Developing tomorrow's leaders

9th January 2012 at 13:11
Mark Eaves talks about the Educational Leadership and Management MA, offered in partnership with the University of Warwick

Our group of ULT Academies and UCST independent schools work together to provide a range of fully funded development opportunities for our teachers who aspire to leadership positions at all levels. This is an important focus of our work and the programme has so far been successful and very popular among our teachers.

Our MA in Educational Leadership and Management is offered in partnership with the University of Warwick. It is a bespoke version of the Warwick MA, delivered by University and our staff. Enrolment onto the course is targeted at teachers in middle leadership positions, but there are individuals of all career stages currently participating in the programme.

Year one of the programme focuses on action research. It enables the participants to conduct a piece of action research into an area of school need and of personal interest. This action research looks at the leadership implications of the issue in question and informs changes in practice to improve outcomes.

In addition to this focus there are two days of UCSTULT content. One of these is focused on `ethos' and `values based leadership', predicated on our group's values of integrity, faith, compassion, courage and resilience. The second day focuses on `technology and pedagogy', challenging participants to think about leading learning effectively, utilising the group's world class ICT equipment.

The second year of the programme has two modules. First, we focus on `Leading Educational Change and Improvement'. This module builds on themes developed in year one and explores the relationship between leadership and the improvement of teaching and learning outcomes. It engages participants with the latest leadership and improvement theory and practice.

The second module is titled `Policy, Strategy and Resources in Education' and looks at the changing educational landscape in these areas. It challenges participants to evaluate what effective educational leadership looks like. UCSTULT content in this year focuses on `success in challenging circumstances - learning from ULT academies' and the use of coaching and mentoring as a leadership tool.

The final year of the MA is primarily taken up with an extended management project or dissertation. This commences with a three day residential run by our staff together with the teams from the Warwick Institute of Education and Warwick Business School. It looks at business perspectives on leadership, learning from UCST independent schools, models of financial leadership and the leadership of marketing in a school. It also contains preparatory sessions on the writing of the dissertation.

Across UCST and ULT approximately 100 teachers have so far participated in this programme and we are delighted with their feedback and enthusiasm. One teacher who graduated from the programme with a distinction said, `I did my preliminary research in the area of leading and managing provision for `gifted and talented' pupils. This led to a number of refinements in policy as well as the development of practical strategies. My dissertation was in the area of social and emotional intelligence and how it fosters highly effective leadership.I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and gained a great deal from it'.

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