What do leaders need? And what do they need most?

What do leaders need? And what do they need most?

Susan Young outlines 23 characteristics of outstanding leaders and leadership teams

Susan Young looks at what makes an outstanding school leader.

17 July 2017/Number of views (76)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Learning to research: good for teachers, parents and children

Learning to research: good for teachers, parents and children

Susan Young shines a spotlight on the benefits of evidence-informed teaching

Susan Young talks to Early Years teacher, Jane Flood about becoming part of a Research Learning Community.

13 July 2017/Number of views (246)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun

James Ashmore on why middle leaders need to remain optimistic

James Ashmore writes on the importance of staying optimistic as a middle leader.

03 July 2017/Number of views (342)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
PE and Sport for achievement

PE and Sport for achievement

Guest Blogger Dominic Judge Asks: how can PE and Sport contribute to whole school well-being and performance?

How can school leaders use PE, physical activity and sport to tackle issues of childhood obesity and mental well-being and to drive whole school performance?

20 June 2017/Number of views (433)/Comments (0)/
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Exploring the reality of support and provision for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs

Exploring the reality of support and provision for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs

Jean Gross explores the current provision and support for children with SLCN

Jean Gross outlines the provision and support for children with SLCN.

16 June 2017/Number of views (648)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Social mobility and attainment – what can Middle Leaders do?

Social mobility and attainment – what can Middle Leaders do?

What teachers and schools can do to help

In the UK today, there are areas where a staggering one in six children are currently living in poverty (Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission).

05 June 2017/Number of views (961)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Using speakers to inspire young people

Using speakers to inspire young people

How one charity brings high profile speakers into schools

 The charity, Speakers for Schools, gives access to top quality speakers for free

22 May 2017/Number of views (1217)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
What impact could coaching have in your school?

What impact could coaching have in your school?

Lara Ginn, an NAHT Edge Advisory Council member, explores the benefits of setting up a coaching team.

Within a school context it is essential to ensure a level of consistency; a common approach to coaching sessions is important.

09 May 2017/Number of views (1651)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Getting started with video CPD (Part 2)

Getting started with video CPD (Part 2)

Developing a supportive culture and establishing a solid programme.

Exploring video CPD: developing a supportive culture and establishing a solid programme. 

20 April 2017/Number of views (1731)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Getting started with video CPD (Part 1)

Getting started with video CPD (Part 1)

Exploring video CPD and practical strategies for getting started.

Christophe Mullings, Head of Education at IRIS Connect, explores video CPD and practical strategies for getting started.

19 April 2017/Number of views (1795)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Recognising leaders who’ve made a difference

Recognising leaders who’ve made a difference

The BELMAS Reflective Practice Award for innovation and critical reflection in education is now open for entries.

The BELMAS Reflective Practice Award for innovation and critical reflection in education is now open for entries

 

17 March 2017/Number of views (2631)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Chasing happiness

Chasing happiness

Guest blogger James Ashmore asks: As a middle leader, what else could you do to raise your team’s happiness quotient?

Guest blogger James Ashmore asks: As a middle leader, what could you do to raise your team’s happiness quotient? 

06 February 2017/Number of views (2322)/Comments (0)/
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Making a difference for autistic girls and women

Making a difference for autistic girls and women

Broadcaster and campaigner Carrie Grant asks how girls with autism can find their voice, and are we truly listening?

How does an autistic person get heard and understood? How do they find their voice? How do we hear their voice? And are we giving space to hear the autistic voice?

30 January 2017/Number of views (3126)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Managing your time

Managing your time

Guest blogger James Ashmore looks at the conflict between a middle leader's personal and professional life

You may feel that your work/life balance is seriously out of kilter and that moving into middle leadership has done nothing to redress this, in fact it’s made it worse.

06 December 2016/Number of views (3068)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Recruitment, retention and middle leaders

Recruitment, retention and middle leaders

Why are schools finding that there is a shortage of middle leaders?

In the short term a dedicated middle leader can make sacrifices, willing to take on more because they are not only ambitious for themselves but committed to high quality education for pupils within their school. But is this sustainable asks Lara Ginn? 

21 November 2016/Number of views (3412)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Teacher Workload: The Elephant in the Room?

Teacher Workload: The Elephant in the Room?

A personal perspective from Lara Ginn

Teacher workload is among one of the greatest issues schools face nowadays. Over recent years this has become a source of wide scale discussion within the profession and in the media. The government has, through recent independent reviews, endeavoured to identify some of the primary factors causing the heavy workload faced by teaching staff and means by which all stakeholders can redress this.

16 November 2016/Number of views (3325)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
“Death neither obeys the school timetable nor appears on it… It enters the classroom without knocking”

“Death neither obeys the school timetable nor appears on it… It enters the classroom without knocking”

Supporting bereavement

By the age of 16 at least one child in every classroom (1 in 29) will have experienced the death of a parent or sibling (Penny & Stubbs, 2015).

08 November 2016/Number of views (2895)/Comments (0)/
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Securing and growing great practice in your team

Securing and growing great practice in your team

Top tips for growing great practice

Middle leaders are increasingly recognised for their pivotal role in developing the quality of practice. So how is this being achieved, and how can you plan for this?

24 October 2016/Number of views (2896)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
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Running Successful Meetings

Running Successful Meetings

Five top tips

Running successful meetings is an often overlooked skill but one that will almost certainly be required of you as a middle leader. The times you have together with your team can be critical to your success and so it is vitally important that they go well. 

18 October 2016/Number of views (4360)/Comments (0)/
Categories: StaffBlogs
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Girls and Autism: Flying Under the Radar (nasen 2016)

Girls and Autism: Flying Under the Radar (nasen 2016)

If you were asked to describe a typical student with autism, what would you say?

It is becoming more and more widely understood that there may well be as many girls and women with autism as there are boys and men, but their needs are not always being identified.

04 October 2016/Number of views (3179)/Comments (0)/
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Opinion from NAHT Edge bloggers


Good middle management

Middle leaders have on more than one occasion been described as 'the engine room of the school'. If we take this at face value, the analogy suggests a school simply couldn't function without its middle leaders just as an ocean liner couldn't sail without its engine. Therefore, it seems wise to consider what some of the features of successful middle management may be. After considering my own practice and what I’ve seen in the schools I’ve worked at or visited, I've condensed my thoughts into the following list.

 

1. To raise standards

 

A lot of jargon is spoken and reams of data generated, but I think there are a couple of good starting points for success. Middle leaders should be up-to-date with the latest guidance and try to ensure their staff are too. Middle leaders should ensure staff have access to high-quality continuing professional development that’s useful and, preferably, chosen by them. A team that’s informed and educated in its own subject is (arguably) the key to higher standards of pupil work.

 

2. Observing teachers and quality assurance

 

These are closely linked to the above. Middle leaders should ensure the observation and scrutiny process is as non-threatening as possible. Feedback and advice given should be genuinely constructive. This can be achieved by ensuring positive features are highlighted, shared and built upon, and areas for improvement are discussed. Individual teaching styles, lesson planning and structure should be at the teacher’s discretion. I hope it goes without saying there should be no grading of individual lessons.

 

3. Building strong teams

 

A good middle leader will know where the strengths and weaknesses lie in their team. In addition to offering opportunities for training and feedback, middle leaders should encourage sharing of skills between their own team of teachers. While valuing and promoting teacher autonomy, opportunities to see each other teach and share ideas and good practice should be given. Teachers should be offered the chance to plan together and team teach. Where appropriate, middle leaders should seek to involve and engage staff in the department decision-making process.

 

4. Behaviour

 

A good middle leader can be crucial in ensuring consistency of behaviour management across their department. Middle leaders should help staff to enforce school discipline policy while never undermining individual teachers. They should be prepared to chase up detentions and generally back staff in any way needed. It's wise not to underestimate the importance of strong behaviour management in the overall success of a department.

 

5. The middle (wo)man

 

As a buffer between senior leadership and teaching staff, middle leaders are on the receiving end of an awful lot of information. However, they should be careful not to throw all the stress down the line. A good middle leader will know there are some tasks which should be undertaken by them and some information which should be held back. Teaching staff shouldn't be given unnecessary tasks to complete or paperwork to trawl through. In addition to this, I would urge middle leaders to think very carefully before implementing any new scheme or incentive - especially if costly. Consider foremost, if it's really as good as it first seems? And (crucially) will it raise standards?

 

An engine room, by definition, exists behind a closed door. It’s isolated from the rest of the ship. It's here where this post must diverge from the engine room analogy. Middle leaders must be visible to both pupils and staff; they should be seen in corridors, greet people, smile and say hello. Middle leaders should enquire how people are (and genuinely care about the response). They should certainly not exist behind a closed door, but instead offer an open-door policy where they welcome everyday news and chit-chat as well as the inevitable crises and bad news. 

 

Finally, middle leaders should have a teaching commitment. Even the smoothest, slickest of engines can be prone to rust after all.

 

(This list is far from exhaustive. Comments and opinions are welcome. Share your thoughts in the comment box below.)




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Avatar  Conor Heaven 3 years ago

I really enjoyed this blog. I am in my first term in charge of Maths in a 2 form infant school. I have really enjoyed my work so far but find the theory of middle management to be very long and hard to simplify. This blog has helped me focus on my key tasks and I think should be printed out and put on my desk as a mantra!