FAO All Somerset Headteachers



Currently SAPH and the Somerset School Improvement Team jointly run two Headteacher Focus Groups. These are attended (virtually) for an hour by around 10-12 Headteachers who elect to come along every two or three weeks. The meetings are a forum to share information, discuss concerns and share solutions, usually starting with a short update of RSC and LA news picked up at RSC and LA meetings, and then each HT feeds back. Colleagues share thoughts and ask questions and use the Team meeting notes facility to share links and resources they have found useful. SAPH then shares ‘notes’ to all attendees. These notes have proved to be an excellent tool to support school leaders in management and up to date leadership matters.

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Group A has been running since September and Group B stated in late October. SAPH arranges the Teams invites and sends reminders and HTs are free to come along or not but usually they do. They come because they find them ‘useful’ and ‘reassuring’. The meetings connect members.

The SI team at the LA and SAPH are keen to extend this opportunity to more Headteachers to create a group C, D and beyond. Headteachers, CEOs,  acting HTs, Heads of School or Academies are all currently attending group A or B...and all school leaders are welcome.

Let us know if you would like to join a Headteacher focus group to support you in your leadership role. It may be that geographical groups form or groups of similar schools. Get in touch…we promise you will find them helpful.

Some comments from HTs who have been attending group A meeting since April.

This is an opportunity for a regular catch up. It has been a pandemic priority to find the time to virtually join local colleagues to aid both strategic decision making and provide personal support for the wellbeing of myself and my team.

"It is so reassuring to hear similar problems and issues arising in all the schools. When you are in your own school you can get all consumed in your setting, believing the issues only apply to you. The support and camaraderie from the group is such an asset as it is with people that you may not always have direct contact with, so you benefit from different perspectives and viewpoints etc. You always leave the meeting feeling much better and reassured even on those darkest of days when everything seems to be such a challenge… The only downside is we all now wish we too had a catering kitchen in our own schools providing us with a bacon sandwich and a coffee whilst in the meeting!! ??

I have found the focus, experience and mutual understanding invaluable during these challenging times. Listening to colleagues’ problems and solutions and sharing the vast knowledge and skills we all have makes the hour we spend wiz by and I usually have a notebook full of vital next steps, or soundbites of reassurance at the end.

If you are interested in joining a group this term please email SZCartmel@somerset.gov.uk and we will forward forthcoming new dates with meeting links attached.

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Created at 12/01/2021 14:48 by Jemma.Gillard
Last modified at 12/01/2021 14:48 by Jemma.Gillard