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Stepping into Senior Leadership

Written by Jon Tait

Key Stage 2 Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4

LoveReading View on Stepping into Senior Leadership

A guide for new and aspiring school leaders

Having really appreciated Tait’s book Teaching Rebooted which was an inspiring and well-resourced book, I was looking forward to another of his guides and I was not disappointed.

The book is clearly written with short, punchy paragraphs, clear overviews, well paragraphed text, and a clever section at the end of each chapter for notes, reflections and further reading. (For just in case you do not get your first leadership role and need to remember a few key points for the next interview!)

I love the practicality of this book. It is not all about theories and why you might be an inspiring leader, but how you might actually achieve it; The initial basics of getting the job, what to wear, how to plan your route and the first impressions you are likely to make. Each element of the process is clearly approached, from the hints to tackling the ‘in-tray task, to the likely people, both child and adult that you are likely to be questioned by on the day and, to acknowledge at interview, that the children’s comments and feedback will be a key factor in your success and to not underplay or patronise this important market.


Once you have achieved your goal of achieving leadership, the book is equally well- sourced, with essential information, such as taking staff meetings, CPDs and the approach to duties and teaching. It also covers the less obvious elements of the job such as dealing with the wider community and the well- being and happiness of staff. There are clever little tips such as how to make quick wins that can increase confidence and respect from the staff, as he says, ‘it is important to get the staff on the bus.’

What I liked most was that it was a really good read, and even if you are not an aspiring leader, there are plenty of useful tips to take from his writing as to how to communicate, understand and empathise with people we work with.

The only area I found not covered sufficiently, was how to step into leadership in an existing school, which is another minefield altogether and has its own different, and often difficult, challenges. Perhaps a little appendix on the next publication?

Rosie Watch

Stepping into Senior Leadership Synopsis

Whether you’re looking to move into senior leadership or you’ve just taken your first post, you’ll find expert guidance, tips and advice in this practical pocket handbook.

From writing the winning application and acing the interview, to settling into the post and developing a vision for your school, leadership expert Jon Tait reveals what it takes to be the very best senior leader. Giving you space to reflect on your skills and techniques, as well as invaluable tips for leading staff, pupils and parents, this is the ideal go-to guide to start the next phase of your career in education.

Stepping into Senior Leadership Press Reviews

“This book has plenty of hard-earned wisdom to offer aspiring senior leaders. Practical and useful, it also has helpful directions as to avenues for further reading.”    - Paul Merrell, Head of School, @pjmerrell

Book Information

ISBN: 9781472986498
Publication date: 4th March 2021
Author: Jon Tait
Publisher: Bloomsbury Education an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 240 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4

About Jon Tait

Jon Tait is currently Deputy Headteacher and Director of Teaching School in a large and diverse UK secondary school. As a classroom teacher, he has experience of working in three different schools for over 15 years. His current responsibility areas include leading on teaching and learning, professional development, behaviour and welfare. Jon regularly presents at TeachMeets and teaching conferences in the UK and internationally, including in New York, Ohio and Dubai. 

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