A conference held at an independent school has looked at challenging assumptions about what it takes to be a leader, while promoting a mentoring programme that encourages more women to take up senior jobs in schools.
Godolphin and Latymer School hosted the event, where Truly Madly Deeply actress Juliet Stevenson talked about leadership from the perspective of three leading women she has played.
This will be the second time the two-year mentoring programme will go ahead, which is a partnership between Bright Field Consulting, the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) and the Association of State Girls’ Schools (ASGS).
The programme pairs female teachers from both state and independent schools with high-performing mentors from the justice system, business, public service and the army to share key leadership expertise and skills.
This programme bears witness to the huge benefits of working in partnership and the tremendous power of coaching, mentoring and objective feedback which our colleagues have experienced
A key feature of the programme is to pair independent and state school teachers together, so they can share experiences outside their current school context. As well as meeting with their mentor, each pair also works together on a local community project.
Sue Hincks, president of the GSA, said: “This programme bears witness to the huge benefits of working in partnership and the tremendous power of coaching, mentoring and objective feedback which our colleagues have experienced.”
Of the 63 women who took part in the first cohort, more than 25% have already been promoted or taken career-enhancing decisions as a direct result of the programme. These include at least four headships.
Simone Niblock, now a headmistress, said: “I found the mentoring programme to be fundamental to my eventual appointment as a head. The quality of the coaching and the efficacy of the feedback given provided me with a great deal of insight into my leadership style, personal strengths and interpersonal skills. I would thoroughly recommend the scheme for all aspiring leaders and future headteachers.”