Removing the plaster quickly!

Tomorrow the school where I have just been made Chair which is in Special Measures is getting it’s second visit from HMI. I read this article from Terry Freedman The importance of not being nice and had to smile.
Telling it how it is can be very difficult. If you are a senior leader you do have to give some really hard messages at times. I remember staff who assured me they wanted to know what I REALLY thought about their lesson but when I told them, they realised that maybe they would have preferred I hadn’t.
I agree with Terry. Trying to ‘sugar the pill’ never works. It’s like trying to take a plaster off very slowly. Far better to assign a quick pull then you can rub the soreness and get on.
As far as lesson observations and such like go, it is much better if the atmosphere is one of support. If everyone understands the reasons for them and what is going to happen following them they can be regarded as part of the routine of self evaluation. Uncertainty can breed such fear.
Having said that though, I may prefer to leave that plaster on tomorrow. Wish us luck!

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