A significant part of my work has involved the curriculum and leadership. It is a process of educational decision-making that has changed with different school structures and organisations. However, there remains a role for external perspectives, support, guidance and challenge. I have provided this independently, or through bodies such as the subject associations, LAs, trusts or ‘chains’, and it has included:
- departmental review and guidance
- interim support
- networks and communities of learning
- continuing professional development (CPD)
This has been on a one-off basis and on a longer programme of activity.
Each assignment had different circumstances but these webpages give an overview of previous roles.
School departmental reviews are usually brief and timely interventions and not for sharing in substance. The tasks, sometimes referred to as a ‘learning walk’, included discussions, classroom observation and scrutiny of curriculum and policy documents. A report was made and de-briefing carried out. It usually resulted in target setting and a subsequent support.
Interim support was available to fulfill immediate and short-term requirements arising from illness, maternity cover or just the pressure of deadlines. I have done this for an LA/trust and an NGO.
I have supported subject networks in Kent and five London boroughs. Various networks have been established for particular projects, for example sustainable communities, and also online – both, formally, for SEEd and, informally, for my own personal learning network (PLN).
CPD sessions have been run for the Geographical Association, local authorities and a group of independent schools. Online courses, and blended CPD, have become popular, too. We know this thrives best after face-to-face sessions.
Primarily, it’s about professional conversation.
“The position I take is that teachers need a politics of practice through which they can ask more of themselves than how best to implement reform, and to do more about their situation through the exercise of professional courage in ways that are social and socializing.”
Helen M. Gunter (2005) Leading Teachers, London: Continuum.
Your own curriculum and leadership are unique to your circumstances so seek what you need.