The magic of that first day at school is special for all families, even the Grundys of Archer’s fame or for that matter Nikki Naish, AMC’s Business Director. Both Poppy Grundy and Jaxon Naish had their first day at school this week presenting the parents with their greatest dilemma. Do you take your children into the classroom to entrust to the class teacher’s care? Leave them in reception? Or get as far as the gate and then do a runner hiding your tears?!
In New York, where I was chairman of BISNY for ten years, or in Russia, parents celebrate the start of their children’s career by spending most of the day at school celebrating education and partying with the teachers. On day two they have to be prised away!
That joy pervading schools is incredibly special and reflects the inner optimism which binds both teachers and parents together. It was this that was smashed by the infamous terrorist attack on the school in Beslan fourteen years ago, a spectre that still haunts many families in Russia. And there are those teachers and heads for whom this week sees the first day in their careers or new posts.
I am frequently asked by boards what are the essential qualities in school leadership. In answer I describe AMC’s formula of IMPACT / LEADERSHIP – PHILOSOPHY / MANAGEMENT & BUSINESS / INTERPERSONAL SKILLS & COMMS / EDUCATIONAL GRASP / WORK-LIFE BALANCE. But it is not long before I return to my two non-negotiables which I look for in candidates, and clients. OPTIMISM & INTEGRITY are what Poppy and Jaxon deserve and must get.
Wishing you all a great first day at school!