If predictions are accurate, 150,000 fewer graduates are expected to enter the job market by 2020 and in London alone, 115,000 additional school places will be required. Add to that challenges presented by the three As of:
Making teaching the career of choice and providing high quality professional development, is the key priority for the next 4 years.
Andy Hargreaves describes how uplifting organisations create collective social power to improve performance and results: “it makes individuals and organisations do better than they had before [and] helps them outperform their opponents. It inspires them to succeed despite [limited] resources.” In an era of education uncertainty, here are 7 ways to help schools re-position a potential crisis as an opportunity.
Why recruit in the first place if you are continuously building capacity, creating leadership opportunities and reviewing school staff structures?
At Woodhill and Foxfield Primary Schools, we now use open evenings as our main recruitment strategy. It’s a great way to meet candidates en masse, observe relationship interactions and ensure the match between teacher and school is a good fit. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to showcase your school with an audience. Our open evenings have enabled us to ‘get in quick’, establish relationships with candidates and involve staff and pupils in the recruitment process from the onset.
Professional development programmes, involving a range of structured, collaborative, school based learning are much more valuable than stand alone, one day courses. In the Inspire Partnership, everyone has a learning pathway; an opportunity to collaborate with learning projects.
– Lesson Study/appreciative enquiry
– NQT and NQT Plus One Programme.
– Leading for Excellence.
– Primary Leadership Programme.
– Teaching Assistant Programme.
– Focus on improving and evaluating pupil outcomes
– Be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise
– Include collaboration and challenge
– Be sustained over time
– Be prioritised by school leadership.
Learning communities thrive together. When everyone is invested in learning from each other, everyone benefits unselfishly. At Bellville Primary School, for example, their learning library is a success because the school ensures learning feeds the culture.
If school culture determines what a school does (good or bad!), school climate regulates how it feels to belong. Our schools post home ‘good news notices’ for both staff and children. Our celebrating success notice boards capture excellence in learning but also discretionary effort.
Every minute counts in a primary school. Find creative ways to maximise time for leading learning. Lyons Hall Primary School, snatch an hour a week between 8.30 and 9.30 where teachers plan and deliver interventions with focused groups or hold learning conferences with other adults – gap watch!
Steve Radcliffe (Leadership Plain and Simple) encourages us to notice the energies needed to sustain improvement and pay attention to them. These are:
Woodhill Primary School has its own staff Fit Club. This builds relationships, shapes identity and maintains a positive spirit amongst the team. Foxfield Primary School includes staff well being events as part of the core CPD programme and has its own book club. Nightingale Primary School allows staff delivering after school clubs or interventions to bank hours, re-claimed when needed.