Are you SMT or SLT?

What is in a name?

In 1959 Peter Pfeffer won a competition with a prize of £5 and as well as this fortune, the fame of naming a popular piece of confectionary. Of course I am talking about Opal fruits (well Opal fruits up until 1998) which were re-branded to Starburst in a move to standardise the companies products in a globalized market.


taken from the Telegraph

Obviously sweets are often compared to the world of Education so thinking along these lines (please humour me)

Are you part of a SMT or part of a SLT, perhaps you have shaped your own SMT or SLT over the years or are in the process of building your future SMT or SLT? Are you a middle leader in a school who is aspiring to join a SMT or SLT?

I have been talking to several schools in the last week as the new school year begins and have been surprised to almost find a 50/50 breakdown of SMT or SLT which has made me think. Does it matter if it is SMT or SLT? Is there a difference in Leadership and Management, I think so, so does it matter what you are called? Couldn’t schools start calling them SLMT the Senior Leadership and Management Team? Actually there must be these already out there!

As a Headteacher or a valuable member of the schools ‘senior team’ are we Leaders or Managers? According to Ofsted we must be both as there is a measure for achieving ‘Outstanding’ Leadership and Management. I even knew one Deputy Head who used to announce today I will be a Senior Leader and tomorrow a Senior Manager.

But does it actually matter whether the school has a Senior Management Team or a Senior Leadership Team? Do you think it makes a difference to the quality of the school?

I think perhaps more important questions to consider about the ‘Team’ are:

Is your team effective?

Are your roles clear within the team?

Would ‘others’ know what these are?

Are you a well-balanced group of talents, skills and experience?

What do you think?

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