Learning lessons together
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Oxford Times, 20/03/2014, p.29, Reg Little
Full-page feature and interview with Professor Ian Menter on the Leadership for Learning Programme, which he directs. The initiative seeks to provide leadership development for staff and governors at primary schools in the city of Oxford, delivered by education experts from Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University.
A year on from its launch, Professor Menter says the scheme has so far been a success. He said: ‘It is helping to improve schools. It is helping to grow a core of strong leaders in the schools. It is a well-established fact that quality of leadership is a key element in improving the attainment in schools.’ Over the past year 40 school heads and senior teachers from 11 Oxford primary schools have been given the chance to work with some of the most experienced education leaders in the country. Forty-two teachers are now taking part in the second year of the programme. Teachers taking part attend seminars on topics such as leadership and early intervention. There are also workshops, coaching sessions and support in analysing school data. Head teachers on the programme are also offered coaching from some of Oxfordshire’s most experienced secondary school head teachers. The programme is funded by Oxford City Council.
Professor Menter said: ‘Oxford University’s Department of Education and Oxford Brookes University’s School of Education are recognised UK leaders in teacher education. But we do not claim to provide a solution. We hope that through the programme, teachers and governors will be able to tap into a pool of expertise and support each other.’ While the formal evaluation of the programme is still to be completed, the city council’s education adviser says the feedback so far has been encouraging. Pat Kennedy, board member for education at Oxford City Council, said: ‘We are delighted with the first year of the leadership programme. Participants have really valued it. It has led to some real improvements in the schools involved, through the introduction of new processes … and sharing of best practice on promoting good behaviour.’