They say that ‘two heads are better than one’ but when it comes to leading a school, does this work?
When it comes to simplifying educational leadership then having two Headteachers might sound like a recipe for crossed wires, ego wars, community confusion and staff taking sides but it can work, for some.
There are some good examples where dual headships are working and its a model of leadership that could become more popular.
One of the key factors for sharing a headship comes down to staff wanting to be more flexible and having more control over their lives. And who can blame them, headship is a tough gig.
Job-sharing headships are still a relatively new thing for schools which is surprising given the wellbeing crisis we now inhabit.
Many years ago the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) urged schools to consider job-shares or other more “flexible” arrangements for headteachers but most schools will still have one person doing the job.
The thing is, most schools won’t advertise for co-headships, you have to push for it to happen.
“Dual executive leadership is a common model in other industries, such as performing arts organisations” says Claudia Daggett (2020) where a job-share configuration allows two people at the top to thrive and side-step the isolation common with exclusive headship.
A school doesn’t have to follow a traditional headship model but recruit to match its own identity and individuality in order to meet it’s own community’s needs.