First classroom leaders graduate in Glasgow

The first cohort of teachers to take part in Glasgow's unique project leadership programme graduated this week in a formal ceremony.

The programme is targeted at developing management skills to lead a project within a school and has been billed by the city as the creation of a local opportunity from a national agreement.

The first cohort is composed mainly of secondary teachers, many of whom were assistant principal teachers before the restructuring that followed the national teachers' agreement. Some of those who embarked on the programme in 2003 have, however, chosen not to graduate because they have already gained promotion or moved into other education-related work such as teacher training.

Subsequent cohorts include primary teachers with their eye on principal teacher (primary) posts and teachers working in special education and the pre-five sector.

Renatta Currie, project facilitator and a member of Glasgow's education improvement service, said that other authorities had shown interest in using the Glasgow model for their own professional development for teachers with this level of experience.

The programme, set up following agreement with the unions, includes a taught element, a work-based project which is managed over a year and a reflective commentary or dossier. Some participants have included the programme as one of their chartered teacher modules.

Examples of the development projects chosen by participants (and agreed with their school's management) are: eastwest international liaison project; pupil mentoring; whole-school policy on student teachers; promoting technical-based learning to female students; ICT mentoring for staff; pupil tracking to support target-setting; and home reading.

The objectives of the programme are to help teachers develop the skills of project management - and that includes managing the constraints.

Ms Currie said: "At least a quarter of those who participated in the first training programme have gone on to jobs in other fields or into promoted posts." Around 100 entered the programme in the first year, about 90 last year and 75 are in the current year.

One teacher told Ms Currie: "I would never have had an understanding of how my headteacher's mind works if I had not been involved in this." For many, it represented an opportunity to understand the management perspective without necessarily having to take on the responsibility of going into management.

The programme is free, although teachers must be sponsored by their school and have received formal backing from their headteacher.

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