5 things to think about this week

12th September 2008 at 01:00
Pace yourself this school year. My grown-up children are still telling me about episodes in their lives that I missed when I was too busy being a deputy and a head.

1. Learn to walk the walk

Pace yourself this school year. My grown-up children are still telling me about episodes in their lives that I missed when I was too busy being a deputy and a head. Most heads are like that, but it's not healthy, physically or emotionally, and it's probably not even necessary. This thought is provoked by two apparently unrelated items on the Association of School and College Leaders' website. One is a comment posted by John Dunford in August on the "unacceptably high" workload of school leaders. The other is notice of a course for school leaders called "Effective School Leadership: How does a good leader walk?" That's clearly intended to help leaders reflect on the professional and personal values that really matter.

- ascl.org.uk

2. Explore the workings of Parliament

Explore the opportunities and services offered by the Parliament Education Service. Of the many projects and ideas on offer, two interesting ones have updated details on the website: the Teachers' Seminar programme - a tour of Parliament and sessions with officials and an MP; and the Writing Competition for students run by the Press Gallery. There's lots more, including opportunities for school visits.

- wwww.parliament.ukeducation

3. Keep your reviews policy updated

Look at your performance management policy. In 2009, the current threshold application process is going to be replaced and promotion will be dependent on performance review. Given that the current performance review process is arguably still bedding down, with middle leaders becoming accustomed to their new responsibilities, it's important that senior leaders ensure teachers are reviewed against all the necessary national standards. We're alerted to this by the consultancy Head Support Ltd. There's a full explanation - and details of a course - on its website.

- www.headsupport.net

4. Extend your experience

Where are you with extended school provision? Hesketh Fletcher School's programme is described by Ofsted as "exemplary" and "pivotal in engaging pupils in learning". Extended schooling depends heavily on involving other agencies and tapping a range of funding schemes. At Hesketh Fletcher, the recruitment at senior level of a teacher who had worked a lot in the social sector, seeking out funding and building partnerships, has been crucial. There's a course on all aspects, including funding, run by Capita on September 25.

- www.capitaconferences.co.uk

5. Know your inspection procedures

Your reinspection will soon come around. Keep it high on the agenda and make sure you know the latest procedures and requirements. I spoke to a secondary assistant head recently who couldn't understand how a large school nearby could have been deemed "outstanding" after a one-day inspection. The point here lies not just in the answer - which is to do with the quality of the school's "pre-inspection indicators" - but in this senior colleague's uncertainty. He could sign up for the Association of School and College Leaders' course "Ready for reinspection", being run four times in different places over the next two terms.

- www.ascl.org.uk

Send your contributions or suggestions for this column to Gerald Haigh at gerald.haigh@btinternet.com.


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