The 3 R’s- refrain, refuse and resist!

The best thing I can do as a leader!

Lockdown has taught us so much and stretched our leadership skills to the limit at times but there is much we should cling on to regardless of whether COVID remains or not.

In some areas there have been so many positives but I worry that many will find themselves tempted to slowly go back to ‘the way things were’.

So my advice to myself is to refrain, refuse and resist!


  • Refrain from being led by the narrative of catch-up, make the decisions YOU know are right for YOUR community and pupils- our role isn’t about leading through catch-up, it’s about leading towards the future.
  • Refrain from thinking that academic attainment is the most important measure of how well a child is doing and ensure you continue the focus on well-being moving forward- this needs to be regardless of COVID. For some this has been a new focus- don’t let it disappear.
  • Refrain from making knee jerk decisions when under pressure – its easy to make decisions based on what we think others want us to do, but we know our communities better than anyone.


  • Refuse to lose new learning and efficiencies in terms of technology- we have developed so much over this last year and we are now in a place where digital technologies should be used to enhance teaching and learning regardless of whether we are in school or at home.
  • Refuse to allow national narrative to influence your decisions at school level or be side tacked by initiatives or Government focus
  • Refuse to allow your COVID school story to be one of negativity or failure or lost learning- make your own story
  • Refuse to allow those fantastic relationships you have built with your staff and community to lessen as we move back to normality


  • Resist the temptation to fire fight and react to short term issues – we need to be starting to look longer term despite the short- term problems we are all currently facing
  • Resist the urge to bring back those reports that you got rid of or didn’t need during lockdown- do you really need them now or is it just habit?
  • Resist using the term’ due to COVID we couldn’t…….’ you make your own limitations

So, I hope I can hold onto this advice and I hope others do too- refuse to go back to how we always did things, we have made such great progress in many areas and we need to hold onto this despite pressure to return from some parties.

I have truly learned so much about myself, my community and the people I world with throughout the pandemic and I won’t have all that become ‘lost learning’!

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