Our staff are the most important resource in a school. I am inspired and driven by the difference I can make to children’s lives, but I know that this is never going to be possible without a motivated and committed staff.

I get really frustrated sometimes with words such as “rigour”, “robust”, and “relentless”. Not because I disagree with them – they are critical to ensuring excellence – but because too often they are used to excuse systems, behaviours and actions which do nothing to promote collaboration, creativity or, in actual fact, challenge. They can lead to a notion of accountability which becomes about fear and falling short. What’s more damaging to innovation and a love of learning than that?

For me, accountability is more about clarity and focus than it is about measurement. It is about the transparency and alignment of expectations, clear communication, personalised support, and taking appropriate action should these not be realised.  And it is a two way process. As a leader within a school, I hold others to account.  However, more essential to me is that I hold myself accountable to my own values, that I am held accountable by the staff I work with but most importantly, that I am held to account by my students.