“It is the one that is most adaptable to change”

Charles Darwin quote.jpg

The words quoted from Charles Darwin in the nineteenth century. This year’s Independent Schools Conference held in London last week had a clear message from its speakers:

To survive in the future, Independent Schools must be adaptable to change.

Who advocates this and how can we go about this change?

  • Sir Anthony Seldon

1. “Create leaders not managers in education.” Leaders have vision. Management can be easier than leadership and many people who want to be leaders fall into management and forget leadership.

How can this be addressed in schools? Whilst there are many courses on education and leadership, we need new ideas here, ideas from business. Our Winning Leadership Programme is about driving leadership for self, for strategy, for teams, for culture, for people and for change. Sport and Beyond helps education create leaders of the future.

2. Use emotions in our leadership. We have 8 intelligences and we only use 2 of them in education currently. We need to use more Emotional Intelligence (EI).

How can this be addressed in schools? We talk of EI but do we understand it? Sport and Beyond’s expertise in this area, allows for individual or group workshops on EI. Individuals can experience a 1:1 session to appreciate their own EI. Group workshops focus on helping people understand what it is and develop techniques to build their EI abilities. In many ways, schools can use, and will need more EI, in the future.

3. Real leaders carve out time to think for themselves. Many educators say they have no time.

How can this be addressed in schools? “Your attitude, not your aptitude, dictates your altitude.” Zig Ziglar. Success in sport is as much about attitudes, behaviours and good coaching as it is about talent. That's what sets apart one talented athlete from another and drives their success. Isn't this the case in successful schools? Sport and Beyond’s workshops on mindset and attitudes help leaders on many practical tips including how to “create time.”

4. Ask How is your student Intelligent? Not how intelligent is your Student?

How can this be addressed in schools? To Boldly Go – self awareness and confidence for students, empowers students to see their strengths beyond exam results. This unique and innovative approach to educating students is led by an experienced teacher at Sport and Beyond.


  • Mike Buchannan – “Everything I did as a leader was to enable those around me to flourish”

1. Imagine if every educational leader could say this of their role? Mike went on to quote two of Sport and Beyond’s favourite quotes from Richard Branson and this one from Maya Angelou - “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

How can this be addressed in schools? Understanding your strengths and being self aware is key to leadership. Sport and Beyond likes this quote “Before you can be someone, you need to know who you are.” (Robert Dilts). Our self awareness and confidence workshop can help each teacher, understand their strengths in school as well as appreciating differences in others.

2. Use emotions in our leadership. How did he deal with angry staff and parents in his office? By firstly trying to understand their emotions.

How can this be addressed in schools? Like Mike we know the importance of emotions, because: Emotions drive thoughts, thoughts drive behaviour, behaviour drives performance.

Sport and Beyond workshops on emotional intelligence, change the way leaders understand their emotions and so their performance.


  • Richard Merriman – Independent Schools are under threat, we need to adapt, we need to change. The old model of schools isn’t the best for our current students. We must be more emotionally intelligent. We must have a greater focus on well being.

How can this be addressed in schools? Use new ideas, innovation, and research from the success of others (be they business people, teachers or athletes) in your school. The tried and tested workshops of Sport and Beyond, help schools have an easier transition into future success.

  • Phil Hardy - start with the right culture, create a vision and ethos. Employ great staff and appreciate them. Know them. In the words of Marriott “Take good care of your employees, and they'll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.”

  • Ceri Jones – our school may have won the TES Technology in schools award, but this was only possible because educational philosophy and staff are more important than technology. We must get our staffing right before we can become successful in technology

  • Dr Patrick Johnston – we must address mental health. We must change our views on mental health, mental health is like physical health – we must be aware, be proud and nurture it for all. We must understand and appreciate our staff.

How can this be addressed in schools? These messages are all very clear – it’s all about people. Everything we do is about developing people. We focus on schools who are serious about driving performance in this area. From creating a vision and ethos, to understanding their staff, Sport and Beyond know how to help.

  • As Steve Black said: ”Attitude is infectious and highly contagious. Is YOURS worth catching?”

In the words of the leaders of our current education landscape – in order to survive schools, must be adaptable to change. We can help in so many ways. Contact us to find out how we can help your school – nickyh@sportandbeyond.co.uk

Nicky HornComment