Senior teachers' top personal development objectives


New research has highlighted the issues that senior teachers and heads of department believe they need to tackle as part of their own training and development.

The research is based on feedback from candidates that have gone through a one-to-one coaching programme.

The top current personal development issues voted for by senior professionals working in the independent schools sector are:

  • Building resilience in the role – developing the skills to fix stubborn workplace issues and deal with ‘high maintenance’ colleagues
  • Managing more – Heads of Department are often working 15 hours per day and up to 10 hours over the weekend. Individuals want to learn how to take timely decisions and achieve more in less time
  • Understanding and achieving in new roles – As the old guard retires many demanding vacancies need to be filled. Those making the step up want to know how to cope
  • Building self-confidence – Despite their public role, many teachers want to become more confident especially when dealing with tricky people management issues
  • Being straight-talking – In an increasingly pressurised environment, teachers want to be able to get straight to the point and are tired of ‘dancing on pins’ with colleagues

Robin Johnson, Director at OvationXL, which produced the research, said: “It is interesting that the main themes to emerge relate to getting more done in the working day and being more effective at driving change.

"When comparing the research results over the last four years, there has been a convergence between the school sector and the broader business world in the last year or so with leaders in both now focusing on the same type of harder management issues. This is especially true for those making the step up to a Head of Department post where a range of different skills is required."

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