Superhead’s Conference Address
I am the new school superhead and yes I’m perfectly formed
I am excellent, I am supercolleague,
I am from Ofsted spawned
I’ve got my MBE & I’m a Consultant Leader too
I’ve featured in the Times and my politics are turning blue
I don’t manage, I multi-task, I care and, of course, I teach
Giving unconditional regard to all within my reach.
I don’t “cope” like you do – I plan and prioritise
I am a genuine person – you can see it in my eyes.
I work in my joyous school, so hard, throughout each day,
I waft with energy and stamina, inspiring all along my way.
My staff and I work as a team and we always get it right.
Administration and children do not mix
I do paperwork at night
The vitamins, the HRT, the blusher and the Kelp
All keep me on my toes and my personal trainer helps
On week-days I rise at five, eat carrots, then jog five miles
I arrive at school with low pulse rate
And greet them wreathed in smiles.
I live alone you know - it's easier for the PhD
Some colleagues think I’m lonely but no not little me.
Confidentially, I've a lover with a second home in France
We fly there for odd week-ends – of passion and romance.
Hi - you've caught me hot-desking on my palmtop mobile phone.
Letts’ Diary? Let’s Forget it - I've a Blackberry of my own!
Yes, I've completed my school Report it’s uploaded and on-line
I use a WORD based, close technique – you can copy mine
Moi - a sense of humour? – Of course! I often quip
I am to be the SIP between your cup and lip!
Look I must fly - I've a window - a meeting with the Director
I've been asked to see her
About the post of Principal Inspector
Then I'm off in my slinky sportscar running INSET at an hotel
Driving? Stress? No problemo - I always cope so well,
With my voice activated, hands free kit and SATNAV,
I email as I go, so many technical illiterates you know
And off she drives into the dawn, silhouetted against the red
A personalised number plate glowing, “Oh, Eff, STED”
Whilst we lesser mortals - weary, bleary,
Struggle to leave our bed.
and then 3 years later...
and then 3 years later...
I’m here to greet them in the morning again
But my smile is through gritted teeth
And I know they see the hurt in my eyes
And sense the fear beneath
For, we are in need of Special Measures
My leadership is poor
The standards are inadequate
We don’t add value any more
I’ve lost the trust of the Fischer Family
My CVA is shot
My 3s to 4s and Ds to Cs
I simply have not got
I think I’ve lost the plot
Yes, I’ve screamed at the blackness
And lit a candle too
But the light grows dim
And the flame is thin
And we’ve huddled in
It seems all that we can do…
There’s an air of sadness around the place
And I sense the students know
The LA suits are coming
They’ll suggest that I should go
So, how has this cloud descended?
Why is this happening to me?
What turned my goods and excellents
I’ll tell you what they call it now
“Lack of capacity”
But my staff and students are the same
And I am still….. well me.
Well, I’m not, if I’m honest
And well I’ll never be
With a label stuck to my forehead “un-sat-is-factory”
We’re in the Catch 22 of English Education
Victim of inspectorial evaluation
We’re the necessary failure that balances success.
The Beacons are all burning on the ashes of our mess
We are the darkness that contrasts to their light
We are the wrong that accentuates their right
So, do I walk away and leave it
To a better head than me?
One who is strong with a new vision
With lots of capacity?
Or do, I bend once more to that candle
Cupping my hands around the flame
And try once more to up the score
And make us good again?
And I’m left to ponder, whilst gently blowing
On the last of the glowing embers…
Will it be Superhead or Failing head
That everyone remembers?
©2008 From: DESIRE LINES Selected Writing by John Pearce ISBN 978-0-9559262-0-4