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From the first day of teacher training to the power of great mentors, from leading a class to leading a school, the strength of stories and storytelling can be felt in any size school up and down the country.

At Unity Schools Partnership, we wanted to produce a digest of stories from within our primary, special and secondary schools.

Leadership Journeys does just that.

We asked 16 staff members, across the trust and going through our leadership programme, to tell us their stories.

What guided them, what motivated them, what obstacles they had to come.

All in a bid to learn lessons and teach others, both their contemporaries and our next generation of teachers.

The result was a hugely inspirational autobiographical journey.

We are fortunate to have some hugely motivated and committed school leaders who have produced a series of witty, thought-provoking, professional, and sometimes moving, reflections.

All are uplifting accounts from people who are hugely ambitious for education and who want to act as a role models today and for the future.

There is real honesty within the stories, one is entitled ‘Spinning plates and growing grey hairs’ for instance.

Some candidly admit they didn’t grow up wanting to be a teacher while one writes about having her “lightbulb moment” as a young student in a small village school.

Now she is inspiring others on their own educational path.

One common factor is that we all see teaching as an amazing job, but one that has tough parts and big hurdles.

But they overcome this with strength and a smile as they know they have the opportunity to really make a difference within their schools and really make a connection with their communities.

When I became a teacher, I wanted to change the world.

And in my opinion, ‘changing the world’ can mean helping our young people go on to help society or provide an education that gives the opportunity to break out of disadvantage for those children who grow up in poorer families.

We were delighted to formally launch the book earlier this month with two very good speakers also in attendance – Rachel Macfarlane, Director of Education Services in Hertfordshire and Peter Hyman, co-director of School 21 in Newham.

We thank them both for their inspirational talks.

Our aim across the trust is to help transform our members schools, the communities they are in and the wider educational world.

We are passionate about making a difference to a young person’s life.

To enable and motivate them to reach their potential.

Judging by the stories within Leadership Journeys, the future of education is in very safe hands.

You can read Leadership Journeys via https://unitysp.co.uk/news.