Tales for heads

16th January 1998 at 00:00
The design and Technology Secondary Head of Department Handbook. DATA, 16 Wellesbourne House, Walton Road, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire CV35 9JB Pounds 45

Following hard on the heels of last year's Design and Technology Primary Co-ordinator's File, this book looks likely to become just as popular. Although described as a handbook, it's not intended to replace your departmental handbook.

There are five sections: * Introduction and strategic management: the role of the head of department, target setting, monitoring and OFSTED inspections.

* Curriculum planning: schemes of work, exams, using IT.

* Managing teaching and learning: special needs, assessment and reporting policies.

* Staff management: job descriptions, technicians, stress.

* Managing budgets, resources, and health and safety.

Having recently spent hours making departmental documentation watertight for an OFTSED inspection, my immediate reaction on receiving the handbook was - typical, a year too late.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find new ideas showing how I could update and improve our existing departmental handbook.

Although DATA's publication is aimed at heads of departments, its usefulness goes further. Those who aspire to be head of department will find it invaluable and it will certainly save hours of work by clearly focusing your thoughts.

Simon Badcock is head of technology at Theale Green Community School, Reading.

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