How to enhance your performance

11th March 2005 at 00:00
Looking for leadership inspiration? There's plenty on offer at this year's show, as Andrew Mourant discovers

Learning leadership is big business. The top job may be lonely but there's a multitude of programmes and tools designed to offer support, and exhibitors will be out in force to impress school managers attending the show.

Hay Group, the management consultancy, will make available its research reports on topics including "A Culture for Learning", an investigation into values and beliefs associated with effective schools. Findings from more than 4,000 teachers in 134 state schools reveal that staff in high performing institutions share a common hunger for improvement, ambition for all students and - something you probably don't want to hear - a willingness to make personal sacrifices to put the pupil first.

One research area formed the basis for Transforming Learning, an online development tool for teachers and leaders now used in more than 2,000 schools. The teachers' version aims to help them understand pupils'

perceptions of the "classroom climate" through an online questionnaire.

From this, teachers get confidential feedback about their views and gain insights into their own professional practice.

The team leaders' version is designed to give managers insights into their leadership styles and their "team climate" - this time through team members using an online questionnaire. Hays claims the programme "enhances teaching and learning through encouraging reflective practice and open dialogue."

Following publication last year of its first learning-centred leadership materials, the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) is launching a follow-up pack to explore how leaders can raise their game. The material contains new case studies, which include special school perspectives, the latest thinking on teaching and implications for learning-centred leaders, and a personalised learning section.

Teachers' TV, the new public sector broadcast channel launched last month, will show a loop of programmes. These include Soham, The Head's Story due for broadcast on March 21 and Setting Targets (to be broadcast on March 24) from its series for governors. Andrew Bethell, director of programmes, will be at the stand to answer questions.

Funded by the Department for Education and Skills but editorially independent, Teachers' TV broadcasts on cable, satellite and Freeview. It also has an extensive website that includes lesson plans and support materials.

If you're looking for further inspiration, this may come from the seminars on leadership and management, where topics range from Leading People - Moses Style to ICT - Change for the Better. The latter, led by Doug Brown of DfES, and aimed at all key stages, reflects Ofsted's view that "the positive influence of ICT in schools continues to rise and can no longer be denied".

Tony Richardson of the NCSL, in his seminar Beyond the Cusp - Leading e-confident schools for learning, will be persuading listeners that ICT is having a profound impact on learning, teaching and achievement levels for all.

Meanwhile Tony Parkin of the Specialist Schools Trust, in Virtual and Virtuous -Leadership and Management Strategies, will stress that new technologies provide opportunities to "radically reshape interactions between students, parents and governors". He will consider how schools are adapting.

In her presentation entitled Changing the Culture: Using the Workforce Remodelling Agency, Sue Kirkham of the Secondary Heads Association will show how many schools are using that agenda to value the work of staff and function more effectively.

Mick Brookes of the National Association of Head Teachers invokes Moses as a role model "of the people, but in a position of authority; having vision; coping with adversity; and formulating a succession plan".

The trials of leadership would appear timeless.

* For information on all the seminars taking place during this year's Education Show, go to Hay Group Stand A945

National College for School Leadership Stand B320

Teachers' TV Stand A931

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