New Principal?
Turning Challenges into Charisma



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Congratulations on your new role! As a principal, your leadership will shape the school's environment and impact all its stakeholders. Here's some advice to help you navigate your responsibilities while being firm, friendly, and kind:


1.    Understand Your Role:

  • Familiarise yourself with the Department of Education's policies and regulations.

  • Set clear, achievable goals for your school and communicate them effectively.

2.    Leadership Style:

  • Lead by example, demonstrating integrity, dedication, and compassion.

  • Foster a collaborative environment where everyone's input is valued.

3.    Continuous Improvement:

  • Encourage ongoing professional development for yourself and your staff.

  • Stay updated with the latest educational practices and technologies.




With the School Management Team (SMT)


1.    Shared Vision and Goals:

  • Collaborate with the SMT to develop and communicate a clear vision and set of goals for the school.

  • Ensure everyone is aligned and working towards the same objectives. All staff members should be part of this process lead by the SMT.

2.    Support and Empowerment:

  • Support the SMT by providing resources, professional development, and opportunities to lead initiatives.

  • Empower them to make decisions and take ownership of their roles.

 With Learners

1.    Visibility and Approachability:

  • Be present around the school and attend events to connect with learners.

  • Show genuine interest in their well-being and achievements.

  • Be friendly and greet them.

  • Learn their names ASAP.

2.    Positive Environment:

  • Create an inclusive and supportive school culture.

  • Implement programs that promote social and emotional learning.

With Teaching Staff

1.    Respect and Support:

  • Be friendly and greet them.

  • Show appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

  • Provide necessary resources and professional development opportunities.

2.    Communication:

  • Maintain open, transparent communication.

  • Hold regular meetings and be receptive to feedback.

With Admin Staff

1.    Value Their Role:

  • Recognise the importance of their work in the school's success.

  • Provide support and resources to help them perform their duties effectively.

2.    Respectful Interaction:

  • Treat them with the same respect as teaching staff.

  • Acknowledge their contributions and show appreciation.

With Cleaning Staff

1.    Respect and Recognition:

  • Acknowledge their hard work and dedication.

  • Ensure they have the resources and support needed to maintain a clean environment.

2.    Inclusion:

  • Include them in staff meetings where appropriate.

  • Recognise their contributions publicly.

With the School Governing Body (SGB)

1.    Collaboration:

  • Work closely with the SGB to align school policies with community needs.

  • Keep them informed about school developments and seek their input.

2.    Mutual Respect:

  • Build a relationship based on respect and trust.

  • Value their expertise and contributions.

With Parents

1.    Engagement:

  • Create opportunities for parents to be involved in school activities.

  • Communicate regularly about their children's progress and school events.

2.    Communication:

  • Establish clear channels of communication.

  • Address their concerns promptly and with empathy.

With the Community

1.    Partnerships:

  • Develop relationships with local businesses and organisations.

  • Engage in community service projects to foster a sense of school pride.

2.    Visibility:

  • Be an active member of the community.

  • Attend local events and encourage community involvement in school activities.

With the Department of Education

1.    Compliance:

  • Ensure that your school meets all regulatory requirements.

  • Submit reports and documentation on time.

2.    Communication:

  • Maintain regular contact with department officials.

  • Seek guidance and support when needed.


1.    Time Management:

  • Prioritise your tasks and manage your time effectively.

  • Set boundaries to ensure you have time for personal life.

2.    Family Involvement:

  • Share your experiences and achievements with your family.

  • Involve them in school events where appropriate.

3.    Self-Care:

  • Take care of your physical and mental health.

  • Engage in activities that help you relax and recharge.

4.    Support System:

  • Build a support network of friends, family, and colleagues.

  • Don't hesitate to seek help when needed.


1.    Be Firm, Friendly, and Kind:

  • Set clear expectations and enforce them consistently, but with empathy.

  • Show kindness and understanding in all interactions.

  • Balance firmness with friendliness to build trust and respect.

2.    Stay Organised:

  • Use tools and systems to keep track of important dates, tasks, and responsibilities.

3.    Adaptability:

  • Be flexible and open to change.

  • The educational environment is dynamic, so adaptability is crucial.

4.    Celebrate Success:

  • Recognise and celebrate the achievements of learners and staff.

  • Acknowledge and reward hard work and dedication.

By focusing on these areas and maintaining a balance of firmness, friendliness, and kindness, you'll create a positive and productive school environment. Remember: It is so nice to be important, but it is far more important to be nice.

Good luck in your new role!


Picture: Priscilla Broberg