Learning to Lead in the Secondary School: Becoming an Effective Head of Department

Learning to Lead in the Secondary School: Becoming an Effective Head of Department

Learning to Lead in the Secondary School: Becoming an Effective Head of Department

Learning to Lead in the Secondary School: Becoming an Effective Head of Department


Learning to Lead in the Secondary School is designed to meet the needs of subject leaders and heads of department in secondary schools, offering practical advice and guidance to teachers taking on these demanding roles. This highly informative book is structured around six sections that address all of the key areas in leading a department including: * becoming a subject leader * managing effective teaching and learning * leading and managing people * the strategic direction and development of a department * the deployment of staff and resources * managing personal performance and development. This guidenbsp;will be invaluable to middle managers in schools, subject leaders and heads of departments. It will be of interest to teachers and managers at all levels and will also be useful to those undertaking research or further qualifications in educational leadership and management.


It has become one of the great truisms of education that the level of outcomes in schools will have a direct relationship with the quality of leadership in the institution. Much of the work of the school effectiveness and the allied school improvement movements have affirmed time and again that high quality leadership is the key to high quality schooling. It is partly for this reason that there now exists a plethora of texts on leading schools.

Many, if not most, of these texts have focused especially on the role of the headteacher in school development, although one has to admit that there has been an increasing interest in the work of deputy headteachers and the whole School Management Team. In recent times this interest has extended to the role of Heads of Department and there is even a sense in which a view has developed that can best be described as the notion that 'we are all managers now'.

The reasons for the development of this idea of ever increasing delegation of management functions are, like most other things in schools, at one and the same time both complex and simple. Undoubtedly the movement, which began transnationally in the 1980s, which was best summarised as Local Management of Schools, has meant that individual institutions have been required to carry out a wide variety of management functions that would, hitherto, have fallen within the remit of local or national government. Added to this, the pervading culture of accountability in all aspects of life, combined with a most laudable desire to drive up standards of public services, has meant that many new pressures have fallen on schools as well as other public sector organisations. In this sense there is simply much more management to be done than was ever the case in the past.

It is thus logical that no one person, or small team of people, can take on all the management functions that are now a necessary and inevitable part of school life. There is a more subtle and in many ways commendable set of developments that have been witnessed in recent years that have contributed to devolved management structures. It overstates the case greatly to say that we have seen a radical democratisation of schools take place in recent years and there is an argument which runs that effective schools can never be true democracies. There has, nonetheless, been a commitment in both theory

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