Communication is such an important element of leading schools successfully, yet the amount of time we spend planning communication is grossly underestimated.

Good communication within and external to a school can not just keep stakeholders informed of what is going on, it can create action when needed, establish a school’s identity, purpose and direction, as well as provide care, support and guidance.

Unclear conveyance of key messages provides confusing signals to stakeholders, often raising more questions than answers. Clear and concise communication inspires confidence and builds trust. It does not just signal what will be done but also that what will not be addressed. Clarity is key.

Untimely, communication often leads to more work because people do not have time to adequately respond, or may cause undue stress. Good communication, therefore, is often proactive rather than reactive and provides the right message at the right time.

Communication is both a skill and an art, as it is not always about what is said but about how it is said that really matters.

Most of all, we need to pay attention to considering how and when we communicate in order to be effective. This requires a significant investment of time and effort. It is not just another email or newsletter article.