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In the middle

And they're off in the Autumn Term Handicap! Examinations Feedback takes an early lead, with Development Plan Update close behind. Moving up rapidly on the inside is Trainee Teachers' Induction, while just past the stands goes Performance Management and Student Target Setting.

Following hotly after Half Term, we see Year 6 Open Day, Year 11 Mocks and Termly Monitoring Reports kicking for the finishing line. And yes, Christmas Concert takes the day, leaving Personal Life as the tail-ender. There could be a steward's enquiry into Heavy Head Cold's late appearance in the field.

To cope with this race, middle leaders should be ready to blend and recycle. For example, the mounted display for presentation evening can double up for open evening. Trainee teachers admired your PowerPoint presentation on inclusion? Get them to present it to the curriculum group you have to conduct once a term. Then use this as one of their assessments.

Expected, as a head of department, to raise the A* ratio in your response to GCSE results? Ensure that this target also becomes part of your departmental self-evaluation form; then negotiate it into being one of your personal performance mangement targets for the year as well. This way, you will be hitting on what is viewed important by those above and you can combine evidence for all performance reviews.

Don't leave your evidence-collecting until next summer though. Buy a binder or make an electronic file and gather all your successes in it, be they appreciative letters from parents or spreadsheets of results. Divide it into relevant sections: PM, SDP, SEF or whatever you call categories for furthering your career while simultaneously contributing effectively to school. Remember too that a good observation of a member of your team also reflects on your leadership of them.

Good luck on the racecourse this term.

Di Beddow

Deputy headteacher, Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

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