New School Year, New School Role

Despite your worries, nerves and what your internal voice said beforehand, you aced the interview and you're due to start a new role in September.

Firstly, congratulations! 🎉

Entering a new role can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. As you prepare to begin this new chapter, remember to celebrate your achievement and acknowledge the hard work and dedication that brought you to this moment. It's easy to allow yourself to feel like an imposter, but embrace the opportunity to learn and grow in your new position, and approach it with confidence and enthusiasm. You've already proven your capabilities, and now it's time to showcase your talents and make a positive impact in your new role. Here's to the exciting journey ahead!

What can I do to prepare for my new school role?

Whether you're new to headship, new to assistant headship, new to subject leadership, or starting your teaching journey as an ECT, you'll want to feel prepared as you begin your new role in school.


Some of our top tips to help you prepare in advance of September INSET include:

  1. Take the time to learn as much as you can about your new position, the school, its culture, and any relevant policies or procedures. This will help you understand what will be expected of you and how you can best contribute to the team once you begin.
  2. Reach out to your future colleagues to introduce yourself and start building relationships. Networking within the team can provide valuable insights and support as you transition into your new role.
  3. Consider and clarify your short-term and long-term goals for your new position. What do you hope to achieve in the first few months? What are your career aspirations within (and beyond!) the setting? Setting clear goals will help guide your actions and measure your progress.
  4. If provided, review any training materials or resources related to your new role. This may include handbooks, specific documentation or online courses that can help you familiarise yourself with specific tasks or processes.
  5. Identify any skills or knowledge areas that may be beneficial for your new role and take steps to enhance them.
  6. If you have access, set up your workspace in advance to ensure you have everything you need on your first day. This includes organising your computer, files and any other tools or materials necessary for a smooth start.

In addition to (and more important than!) the points above, remember to take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally as you prepare for your new role. It'll likely be a busy start to term, so get plenty of rest, exercise regularly and engage in activities that help you relax and recharge. Taking these self-care opportunities will help you to approach your new role with a positive attitude and an open mind. There will be days when you may even wonder whether you have made the right decision in taking the role, but try to embrace the learning process and be willing to adapt to new challenges and opportunities that may arise.


Where should I begin in my new school role?

It can feel overwhelming to begin with. Perhaps you're starting in a new setting at the same time as a new role, in which case, you've got a lot to learn about how the school works in addition to picking up the challenges of a new role.

To help you begin to map out where to begin before starting your role and during those first crucial terms following the September start, we've put together some helpful new-to-role checklists so you can work through some of the role-specific tasks ahead of time. They're useful to help pre-empt common role actions, such as planning professional development opportunities, conducting an audit or managing safeguarding and child protection data, to name a few. They're also helpful to assist you in planning out your time and keeping you on track.

What professional development can I access to improve my skills in the new role?

We know roles are ever-evolving in education, and for this reason, we also need to continually work to develop our knowledge and skills. Knowing what professional development to access and how that focus aligns with our role can be confusing.

Conducting a skills audit serves as an invaluable initial step in identifying areas for growth. It allows us to pinpoint which aspects we wish to develop further and align our focus with the requirements of our role. Skills audits can also facilitate meaningful discussions about our professional journey, paving the way for future career planning.

As professional development is such a vital aspect of any role, new or otherwise, we have a wide range of accessible skills audits available here.


Looking after your own professional development also puts you in a great position to help your team members and support succession planning.

We wish you the best of luck as you begin your new, exciting journey and we can't wait to hear how your first term is going. As always, we're here to lead beside you.


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