Unit 2: Leading change

Duration: 
1-2 hours

Enhance your understanding of responses to change-induced stress and the development of healthy coping strategies.

Session overview
Participants: 
Assistant head, Deputy head, Headteacher
Phase: 
Primary, Secondary

Aims and outcomes

Participants will:

  • appreciate the impact and influence the SLT have on staff performance
  • understand that change can be experienced as a stressor or stimulator
  • explore the main stressors in your school
  • consider the possible staff perception that senior leaders are generators of stress for staff and how best to address this
  • prepare for a whole-staff wellbeing audit.

Rationale and context

Stress means different things to different people. What one person considers stressful another may enjoy as a challenge. Change is the one constant in our lives. However, it can trigger fear, resistance and feelings of powerlessness.

Education is under constant government reform. Whether the reform is perceived as positive or negative, the manner in which the changes are implemented is crucial to its successful implementation. Senior leaders are the backbone of the school. Their strength will determine the ability to welcome and handle change.

How senior leaders influence the reception of change, building healthy relationships and developing effective communication with staff, cannot be overestimated.

The American Society of Training and Development claims that if someone is held accountable, their efficiency moves from 40% to 95%. What’s measured gets done!

This unit helps highlight the influence senior leaders have to support staff during times of stress and with chronic low level stressors. Remember your team does not need to know all the answers to tackles these issues. Use this as a starting point. This training serves as a vital tool to raise awareness and challenge conscious and subconscious assumptions, attitudes and behaviours.

NB: send out Handout 1.4: Stressors questionnaire again two days prior to the meeting and ask participants to have filled in the answers. Ask them to spend no more than 10 minutes on it so that their answers are instinctive.