WHERE’S YOUR HEAD AT, GRAHAM WILLETT?
What experience do you have?
I have worked in the education sector for over 40 years in a wide range of roles both within schools and local authorities at senior levels. For much of the recent past I have worked with headteachers in a variety of types of schools, supporting them to pursue their improvement journeys. I have always preferred ongoing support to inspection and believe that my skills and approach are better suited to that activity and produce more sustainable results.
For the past 5 years I have been operating as an independent education consultant which has allowed me to concentrate on the activities that I find most rewarding and which I believe have the most impact on those I am supporting.
Where has your interest in supporting others’ mental health and wellbeing come from?
Over the course of my career I have developed a belief that it is possible to be a positive force in the wellbeing of those I work with. Having seen examples of how headteachers have been left feeling less confident, more vulnerable and demoralised by poorly directed challenge I become determined to find another way. By adopting an empathetic, relationship-based approach to supporting others I have seen sustainable and happier outcomes emerge.
How have you supported others’ wellbeing?
My work with headteachers has been founded on these principles. Headship is a demanding and potentially lonely role and I have found that I have been able to provide meaningful support by establishing a sound working relationship based on trust, frankness, openness and integrity.
How will you support others’ wellbeing?
Headship is an all-consuming role. It is indivisible from the personal and affects all aspects of the headteacher’s life. By recognising and working with this knowledge I believe it is possible to better support headteachers to be the very best version of themselves that they can be. This can only be achieved by talking and listening with a view to understanding the significant drivers that are affecting performance and wellbeing.
What are people saying?
‘I really appreciate the way Graham brings his extensive experience and knowledge to bear in offering support and challenge for whatever issue we might discuss. He is a good listener and skilled at developing a relationship based on openness and trust. He conducts himself at all times with integrity and courtesy.’
Samantha Axbey, Headteacher, Malden Oaks
‘I have found Graham’s support invaluable. He has an admirable knack for challenging where challenge is needed while always being evidently empathetic. He has given us an extremely helpful expert outsider’s insight. He is always courteous, professional and rigorous. I recommend his services unreservedly.’
Rob Reed, Executive Principal, Asia Pacific Schools