What is the offer?
In the majority of situations where a principal needs support, what may be new to that principal, will have been experienced by a colleague in the sector who has had a similar experience and who can act as a sounding board or offer information in terms of the decisions they made and the outcomes of these decisions. In some cases where individual principals feel “under attack”, they may need a sounding board or helpful guide through what are difficult situations for any leader.
This offer is designed to build a network of colleagues from the sector who can provide touchpoints or sounding boards for different scenarios, where issues and concerns can be listened to, support offered and advice given as to next steps.
This support will often be within the context of a specific emerging issue, but may also extend to informal conversations for someone new to the role.
The arrangements around support will remain informal, and parameters will be agreed between individuals, taking into consideration capacity and experience. However, the network is not designed to establish formal mentoring or coaching arrangements, as there are many schemes which offer a more formal approach. The scheme is intended to help the sector help itself and not to replace any development programme offered elsewhere.
Within these informal arrangements, there must be no expectation of liability on behalf of either the supporting or supported principal and no formal reporting or referral to third parties, unless this is agreed by both the principals. Any information given will be provided in good faith but cannot be formally relied on in any sense. Information is given as a guide only.
Who is it for?
New principals and established principals in new situations may want a sounding board, some quick advice or some sign-posting to support. This scheme is intended for them.
As always AoC are available for their members, and Area Directors will continue to play a core role in supporting with advice and intervention with agencies, and may also signpost to those with first-hand experience.
On this page you can access related documents and find pen portaits of the exchange members.
Leadership Exchange publications
Principal Support Network
Support Network info
Support Network agreement