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Work life balance - my day as a headteacher

October 12, 2022, 15:41 GMT+1
Read in about 3 minutes
  • A one-day diary from alarm to lights out
Work life balance - my day as a headteacher

Waking up

The alarm sounds at 5:45am and I check email and messages to see if I need to arrange any cover for the day. Then I go for a run to switch my brain on and start the day on a positive note! 

My morning

I arrive at school at 7:30am, have a quick staff meeting at 8.30am to share updates and then welcome the children into school, ‘checking in’ with those who might need extra support. I work through my schedule, meeting parents and agencies and carrying out learning walks. 


A quick scroll through my emails and then it’s onto the playground and lunch hall to check on the children and my leadership team colleagues. I grab a quick bite and a coffee to set me up for a busy afternoon.

My afternoon

I might have a class assembly, or a meeting with curriculum or subject leads, then it’s on to a session with the school council to review their new action plan. When the school bell goes at 3.15pm I’ll meet parents and children to discuss any issues before delivering SENCO governor training. I respond to emails before I head off home at 6pm.

My evening

After an evening meal with my family, I crack on with report writing. I love reading all the reports teachers have written and how well they know the children’s strengths and characters. I round the evening off with some data analysis and preparation for pupil progress meetings. 


If I can’t fit in a morning run, I’ll head out late in the evening and then it’s bedtime around 10pm. I’ll read a little and listen to the Headspace meditation app because it helps me switch off.

Quickfire questions…

Career plan B? I can’t imagine doing anything else as no two days are the same. 

Must-listen? Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4. I also enjoy the Headspace meditation app.

Must-read? Alex Quigley’s Closing the Writing Gap. The book explains seven critical steps to improve children’s writing. 

Twitter hero? The EEF’s Twitter feed @EducEndowFoundn is a must follow as it helps me keep up to date with the latest research and evidence informed practice. @dylanwiliam is another Twitter hero.

Rebecca Kayll is headteacher at Penketh Primary School, Warrington