The Art of Being a Brilliant Middle Leader

By: Andy Cope , Gary Toward , Chris Henley


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Size: 198 x 126mm

ISBN: 9781785830235

Format: Paperback

Published: March 2016


The Art of Being a Brilliant Middle Leader by Gary Toward, Chris Henley and Andy Cope is a new addition to the successful Art of Being Brilliant series. Whether you’re already leading or you have it on your radar, this book’s for you. Don’t expect a textbook full of highfalutin theories though, this book is rammed full of practical ideas that you can use instantly to help you in your current role or to get the position you want. How do you create a brilliant team? What is needed to establish an awesome ethos? How do you do those difficult personnel things? How do you make an impact? Answers to all of these questions and more are based on the combined 100 plus years of the authors’ leadership experience in a wide range of educational settings. You’ll find a cornucopia of pick and mix tips, strategies and stuff that really works and will make your leadership brilliant!

Leadership doesn’t come from formulae or from the latest list of government standards. Neither does it come from the school handbook or a ‘values’ poster in the staffroom. If you pick up 100 different leadership books you’ll find 100 different nuanced definitions. Fundamentally, brilliant leadership is inspiring people to go the extra mile. There’s a difference between ‘outstanding’ and ‘brilliant’. Brilliant is self-made, inside out, creative and beyond the bounds of any simple description. Brilliance is a calling and brilliant practitioners go well beyond the call of duty.

Middle leaders are the backbone of any school. At their best they challenge, manage, plan, develop and inspire colleagues to make learning brilliant for kids. Middle leadership covers a broad spectrum of roles and titles: curriculum leader, pastoral leader, key stage coordinator, subject coordinator, head of department, school leader, head of year, school leadership, head of house, head of faculty, subject leader. This book is aimed at anyone in middle leadership, regardless of job title, whether long in the tooth, new to leadership or wanting to get into it. Dip into this book and you’ll find a wide range of tools, strategies, advice and top tips to help you be your brilliant best.

Gary, Chris and Andy cover the myriad of issues facing middle leaders with their customary mix of good humour and solid, experience-informed advice. Topics covered include: starting a new role; whether in a new school or following internal promotion, what your colleagues and the kids will expect of you, identifying personal strengths and areas for further development, shifting your focus from your to-do list to your to-be list, having an impact, building rapport and a team ethos, planting seeds of positivity across the school, tips for holding effective meetings, how to plan improvement which works for your team and meets the expectations of senior leaders, planning, implementing and evaluating change, dealing with negative colleagues, overcoming issues and personnel problems, understanding and owning your thinking, celebrating successes, modelling and sharing best practice and developing a brilliant team.

The Art of Being Brilliant series was a finalist in the 2017 Education Resources Awards in the Educational Book Award category.


Picture for author Andy Cope

Andy Cope

Andy Cope is the author of the famous Spy Dog books, a trainer and keynote speaker. He is an expert in positive psychology and happiness, which led him to develop The Art of Being Brilliant. This is delivered in various forms as workshops for businesses, conferences, teachers and teenagers. It has also informed the thinking behind his brilliant books.

Click here to listen in on Andy's podcast with Pivotal Education - 'Being Brilliant!'.


Picture for author Gary Toward

Gary Toward

Gary Toward is a trainer, keynote speaker and novelist who has previously taught in seven schools countrywide. He was head teacher of three schools in Leicestershire, during which time he co-led a pupil referral unit (PRU) out of special measures.


Picture for author Chris Henley

Chris Henley

Chris Henley is a trainer and keynote speaker who taught for over thirty years in three different secondary schools. Chris is an inspirational teacher who moved on from leading an outstanding languages department to become a senior leader. As assistant head in charge of teaching and learning, he played a major role in two successful Ofsted inspections.


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