Leadership approaches, support and ideas from Bristol Brunel Academy

Win Win – Releasing Leadership Potential – Enhancing Vertical Influence

1 Comment

Enhancing Vertical Influence – Releasing potential


Following our Ofsted ‘Good’ last year we received specific areas to develop in order to achieve our goal of ‘Outstanding’, these include numeracy, oracy and, last but by no means least, to increase the amount of outstanding teaching across the academy. We were looking for ways we could begin multiple change projects simultaneously and quickly realised that, even though we open multiple opportunities for colleagues to influence vertically, this would require even greater capacity building in order to be successful.

We began by advertising 5 honorariums to be completed over the course of the year 2013-14 each to be paid £1000 on successful completion. We did not direct what these roles involved instead asking colleagues to look at the academy priorities and, as part of the interview process, present their self-designed project for tackling their chosen priority, setting their own KPI’s and outcomes against which they will be held accountable throughout the year. This is a vital part of the process as it meant each candidate had real ownership of their project, the journey and the outcomes it achieved.

The calibre of candidates and presentations was incredibly high; the successful candidates are leading change projects on: Oracy, Numeracy, Coaching and Pedagogy Leaders. Stephen Covey talks about ’win-win’ agreements, this is a fantastic example of an agreement with huge benefits for both the applicants and the academy:

For the Academy: For the Candidate:
–          Dedicated individuals working on specific aspect of the academy improvement plan.-          Capacity building for colleagues within the academy.-          Growing our leaders and their understanding of change thus building our pool of potential middle and senior leaders within the academy and across the federation.

–          Maintaining aspirational colleagues for an additional year or so before they move on to Middle Leader positions even more qualified.

–          Evidence of impact against key indicators.

–          Releasing capacity of Senior Leadership team to focus on other areas.

–          Evidence of impact at whole school level ready for pay progression.-          Opportunities to network with colleagues across multiple departments and across the federation.-          A chance to develop a specific area of personal excellence.

–          Leadership coaching from Vice Principal during regular meetings.

–          Interview preparation for first middle leader position where candidates can give specific examples of whole school impact and change management.

–          Building an understanding of change management, based in theory and knowledge and supported by coaching.

The team of candidates appointed this year have already had impact, they report back regularly to our whole staff briefing, presenting their progress towards their key indicators. The attached project planner ( Honorarium Project Planner ) shows how we have structured colleagues project planning around our shared understanding of leadership and change, from Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circles’ to Dan and Chip Heaths ‘Critical Changes’ that require scripting.

We are already reaping the rewards of this approach with a Teachmeet at Bristol Brunel on Thursday 20th March, a team of 10 coaches all supporting colleagues and oracy and numeracy bright spots being grown around the academy. We have released the potential of some truly talented leaders to take on meaningful change projects and gain valuable experience from their first taste of leadership.

Jon Jones – Vice Principal – Bristol Brunel Academy



One thought on “Win Win – Releasing Leadership Potential – Enhancing Vertical Influence

  1. Fantastic post! The ‘win-win’ agreement perfectly sums up the role of the pedagogy leader – comitted to improving their own pedagogy and gaining valuable leadership experience whilst also improving the pedagogy of those they influence, which will hopefully result in improved outcomes for young people.

    I must read the ‘7 habits’, it’s in my pile of books to read (which is piled about 20 high at the moment!)…

    This is a nice summary for others who haven’t manage to read it yet:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s