Associated Christian Schools Conference 27 July 2012 ‘Turning the Ordinary into Excellent’ Leadership Succession Dr Ness Goodwin The appointment of a Principal is the most important responsibility of a School Council. • The Principal shapes the direction of the school for the future; • The Principal is the face of the school and people will judge the school on the way they see the Principal; • The buck stops with the Principal; • The Principal is responsible for the staff of the school, and for the education and welfare of all the students in a school. If your Principal were run over by a bus today … Do you have someone in the school who could lead the school for an interim period? Could you articulate the sort of leader your school needs for the future? Succession planning: • Should be undertaken at a time when there is no pressure to appoint a Principal, • Should be considered, judicious and be given adequate reflection and prayer. What are you doing to keep your Principal on his/her toes? • • • • • • Agreed KPIs Annual review 360 review every 3-5 years Ongoing professional development Support Strategic planning What are you doing to keep your School Council on its collective toes? • • • • • • Agreed KPIs Annual review 360 review every 3-5 years Ongoing professional development Support Strategic planning If the School Council is not ‘en pointe’ there is a chronic risk that the school is being inadequately governed, and adequate succession planning cannot occur. Dean Fink and Carol Brayman ‘School Leadership Succession and the Challenges of Change’ in The Journal of Leadership for Effective and Equitable Organisations February 2006 Throughout the Western world, the fallout from the standards/standardization agenda has resulted in potential leaders questioning educational leadership as a career path. Moreover, the aging of the baby boom generation has created a shortage of qualified principals in many educational jurisdictions . . . Leadership succession, whether planned or unplanned, has become an accelerated and cumulative process that is including people of increasing levels of inexperience. Succession is now a chronic process rather than an episodic crisis. Successful Succession Management • • • • • Builds strong professional communities Deepens and broadens the pools of leadership talent Establishes leadership development schools Supports and sponsors aspiring school leaders Plans early for the incumbent leader’s exit http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/leadership/pdfs/hargreaves.pdf Sound succession, occurs through • Availability of counselling and coaching for exiting leaders • Quick, clear and open communication of reasons for departure • Acceptance of emotional confusion and vulnerability • Celebration of the leader’s contributions • Recognition that succession is subject to the four stages of grief – denial, awakening, reflection and execution • Prepares oneself and others early for the possibility of succession Hargreaves& Fink, 2006 http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/leadership/pdfs/hargreaves.pdf Checklist for Leadership Succession Planning 1. Does your School Council understand the future needs of the school? 2. Does your School Council (or a sub committee) understand the strengths and areas for improvement of your current Principal? 3. Have you recently undertaken a needs analysis of the School? 4. Is your school active in identifying and supporting future leaders? 5. When your Principal needs to be replaced, do you have an agreed and articulated process to follow? 6. Are the selection processes transparent, fair and effective? 7. Do you have a communications plan, both for the announcement that the Principal is leaving and when the new Principal is appointed? 8. Do you have a list of external consultants whom you can contact? 9. Can you prepare an information booklet for applicants in a short space of time? 10. Does the Selection Panel have an understanding of the process of conducting interviews? 11. Do you have a timeline for the process? 12. Do you have a contract – checked by a solicitor with experience in HR – ready? 13. Do you have an agreed set of KPIs for the new Head? 14. Do you have processes in place to support the Principal – at the time when s/he is appointed, during the Principalship and when s/he leaves? 15. Do you have a plan if the selection process does not provide you with a suitable person to take up the role? If your Principal were run over by a bus today . . . Are you prepared?