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Team gains the confidence to lead

When Caroline Garvey was asked to join Redcar and Cleveland education authority's pilot for the primary strategy's Leadership Programme, she welcomed the opportunity.

Her school, St Dominic's primary in Redcar, awaits amalgamation with another Catholic primary in a new building. In the meantime, she is the acting head and describes it as "a steep learning curve".

As with other aspects of the strategy, the Leadership Programme helps senior management teams and subject leaders to focus on aspects of teaching where changes can have the most effect. A prerequisite of the programme is that the school's literacy and numeracy co-ordinators should be part of the leadership team.

"One of the things we decided to do was to organise a lesson observation for numeracy for every member of staff," Mrs Garvey says.

The follow-up was thorough and searching and, importantly, there was emphasis on drawing out, recording and sharing good practice. "We were able to include some elements of good practice for every single teacher," she says.

Having last year carried out a similar exercise with literacy, the effect has been a dramatic improvement in the level of understanding that underpins leadership at all levels.

"It's given the leadership team confidence to talk knowledgeably about the work, and to have the confidence to lead," Mrs Garvey says.

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