Books for School Leaders

Explore our curated selections for effective leadership. These books have been handpicked to provide school leaders with insights, strategies, and inspiration to excel in their roles. Browse our list to find the resources that resonate with your goals and challenges.

Creative Thinking in Schools: A Leadership Playbook by Bill Lucas, Ellen Spencer, et al
This practical playbook empowers school leaders to foster a culture of creativity by equipping them with a research-based framework.
Empowered by the Human Design
"Empowered by the Human Design" by Katie Pagnotta offers a new approach to education.
Changing Perceptions: Deciphering the Language of Behaviour
A transformative approach to behaviour, shifting the focus from punishment to understanding and support.
Paul Ainsworth
A practical, insightful guide for school leaders seeking meaningful, long-term improvement.
Tiny Voices Talk
Toria Bono
Tiny Voices Talk: Educator Empowerment and Fresh Ideas
Leading Maths
Pete Mattock
Struggling with the unique challenges of leading a maths department? "Leading Maths" is your essential guide.
Desirable Difficulties in Action
Desirable Difficulties in Action," authored by Jade Pearce and Isaac Moore
School Leaders Matter
Helen Kelly
Helen's book explores effective school leadership qualities, offering insights for impactful educational guidance
"SEND Huh: Curriculum Conversations with SEND Leaders" by Mary Myatt and John Tomsett
"SEND Huh: Curriculum Conversations with SEND Leaders" by Mary Myatt and John Tomsett
The A-Z of Secondary Leadership
Andy Hunter
Discover key insights from 'The A-Z of Secondary Leadership' by Andy Hunter
"Irresistible Learning: Embedding a culture of research in schools" by Graham Chisnell
Building Culture
Lekha Sharma
Building Culture: A handbook to harnessing human nature to create strong school teams
Time to Think: The things that stop us and how to deal with them
Rachel Johnson
"Leadership for Sustainability: Saving the planet one school at a time" by Dr. David Dixon
"Leadership for Sustainability: Saving the planet one school at a time" by Dr. David Dixon
Huh - Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders
Huh - Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders
Tools for Teachers
A Review of 'Tools for Teachers' by Oliver Lovell for HeadteacherChat
Outstanding School Leadership
Peter Hughes
"Outstanding School Leadership" by Peter Hughes – Steering Education with Purpose and Vision
Nadia Hewstone
The (UN)HAPPY HEADTEACHER: Navigating headship and finding joy in the role
The Working Classroom
Written by Matt Bromley and Andy Griffith, The Working Classroom: How to make school work for working-class students offers practical strategies and tools to help secondary schools address the needs of working-class students, including by building cultural capital and designing more engaging learning.
Geoff and Margaret's Old School Book of Retirement Tales
HeadteacherChat review of Geoff and Margaret's Old School Book of Retirement Tales
My School & Multi-Academy Trust Growth Guide
Al Kingsley
This guide will take you step by step through the key considerations as part of your growth journey.
School Improvement Planning Made Easy: An AI Guide for School Leaders and Subject Leaders
Well this book couldn't have come at a better time! We get asked a lot by school leaders about how AI can help them, and this book does exactly that! Packed with lots of useful tips and resources for how AI can help, but also, which AI system to use.
The Power of Teams
Effective teamwork leads to purpose, belonging, trust, learning, and, ultimately, high performance. When we better understand the nuances of how teams can thrive, we discover the real Power of Teams.
Dusting Off Thunderbolts. A Quest for the Heart of Leadership
This is not just another book about how to be a good leader. You will hear from giants of sport, literature, art, film and music, and be guided by poets, philosophers, war heroes and Nobel prize-winners.
Teachers vs Tech?: The case for an ed tech revolution
Daisy Christodoulou
Daisy Christodoulou is a leading educational commentator with many years' experience of working with schools as well as in the classroom. In this new book, she tackles the ed tech debate, asking why it hasn't yet had the transformative impact on education that has long been promised, and evidencing the benefits it could still bring to schools.
Simplicitus - 'The Interconnected Primary Curriculum'
Emma Turner
An review of Emma's "Simplicitus," a handbook that bridges theory and practice in primary curriculum design.
The CPD Curriculum
Zoe Enser
This invaluable handbook explores how schools can design and deliver continuing professional development (CPD) that truly lives up to its name.
Reading The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Patrick Lencioni
A review of Patrick Lencioni's seminal work that dissects team dysfunctions.
Education Exposed 2: In pursuit of the halcyon dream: The curriculum is God, so make it
Sam Strickland
Education Exposed 2 follows on from Sam Strickland's first book, Education Exposed. The book is a pacy, punchy and forthright critique of how to drive the curriculum, behaviour and teaching within a school and the pivotal role that leadership plays in pursuing the halcyon dream. The book is neatly laid out, with each chapter identifying common curricular misconceptions, posing lots of key questions to consider and offering multiple practical ideas that you can take away. Every chapter ends with five key takeaway points for you to carefully consider.
The Wellbeing Toolkit: Sustaining, supporting and enabling school staff
Andrew Cowley
The Wellbeing Toolkit by Andrew Cowley is a valuable resource for promoting wellbeing and resilience among school staff. It challenges myths surrounding wellbeing and offers practical strategies to foster a positive atmosphere. It emphasises the importance of understanding staff members, their motivations, and factors that affect their confidence. By implementing the book's strategies, school leaders can improve staff attendance and retention while reigniting teachers' passion for their profession.
Teacher Wellbeing & Self-Care
Adrian Bethune and Dr Emma Kell
Teachers can’t teach effectively if they’re demotivated and exhausted; and they shouldn’t they have to! A Little Guide for Teachers: Teacher Wellbeing and Self-Careexplains how wellbeing is essential to effective teaching, and gives teachers practical tools to take back control of the classroom. The Little Guide for Teachers series is little in size but BIG on all the support and inspiration you need to navigate your day to day life as a teacher. · Authored by experts in the field · Easy to dip in-and-out of · Interactive activities encourage you to write into the book and make it your own · Fun engaging illustrations throughout · Read in an afternoon or take as long as you like with it!
A Little Guide for Teachers: Efficient Marking
Claire Gadsby
A concise review of an innovative guide offering time-saving marking strategies that not only elevate student performance but also inspire them.
The Authentic Leader
Andrew Morrish
Successful school leadership starts with you: who you are, what you believe in, and why you do the things you do.
Leaders With Substance: An Antidote to Leadership Genericism in Schools
Matthew Evans
Leaders With Substance is not a handbook. It sets out to change the way we think of leadership and school improvement. It is both a critique, a manifesto, and a call to arms.
No silver bullets: Day in, day out school improvement
Paul Ainsworth
There are no secrets to school improvement. There are no silver bullets and no magic answers. It is far less glamorous. It is a question of identifying numerous actions and applying effort 'day in, day out' to improve them.
Leadership: Being, Knowing, Doing
Stephen Tierney
A comprehensive review of Stephen Tierney's book that delves into the essential elements of leadership in education—Being, Knowing, and Doing—supported by real-life examples.
Obstetrics for Schools by Rachel MacFarlane
Rachel MacFarlane
An actionable guide that addresses 'baked in' educational failure by providing proven strategies and case studies to bring success to every student. Ideal for school leaders and educators in mainstream and special education.
My School Governance Handbook
Al Kingsley
Our in-depth review of My School Governance Handbook by Al Kingsley
Leadership with a Moral Purpose - Turning Your School Inside Out
Will Ryan
"Leadership with a Moral Purpose - Turning Your School Inside Out" by Will Ryan is a thought-provoking and inspiring book that challenges traditional approaches to school improvement. Ryan, drawing from his extensive experience as a teacher, headteacher, and local authority adviser, offers primary school leaders a refreshing perspective on leadership, emphasising the importance of moral purpose and authentic engagement.
The School Leader's Year
Michael Harpham
This practical handbook offers a month-by-month guide to the curriculum, assessment, progress, and leadership over the school year. It provides a clear, comprehensive, and coherent structure to the academic year helping school leaders to prioritise their time and workload, supporting them and their team to work as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The Nine Pillars of Great Schools
Rachel MacFarlane
The Nine Pillars of Great Schools examines the commonalities between the most successful institutions and demonstrates how to transform a good school into a great school.
Parklands: A School Built on Love
Chris Dyson
An exploration of Parklands School's transformation into a haven where love fuels academic excellence and personalised support.
The researchED Guide to Assessment
In this researchED Guide to Assessment, Sarah Donarski brings together chapters by Dylan Wiliam, Tom Sherrington, Alison Peacock and many others to consider the debates, critique the strategies and find solutions that not only better the progress of pupils but also assist the wellbeing and manageability of workload for staff.
What Makes Teachers Unhappy and What Can You Do About It?
Mark Solomons
Providing a roadmap to improvements in staff morale, workload management and wellbeing.
The CRAFT Of Assessment
Michael Chiles
The CRAFT approach of assessment for learning is a strategy that can be applied at a subject level and at a whole school level to assess student learning from across the Key Stages.
Putting Staff First
Rachel MacFarlane
If we do not ensure, first and foremost, that our teachers are happy, healthy, well qualified, highly motivated, hard-working, well-trained experts, they cannot be their best for their students.
Intelligent Accountability: Creating the conditions for teachers to thrive
David Didau
The book discusses two opposed models of school improvement: the deficit model (which assumes problems are someone's fault) and the surplus model (which assumes problems are unintended systemic flaws). By aligning ourselves to a surplus model we can create a system of Intelligent Accountability.
They Don't Behave for Me
Sam Strickland
Book Review: "They Don't Behave for Me" by Sam Strickland
My Secret #EdTech Diary
Al Kingsley
My Secret #Edtech Diary by Al Kingsley: Headteacherchat's Book Review
A Practical Guide to Pupil Wellbeing. Strategies for Classroom Teachers.
Kirsten Colquhoun
Every year thousands of research papers, guidance documents and educational aims are published on pupil mental health and wellbeing. Many of them offer insightful ideas and theories, but what is often lacking is a clear route for busy classroom teachers to apply these findings. A focus on wellbeing is here to stay, but what does it mean? How does it apply to the curriculum? And what is a teacher's role? This book critically explores the importance of being a research-informed teacher, assesses some of the key health and wellbeing areas that class teachers can directly affect, and offers practical advice on how to do this. What do we think? This is a great book, full of useful tips on how to support pupil wellbeing with case studies, points to consider, discussion points and lots of information from supporting individual children to evaluating whole school approaches to wellbeing.
Creating a Strong Culture: A Positive Climate for Schools
Nick Hart
If there is one thing that school leaders need to get right, it is school culture.
The Headteacher's Handbook
Rae Snape
The Headteacher's Handbook by Rae Snape
Lighting the Way: The case for ethical leadership in schools
Angela Browne
Written in the context of an education system on the edge of a crisis, with students burning out, staff walking out and schools under increasing pressure to singlehandedly provide the social care so many young people desperately need, Lighting the Way argues that schools stand on the threshold of a new way forward. Angela uses her wealth of experience to show school leaders the path to being torchbearers, leading children with purpose, staff with integrity and the community towards wisdom with practical strategies, optimism and guidance.
The Teaching Life: Professional Learning and Career Progression
Kate Jones
The Teaching Life is for anyone who wants to make the most of their time in education, for their students and for themselves.
Impact: A five-part framework for driving difference in schools
Nick Hart
From influential Executive Headteacher Nick Hart comes Impact, a practical framework for improving outcomes for children in both primary and secondary classrooms, helping them thrive and succeed.
Talk for Teaching: Rethinking Professional Development in Schools
Paul Garvey
Full of experiences from teachers, headteachers and inspectors, as well as Garvey's own personal experiences, this is not a book to be missed for anyone looking to journey towards teaching excellence.
Inside the Black Box: v. 1: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment
Dylan Wiliam
Practical, concise and easily absorbed in one sitting by busy teachers
Talent Architects
Mandy Coalter
Insightful, captivating and authentic, Mandy suggests fresh and practical new ideas and opportunities to strengthen your school and teachers, better equipping them to support their pupils.
The First 100 Days: Lessons In Leadership From The Football Bosses
Phil Denton
What does it take to thrive in one of the most pressurised leadership roles in modern times? What is the real story behind the men in the football hotseat who shape the dreams and ambitions of millions?
Wellbeing in the Primary Classroom: The updated guide to teaching happiness and positive mental health
Adrian Bethune
Enhancing Wellbeing in Our Primary School: A Review of Adrian Bethune's Book
Wayfinder: Leading Curriculum Vision into Reality
Matthew Lane
"Wayfinder: Leading Curriculum Vision into Reality" by Matthew Lane is an invaluable resource for educational leaders navigating the treacherous waters of curricular transformation.
Rethinking School Inspection
Tracey O'Brien
A comprehensive review of Tracey O’Brien's book that delves into the critical aspects of school inspections.
Wiliam & Leahy's Five Formative Assessment Strategies in Action
Kate Jones
Written under the guidance and with the support of Dylan Wiliam, Kate Jones writes about five formative assessment strategies in action in the classroom, with a foreword from Professor John Hattie.
The Emotionally Intelligent Teacher
Niomi Clyde-Roberts
Have you ever felt like workplace politics were distracting you from doing your job? Ever been lost for words in a difficult conversation with a colleague? The Emotionally Intelligent Teacher is a unique guide to managing your emotions in order to enhance teaching, boost wellbeing and combat power struggles in schools.
The Behaviour Manual
Sam Strickland
The Behaviour Manual - An Educator's Guidebook offers over 100 strategies, approaches and teaching methods that will help any school, leader, middle leader, teacher, ECT or ITT to pro-actively lead on behaviour.