Leaders Plus Profile

Liz Robinson, Headteacher of Outstanding Primary school

Name: Liz Robinson
Role: Co-head teacher
Childcare arrangements: Partner is full time carer
Children: 2 girls, 3 and 5
Twitter handle: @Lizzierobinson3

1. Have you used skills learnt as parent in your career?

Yes – undoubtedly, you develop skills and capacities which impact on your work. I think cutting through the noise and getting to the essence of the situation quickly is one thing I recognise. Also being really practical in the moment – you have to just ‘come up with’ what to do as a parent learning your way – and that practical instinct can be very helpful.

2. Has your leadership style changed after having children?

Yes – I think I have become a bit more disciplined in a way. I am a very sensitive person and spent more time worrying about things before I had the girls. Work has to take up less space in your life, so you have to find ways to increase efficiency – a lot of that for me was the ‘mental work’ I was doing. It’s not that I don’t think about work, of course I do, but I have a different, more grounded perspective.

3. Why do you know you are a good enough parent?

My children are happy and confident, we have amazing relationships and love every moment we spend together. The whole family unit is working really well, my partner loves looking after them, but then also loves it when I come home too!

4. When do you love combining leadership roles with caring for children?

My girls are always with me in a way – I am their mummy first and foremost, so it does feel a total combination, and most of the time, I love what I do! I think if you can bring yourself as a mother into certain situations, it has a real effect – it humanises you and people see you differently.

5. Tell us about a memorable Leader with Baby moment.

Steve Munby has been a mentor to me for years, and we met up for a coffee when I was on maternity leave. He suggested meeting at the Institute of Directors on Pall Mall. I arrived with my buggy and baby, and managed to breast-feed her in this huge room of (mostly) men in suits! I think it blew their minds!

6. What is the biggest barrier you have overcome?

I think the biggest thing for me has been my own desire to be with my children and be an active parent, and having to compromise on that to some extent. I feel lucky that I do have a balance, but it is hard at some moments of course.

7. What do you admire in parents?

Resilience, flexibility and keeping it fun.

8. Do you experience feelings of guilt?


9. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Put a bet on Trump becoming president.

10. What are you still hoping for?

I try to plan rather than hope. My hopes are probably more general about the world we live in and the future all of our children.

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