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Mind Your Head


Schools are complex organisations made up of many unique individuals with differing strengths and developmental needs.  But every school serves the same purpose; to ensure members of its community learn, develop, progress and achieve great outcomes.  At its best, school leadership is personally and professionally rewarding.  

At the same time, such roles are personally and professionally challenging at a time where stakeholders expect schools to do more and do it better with fewer resources.  Meeting these expectations and demands is a never-ending and sometimes thankless task.  Recent reports show that school leaders suffer higher levels of stress than others in schools (Teacher Wellbeing Index, 2022) and that up to 40% of headteachers are considering leaving the profession before retirement, with fewer school leaders seeking to replace them (Greany et al, 2021 & 2022).

Reflective supervision can support school leaders by focusing on the needs of the whole person:  how they manage their personal resources to cope, how they progress professionally and personally, and how effectively they perform within the expectations of their role.  For this reason, reflective supervision can enable school leaders to be their best, sustain their efforts and reduce the likelihood of burnout.  It can also ensure sustainable leadership as school leaders are far less likely to look for work elsewhere (Teacher Wellbeing Index, 2022).

Reflective Supervision for School Leaders: Activities
Image by Alexander Nikitenko

The Reflective Supervision Process:  What to Expect With


The process of supervision always begins with a period of consultation to help each of us to find out more about the other.  This helps us decide whether we can work together and, if so, to shape the supervision process to meet your needs.

Tailored Provision

Based on your identified needs (e.g. novice or expert in role) the supervision process can focus on your stage of development towards role competency or your orientation towards thinking about working with others.  It can combine elements of both.

Relationally Oriented

Supervision sessions will be constructed to enable you to focus on those you work with, your actions with them, your relationships, your context, our supervision sessions, and the wider contexts that shape your work as a school leader.

Honest Evaluation

Although supervision is not a form of appraisal, it does involve constant and frank evaluation of your work.  This works both ways as you will be invited to reflect upon, evaluate and give feedback about the impact of supervision for you.


In the first session we will negotiate a way of working together that will form the basis of a supervision agreement.  This will shape our supervisory alliance and will be revisited during each session to enable frank bi-directional feedback.

Holistic Approach

Supervision is normative, formative and restorative to address the complexity of your work.  Led by you, we will focus on your role effectiveness, your ongoing development, and how you are manage to resource and sustain health and wellbeing.

Student Focused

The ultimate goal of supervision is no different to that of school leaders: making a difference for the children.  Helping you to better cope with, learn about and perform your role - which is the focus of supervision - helps you to achieve that goal.

Beneficial Impact

Although supervision is not counselling or therapy, it does involve work that can have a therapeutic benefit for you.  This comes about because the focus is upon you within the context of your work, helping your confidence in your practice.

Reflective Supervision for School Leaders: Activities


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