What One Thursday Proved About Leadership | Richard Wells | 3 Min Read

In New Zealand, the majority of schools are still led in a familiar top-down format that we have known since the last century. A positive is that a growing number of schools are shifting to a more appropriate 21st-century collaborative model. Thursday, 21st October 2021 became what economists call a natural experiment in the success and failure of those two existing leadership models in New Zealand schools. It started on the previous Wednesday afternoon when the government made a surprising announcement that senior students could return to school the following Tuesday while still under New Zealand Level Three COVID restrictions that would normally have the schools essentially closed. This sent the New Zealand education community into a dizzying panic, particularly as it seemed they were making this decision solely for the sake of end-of-year exams. Immediately the schools’ leadership cultures sprung into action. Watching all the chatter online in various New Zealand teaching circles, the media reports, and the chatter and concerns being expressed within my school and my wife’s, I could see two distinctly different stories being played out.

In simple terms, we saw success where there was a 21st-century collaborative leadership model to a complex problem, and…

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Richard Wells

Richard Wells is a world-recognized educator, author and blogger on future education trends. He has presented around the world and has been rated in the top 50 world influencers for educational technology use. He currently works in school leadership and is passionate about moving schools forward to better represent the needs of the 21st century. Richard is an EdTech influencer who founded EduWells, a top 10 education blog. He is the author of A Learner's Paradise, a book in which he explains how education can operate without classrooms, lessons, subjects, and tests. Richard proudly started his career with a degree in Fine Art from Manchester in England. He worked in IT before contracting to work in schools, digitalizing their workflows in the late 1990s. He became an educator in 2003.