Nadia Hewstone


"The (UN)HAPPY HEADTEACHER: Navigating headship and finding joy in the role" is a vital resource for any headteacher seeking to balance the demands of their role with personal well-being. Authored by Nadia Hewstone, a former headteacher and school leadership coach, experience-based advice for managing the complexities of headship.

The book begins by addressing the common risks of burnout and boredom faced by headteachers, setting the stage for a deep exploration into how headteachers can reconnect with their personal values, develop compelling life goals, and create strategies that enrich their professional and personal lives. It’s not just a handbook for managing a school; it's a guide to rediscovering joy and fulfillment in the demanding role of headship.

Each chapter delves into specific aspects of headship, such as strategic planning, managing high-stakes relationships, focusing on pupil welfare, and maintaining personal well-being. One standout feature is the emphasis on aligning personal values with professional responsibilities, offering a values-driven approach to leadership that can rejuvenate a headteacher's approach to their role.

The book also provides practical tools for strategic planning, emphasising the importance of deep work, setting priorities, and effective time management. This practical advice is tailored specifically to the unique challenges of headship, ensuring relevance and applicability. 

Relationship management, a critical aspect of headship, is addressed with depth and nuance. The book offers strategies for managing up, working with external partners, and building supportive professional networks. It also emphasises the importance of a positive relationship with oneself, advocating for self-care and personal development as essential components of successful headship.

A particularly compelling section of the book is dedicated to the relationship between headteachers and their pupils. It advocates for radical advocacy, urging headteachers to deeply understand and champion their pupils' needs and well-being. This focus on pupil-centered leadership not only benefits the students but also enhances the headteacher's sense of purpose and fulfillment.

In summary, "The (UN)HAPPY HEADTEACHER" is more than just a guide for school leadership; it's a transformative text that empowers headteachers to lead with authenticity, strategic acumen, and a renewed sense of joy. It's an essential read not just for headteachers, but for anyone in educational leadership seeking to make a meaningful impact while maintaining personal well-being.