School Board and Principal relationships

Peter Black has been Chair of the School Board for about 18 months.  The Principal has been in post for 14 years.  Increasingly over the last couple of terms, the Chair senses that the Principal is rather keeping him at bay; it is difficult for Peter to put his finger on it, but he just feels that there is insufficient openness.  Recently there has been a specific incident in which the Principal approached and invited a new member onto the School Board without speaking to Peter in advance.  Peter feels that membership of the Board is his responsibility not the Principal’s.  But he also respects the position of the Principal in leading the school. He is feeling uneasy about the potential confrontation and would like to find ways to resolve the situation rather than have it escalate.

The Chair decides he would benefit from experienced advice so he can better manage the relationship.  He particularly wants to understand how a typical or highly effective Chair/Principal relationship works.  MarlowJones agrees to provide advice and does so by meeting with the Chair on two separate occasions, each lasting an hour.  It may be that these meetings lead to further support which could be in the form of:

  • A short programme of coaching, perhaps 4 sessions over a period of 2 to 3 months; focus is on the specific issues raised by the Chair in terms of his relationship with the Principal
  • A facilitated mediation in which both men come together to clarify their expectations of each other’s role.