Leaders and teachers tackling issues together

During her keynote address at the ACER's Research Conference 2017 in Melbourne, Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson said, ‘If a problem has persisted in your area of responsibility, then you, by definition, are part of the problem.'

Afterwards, she sat down with Teacher editor Jo Earp to discuss this further. Robinson gave an example of a team leader who has responsibility for the teaching and learning of the teachers in his or her team.

‘So unresolved problems are, by definition, part of the responsibility of that team leader – “it hasn't been solved yet, that's part of my difficulty and my challenge”,' Robinson says. ‘This is a no blame, sharing of responsibility. By definition, if a problem arises in your area of responsibility, you are part of the problem.'

When it comes to tackling the issue, Robinson says it's important that leaders and teachers work together without placing blame on any one person.

‘…We have a shared responsibility, not just your responsibility, not just my responsibility but a shared responsibility to acknowledge the problem, seek to find the causes that we can leverage and then do something about trying to resolve it.'


Viviane Robinson says it’s important that leaders and teachers work together to resolve any issues that persist in a school environment.

As a school leader, think about a problem that’s arisen recently. When discussing it with colleagues did you take a shared responsibility? Do you invite teachers to share their views and suggestions for how to resolve issues? What impact does this have on staff engagement and morale?