Empower your middle leaders and give them the tools to be accountable.
The middle leaders’ training sessions have been created with the Teaching Standards at their heart. Whilst some of the sessions are aimed at developing the middle leaders’ personal skills, most of the sessions are to encourage reflective thought and to support middle leaders in thinking and working, independently and collaboratively. The sessions give them time to plan how they will lead their teams or departments on aspects of teaching and learning, personalised to their curriculum area.
The main sessions encourage middle leaders to reflect and be pro-active in addressing the issues, covering:
- Poor learning environments
- Purposeful marking to demonstrate progress
- Identifying Subject Knowledge gaps in the curriculum
- Setting purposeful homework
- Targeting and monitoring the most able
- Using exam board feedback to move forward
- Consistency of behaviour management techniques
- Effective learning walks
By exploring these areas with middle leaders and giving them accountability to inspire, lead, inform and monitor their teams, it will enable schools to use whole staff meetings to be innovative at this crucial time of change, rather than losing valuable meeting time dealing with staff inconsistencies.
For every session, there are suggested follow up activities to ensure change takes place and the sessions have an impact.
In addition, there is an expectation that the trainer will become familiar with the suggested reading in order to be the expert in the room.
How many sessions should be delivered?
There are 12 Middle Managers sessions aimed at teaching and learning, and 5 sessions aimed at developing leadership skills. My advice is that middle management training takes place every 3-4 weeks and you stipulate how many sessions have to be attended every term or half term.
You could insist that one personal developmental session is attended per term or sessions linked to your school action plan. For example, if you have a whole school focus on marking, you could insist that middle managers have to attend the sessions on Standard 6 but they can choose 5 other sessions of their choice over the rest of the year, justifying their choices to their line manager. Alternatively, line managers can identify a number of sessions that must be attended and the rest are voluntary.
There is no set order for this programme, but:
- The two introductory sessions : ‘Know Your Team’ and ‘Know Your Self’ fit very well at the start of the year.
- The leadership sessions can go in any order, although ‘Beginning with the end in Mind’ needs to have a recommended 8 week gap from the Review session
- The sessions linked to standards can go in any order, but Standard 8 fits in well before Standard 5 or 7 as they are all linked to learning walks with the latter needing these for monitoring impact.
The beauty of these sessions is that you can personalise them to your school and middle leaders, add your own graphics, facts and details.
Please note, there are some pre-session tasks for trainers and middle leaders to complete so the whole programme needs to be read in advance in one go and mapped out to suit your calendar.
If you have any questions about any individual sessions then please contact me on: