Towards Effective Subject Leadership in the Primary School

Towards Effective Subject Leadership in the Primary School

Towards Effective Subject Leadership in the Primary School

Towards Effective Subject Leadership in the Primary School

Synopsis

This book examines the post of subject leader in primary schools in the light of the four key areas defined by National Standards for Subject Leadership: • strategic direction and development • teaching and learning• leading and managing staff• efficient and effective deployment of staff. The book combines existing research data and new material gathered by the authors. It presents the underpinning principles and analyses the complex set of roles and responsibilities undertaken by subject leaders. Most importantly it provides practical advice for subject leaders illustrated by a series of case studies and tasks which are addressed directly to subject leaders. The authors have taken a generic approach, looking at issues such as changing roles and responsibilities, planning for teaching and learning, working with colleagues and others, managing resources and bringing about school improvement, that have to be addressed by all subject leaders whatever their particular area of responsibility. Throughout, the book emphasises the importance of leadership, children's learning, professional development and collaboration.The book will be of value to all primary school teachers, and especially subject leaders.

Excerpt

Being a coordinator (or subject leader in the future) in a primary school is and will continue to be a challenge. So much is expected of coordinators in terms of, among other things, working to develop policies and schemes of work, supporting colleagues as well as monitoring and evaluating the teaching and learning that is taking place in the subject area (or frequently the areas) for which they are responsible. The challenge is all the greater because, for the vast majority of coordinators, the responsibilities they undertake are in addition to their roles as full-time class teachers. Furthermore, the contribution that coordinators make to the running of their schools, the quality and standards of the teaching and learning that occur and the overall effectiveness of their schools has come under closer scrutiny in recent years because of increased accountability.

Thus, taking on the post of coordinator can be a daunting task even for experienced teachers, especially when, as is often the case, the area of responsibility is for subjects other than those that formed the major part of their training. It is not uncommon for someone, for example, with a degree in English to be the coordinator for science. This situation in itself provides a particular challenge, which is then added to by the demands arising from other unfamiliar issues relating to leadership and management and the development of the skills needed to meet all the responsibilities of the post. For someone new to the post of coordinator there are many questions to be answered, for example: Is the policy and scheme of work appropriate and up to date? Is everyone using the scheme of work effectively? What changes could the coordinator introduce to improve children’s learning throughout the school? Which colleagues need help and how can they be supported effectively? In what ways can difficult situations be resolved? Do the resources need updating and making more accessible? In what other ways might the subject be developed in the school over the next few years? What . . .

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