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‘10% braver’ – learnings from WomenEd Thailand

‘Be 10% braver’ is the (now surely really well-known) call to action from the WomenEd movement, which aims to support and connect aspiring and existing women leaders in education, … and I was 10% braver on Saturday last week as I said ‘sure, I will speak!’ at the WomenEd Thailand Career Clinic. It was all …

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New school year … a new approach to school leadership?

A new school year begins shortly in the northern hemisphere, and – as with every new beginning – it is an opportunity for school leaders to reflect on how they are going to take their organisations forward, learning from the past and venturing boldly into the future. The disruptions and upheavals of the pandemic are …

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How to leave school again … and again … and again …

I have been reflecting a lot recently on what it means to leave school – that moment of transition from being a school student to not being a school student, leaving behind 13+ years of formal schooling mandated by the state, and facing up to a future of possibilities, choices and responsibilities. These reflections have …

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The importance of discipline in a successful life

I spent a glorious hour last week tuning into a live talk with the author Alexander McCall Smith, hosted by the Caledonian Club in London, but of course all on Zoom (which made it much more accessible, if less social). Anyway, he was, as ever, a delightful speaker – entertaining, modest, self-deprecating, intelligent, with a …

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The global power of language learning

I loved reading this article in The Guardian last week about a ‘video pal’ scheme instigated by the University of Warwick during the pandemic and consequent lockdowns; designed to support university students in developing their French language skills despite being unable to travel, it started with 5 students and now has almost 7,000 enrolled, and …

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In praise of low self-esteem …

I am currently adding another tool to my executive leadership coaching toolbox by training to deliver the Thomas International TEIQue test, which measures traits underpinning emotional intelligence. As with all psychometric tests, this test uses a series of questions to capture insights into ourselves, which we can use to articulate and understand ourselves; in many …

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Governance and the art of the possible

I think about governance every day – not surprising, really, given the Boards I chair or am involved with – and my reflections have been heightened recently, as, together with Matthew Savage, I have been putting the final touches to our 5 week flexible online course for international school Board members, #betterboards, which is launching …

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