A Principled Leadership Structure

The last few days has been all about leadership. Starting from the whole leadership vs management binary, through educational leadership models and into what the leadership structure here at Hobsonville Point Secondary School will look like.

As a group we set about trying to place characteristics (such as develops a team culture or maintains stability) under the headings of leadership and management. Interestingly, we quickly fell into negative connotations about management while placing positive aspects under the leadership heading. Eventually, however, we realised that there were important aspects that needed to be placed under the management heading. At this stage, our conversations turned reflective as to why we had such negative feelings about management.

We realised that we associate management with bad management or micro-management and forget about good management all together. My personal reflection on why this occurs, is that when management is functioning well it slips into the background, becoming almost invisible and lets the rest of the organisation get on with their functions. Management is critical for a school (or any organisation) to function effectively and leadership simply cannot function without it. Maurie reminded us of the saying “Leadership/vision without management is simply an hallucination.” I think it is really important for us to remember this as we move from our big picture thinking into our work setting up the structures that will allow this vision to flourish.

At the end of last week we had created a document that combined the principles behind our Hobsonville Habits all into one image that looked like this:

2013-08-29 10.05.32

Then we had all read Leading from the Middle which introduces this educational leadership model:


As a whole leadership group we then sat around trying to see if the principles behind our vision matched up with this great document. We quickly worked out that our principles supported the key leadership qualities of:

  • Manaakitanga: leading with moral purpose
  • Pono: having self belief
  • Ako: being a learner
  • Awhinatanga: guiding and supporting

However, we felt that we probably needed to add a couple of principles that emerged from the reading. The parts that we had missed and felt were essential to add in to our leadership model were: Balance; Critical Reflection; and Acting with courage and integrity. So now that we had merged our leadership principles with the Educational Leadership Model we were able to say what are the practices that will ensure this vision of leadership occurs at HPSS. Again, structuring from the model above these practices were sorted under the categories of Culture, Systems, Pedagogy and Partnerships and we added the practices onto a whiteboard ending up with the first iteration of our leadership vision for Hobsonville Point Secondary School:

A proud Principal beside our work on Leadership

A proud Principal beside our work on Leadership

Wednesday was all about how the Deputy Principals will be operating. Lea Vellenoweth, Claire Amos and Di Cavallo all shared what their role is about, how they envision this to look and why this is the approach they are taking. The diagram below shows what these roles are:

Hobsonville Point Secondary School Leadership Structure

Hobsonville Point Secondary School Leadership Structure

Maurie’s blog does a great job summarising what these roles entail and why each of the DPs are so suited to their specific roles. It is important to note the bottom diagram in the image above. Learning Relationships are obviously expected to be a part of all our specific middle leadership roles, just as Learning Design will play a part in Projects, Learning Hubs and the Specialised Learning Modules. We will all be undertaking teaching as inquiry in our roles and e-learning is expected to enhance what we can achieve in all aspects of our learning. To this effect, all of the DPs will have input into how the middle leadership operates.

Am really looking forward to the next couple of days as I get to start digging deeper into my specific role as a Specialised Learning Leader.


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