When a new headteacher starts at your school, you can be sure that plenty of attention will be paid to everything they say from day one.
In fact what your school and the principal says at this moment is pivotal to how they are viewed going forward.
To make sure that you’re prepared before you make that all important introduction, it’s essential that you consider the following questions.
Who needs to know what and when?
If possible, you should plan your school’s communications in advance. The first step of this process is to identify the audiences you need to talk to: staff, parents, the press, and in which order you should best release these communications.
It’s important that no party feels as though the news of a new principal is sprung upon them at short notice, or that they are the last to know.
How do you want your relationship with parents to start?
When an unfamiliar figure takes charge of your child’s education, it is natural to want to know a bit more about this person, their passion, beliefs, and values. Research shows that parental engagement tends to have a hugely positive impact on children’s achievement in education. Therefore, it’s difficult to make any progress at a school where the parents are not on the same page as the school leadership.
That’s why it’s so important for any new head to speak to parents directly and honestly upon their appointment, while also taking the opportunity to remind parents of the importance they play as a part of the school community.
What do you want the press to say?
Local press outlets will most likely publish a story when your school changes headteacher.
If you get ahead of the story, and write your own press release to announce their appointment, you can take control. Leave it to the journalists, and it’s difficult to influence the outcome.
However, writing a story that the local press will be inclined to take up word for word takes expertise. At Eduprise, we develop positive relationships with press outlets on behalf of the schools we work with by writing press releases fit for purpose, published as they are.
How will you motivate staff?
After the pupils, school staff are the people most affected by a change in principal. Naturally, the new principal will have direct conversations with all staff, but it’s important you ensure any communications acknowledge their importance to the school’s overall success.
Whenever we write communications for our schools, we always consider the needs of both internal and external stakeholders.
Share your school’s values, and lead from the start
The buzz around the new head can create a great opportunity to share your school’s values, showcase its unique qualities, and present it as a leading organisation in the field of education.
The appointment of a new head is an ideal moment through which your school can acknowledge the great work of the previous headteacher whilst looking forward to the future.
At Eduprise, we’ll help your school define its core values and brand, ensuring all your communications come across with the right level of authority and confidence.
Communications around new principal appointments can be tricky to navigate. If you want to do this well ,and avoid any PR problems for your school or trust, speak to us today.