Andy Falconer


Do you want to find more than 24 hours a day?

24 Feb 2013 | 12 Comments |

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We all have the same 24 hours a day, right? So the issue isn’t how much time we have available to us, the issue is how we use it – our time management.

I’ve been trying something new for the last 6 weeks.

I normally go to bed at 22:00, get up at 06.30 and then am in the office from 07.30 – 18.00pm. This means that Monday to Friday I have around 52 hours in school (57 hours including Saturday mornings).


I’ve now set my alarm clock for Read the rest of this entry »

Resilience – rising each time we fall

8 Sep 2012 | 3 Comments |

Resilience. I ran a race this year. It was my first one in roughly 20 years. I finished in 19,623rd place

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– my worst ever placing. 10 months earlier when I started to train for it I could only jog half a mile, then I was physically sick & had to walk home – that’s how unfit I was. As I walked home part of me wanted to give up and try cycling or table football instead, but another part of me said that next time I’d jog the same distance but this time I wouldn’t be sick and I wouldn’t walk back. There were lots of moments throughout the winter months when I would be doing a long run at 10pm after a long day, with the temperature near freezing and snow on the roads and I thought about turning back and going home.

“So up he rose to run once more,

And with a new commit…… Read the rest of this entry »

60 years as CEO of the Commonwealth – What leadership traits can we learn from the Queen?

6 Jun 2012 | 7 Comments |

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The Queen has been CEO of the British Empire for 60 years, deeply impressive given that the average tenure of a FTSE 100 CEO is 5.9 years. Whether a monarchist or a republican, few can argue that she reigns over us with a devotion to duty and selfless sacrifice that few can fault. This was demonstrated this month during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, when she stood on the royal barge, Spirit of Chartwell, for four hours in the cold wind and rain (though this may have been as much to do with ‘not being amused’ at the hideously pompous red thrones which would have been more suited to Katie Price & Peter Andre’s wedding).

As leaders we need to remember that we have been placed in positions of great trust. Other people depend upon us and are affected by  Read the rest of this entry »

Running, drumming & procrastinating

26 Jan 2012 | 10 Comments |

I ran my second ever half marathon on Sunday. It was easier than my first

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one three months ago, despite the incessant wind. I only started running nine months ago and on that first occasion I managed half a mile, vomited at the side of the road and then walked home. Now I’m training for the Paris marathon on 15 April.

Trying to fit runs around a young family, leading a school and being involved in several other organisations isn’t easy. It’s involved a lot of runs at 9pm at night, on my own in the cold, wet and dark. It takes self-discipline to pull on my running gear and head out into the night. And then there’s the drums. I forgot to say that I’m also trying to play the drums. I passed my Grade 1 in December, along with several 11/12 year olds from my school – which is good for my humility.  It’s taken a year and a bit to get to that stage because Read the rest of this entry »

Sponsoring an Academy is not for me

8 Oct 2011 | 2 Comments |

I am not going to be taking up David Cameron’s generic offer to get myself & my school involved in helping to run a Primary Academy. The Prime Minister may feel that because of this I am part of the continuation of the ‘educational apartheid’ he has accused independent schools of perpetuating by not lending their experience to the running of academies, but that is not the case.

It’s not because I am an educational snob – my own education was in the state sector.  It’s not because I don’t agree with the academies Read the rest of this entry »

There are no universal leadership traits

25 Sep 2011 | 3 Comments |
leadership traits

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“There are no universal leadership characteristics”. A somewhat controversial statement from Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones in their excellent book ‘Why should anyone be led by you?’.  Given the millions of pounds of revenue generated every year by sales of books on leadership and management, I’m sure there are plenty of authors who would disagree!


However, they do go on to qualify the statement by saying Read the rest of this entry »

When a leader stops learning, they should stop leading

11 Sep 2011 | 3 Comments |

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At my school we are launching our ‘Learn Something New’ scheme for both academic and support staff.  Staff have offered to run a variety of 3-4 week courses on something they are passionate about, for other staff to sign up to.  The courses include cooking tapas, researching your family tree, golf, and ballroom dancing. Staff can also receive some funding towards something new they wish to learn outside of school. Why are we doing this? Because you will be a better teacher and a more enriched adult if you can remember what it is to be a learner.  Twelve months ago I decided to lead by example and took up the drums, having never played a musical instrument before. I sit my Grade 1 exam at Christmas! Read the rest of this entry »