I love the programme Wheeler Dealers. For those of you that have never seen it, Mike Brewer is a car dealer and Edd China an amazing mechanic. Mike buys classic cars that are a bit down at heel, and Edd repairs them. Mike then sells the cars on with the aim of making a profit.

Here are 10 things that this programme has taught me about school leadership

  1. You have to fix the cause as well as the problem. Edd will never gloss over or ignore a problem, but will keep digging until he finds out why things aren’t working properly. He then does everything necessary to fix them.
  2. Sometimes things that look straightforward to fix are really complicated.  Mike gets a bit annoyed sometimes when Edd pulls seemingly good car apart to get to a small part deep inside it that is causing a problem.
  3. Sometimes things that look complicated to fix are actually really straightforward. Edd can dismantle an impossibly complex and expensive part and repair it with a tiny piece of plastic.
  4. You can fix just about anything if you spend enough time and are really patient. A relentless approach gets results. Edd can spend hours doing really tedious jobs. Without all the preparatory work you won’t get the brilliant final result.
  5. Sometimes you need to get an expert involved. There are some amazing people around who can make a much better job of things than even Edd can.
  6. It doesn’t always work – they don’t always make a profit. Even the best plans in the  world don’t always work as you hope they will.
  7. The process is as important as the outcome. Edd clearly gets a huge amount of satisfaction from solving all the little problems that come along during a restoration, and can even look a little disappointed when a car is finished.
  8. When you have made everything perfect it still needs maintenance. Sometimes it all goes wrong almost as soon as you think you’ve finished. In one series Edd and Mike revisited some of their cars with their new owners. Even though they were perfect when they sold them, they had all needed continued work and repairs.
  9. It’s great fun. Edd and Mike seem to really like each other and enjoy what they are doing. They take safety seriously and want do the best job possible, but always find time to have a bit of fun.
  10. Sometimes you need to use new technology and sometimes the old bits work just as well as a new one would. They have used a 3D printer to repair a 100 year old car, but Edd will always repair, refurbish and re-use where possible.