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Teaching Issues

Five New Year’s resolutions for SLT

Fingers crossed!? This is what one successful head of history hopes SLT will do in the New Year:

  1. Cancel your PiXL subscription and stop spending money on exam board spec courses. Put the £s of savings into department budgets. Give time for teachers to digest the spec materials and other subject specific scholarship, and give depts time off timetable together to collaboratively plan their curriculum.
  2. Scrap data or ‘progress’ meetings. If a meeting is needed to ‘tell a story’ then there seems little point in the data. If it needs interpreting it is of little use. If you seek reassurance and confidence in student school performance ask for that. Set up a system where a post-graduate professional subject leader is able to share THEIR judgment, how they like. Trust in their accountability, it’ll be in their job description, as well as yours!
  3. Recognise subject communities don’t have to be local or share the same context; a problem shared is a problem halved, but still a problem. In my experience a problem shared is gossip. It is hard to move beyond subject hubs becoming talking shops.
  4. Seek out expertise beyond your own context and direct your subject leaders towards them. Ideally link the academic/ practical elements of their subjects to their planning. Any decent ITT provider will have done this already for you. Tap into this expertise.
  5. Build your knowledge of each discipline within your school. Find THE subject-specific publication your leaders need to read. Find progression models. Think; ‘how will I line manage THIS subject?’, ‘what level of interdependence needs to exist?’. Think of leadership as substantive knowledge, not transferrable skills. 
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About the author
Marc Scruby
Marc has spent the last ten years as History Teacher, School Leadership Team member and now Head of History at Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex. He has also worked as an Associate Teaching Fellow on the History ITE course at the University of Sussex.

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