Course Title
LEADING LARGE SCHOOLS:
CHALLENGES & PERSPECTIVES
Richard Fawcett
& Geoff Barton
Course Title
AIMS



To explore the challenges of leading large schools
To develop practical problem-solving strategies that
will make an impact on learning
To develop a specific school improvement project
for your school and evaluate its impact
Course Title
Welcome & Overview




What is distinctive about leading learning in a large
school?
Sharing practice & action planning
Developing a school-based improvement project
Engaging key players
Course Title
Session 1:
What’s distinctive in a large school about …
 Improving teaching & learning
 Leadership at all levels
 Communication
 Evaluating impact?
Course Title
Teaching & Learning:



Getting away from the compartmentalisation of
subjects, the bunker mentality of faculties
Rejuvenating whole-school approaches, such as
literacy
Sharing practice across teachers to move to good
and outstanding
Course Title
Leadership:



How effective is leadership & management at all
levels?
Are you providing training for your leadership team?
Are you talent-spotting and developing your future
leaders?
Course Title
Communication:



How do you communicate your vision and values?
How do you ‘keep the herd moving west’?
What are the mechanics of communication and
consultation, and do they work?
Course Title
Evaluating impact:

In successful schools, leaders recognise that only
so much can be done at once and they have the
courage, whatever the pressures, external and
internal, to prioritise. They deal with decisions with
down-to-earth management efficiency, and, most
important of all, they themselves know what
constitutes high-quality teaching and educational
excellence.
Chief Inspector’s Annual Report 1997/98
Course Title
Developing a self-evaluation culture
Whole-school culture:
Some opening assumptions
•
•
•
•
•
•
Good teaching is a set of learnable skills, not a Godgiven gift
Performance management is about performance
We should encourage experimentation and occasional
disasters
We should be intolerant of mediocrity
A genuine evaluation culture builds improvement
Real change comes from within
Developing a self-evaluation culture
THREE GURUS
Carol FitzGibbon (Durham):
Get data into school life, without necessarily doing
anything with it
Developing a self-evaluation culture
THREE GURUS
John MacBeath (Cambridge):
“We should measure what we value, not value what we
can measure”
Developing a self-evaluation culture
THREE GURUS
David Reynolds (Exeter):
“Within-school variation”:
Aim to be a ‘high-reliability’ organisation …
Developing a self-evaluation culture
Such complex social organizations as air traffic control towers
continuously run the risk of disastrous and obviously
unacceptable failure.
The public would heavily discount several thousand
consecutive days of efficiently monitoring and controlling the
very crowded skies over Chicago or London if two jumbo jets
were to collide over either city.
Through fog, snow, computer-system failures, and nearby
tornadoes, in spite of thousands of flights per day in busy skies,
such a collision has never happened above any city, a
remarkable level of performance reliability …
Developing a self-evaluation culture
… By contrast, in the U.S., one of the most highly educated
nations on earth, within any group of 100 students beginning
first grade in a particular year, approximately 16 will not have
obtained either their high school diploma or a General
Education Development certificate 12-13 years later.
In Britain, just under half of all 16-year-old pupils will not have
the benchmark of 5 or more high grade public examination
passes in the national system. Obviously, many nations have
even lower levels of educational performance.
Creating a self-evaluation culture:
Tools for school evaluation:
• Student performance data - results, targets, etc
• Staff, parent, governor feedback
• Ethos data
• Questionnaires and focus groups
• Faculty reviews - inc observation sheets
• Self-evaluation
Staff Evaluations …
1
(low/poor)
1 How would you r
at e the p erforman c e
of our compu t er syst em ?

2 How h e lpful h a s the IC T Su p port

Te a m b een?
3 How w e ll hav e w e m anage d cov e r?

4 How would you r
behavio u r?
at e s tuden t

5 How vi s ib le has th e lea d ership t e am
been ?
6 How would you r
lea d ers h ip ?
at e G eoff B artonÕs
7 Has a m e mber of th e lea d ership t e am
visi t ed your t u tor group ?

8 Has a m e mber of th e lea d ership t e am
visi t ed on e of your l essons ?

9 Are expe c ta tion s on u n ifo r m clear?
10 Are our ex p ec ta tion s about
behavio u r cl ear ?

11 Do you find
useful?
Monday staff b rief ings
12 Do you find
useful?
th e Barton B u lleti n
13 Do you find
useful?
th e w e ek ly b u lleti n
2
3
4
(high/good
0
2
5
18
45
56
50
24
2
2
2
0
8
2
2
6
19
30
26
11
29
37
56
45
60
78
67
55
23
25
6
9
6
7
2
0
27
29
8
5
YES
60
86
47
59
93
91
82
93
52
46
49
66
NO
40
14
53
41
7
9
18
7
15
18
41
29
92
97
93
96
94
98
8
3
7
4
6
2
)
9 Are expe c ta tion s on u n ifo r m clear?
93
91
82
93
7
9
18
7
92
97
93
96
94
98
84
98
32
78
8
3
7
4
6
2
16
2
68
22
98
2
97
100
71
3
0
29
Shorter?
The s am e?
Longer?
54
40
46
6
54
81
19
10 Are our ex p ec ta tion s about
behavio u r cl ear ?

11 Do you find
useful?
Monday staff b rief ings
12 Do you find
useful?
th e Barton B u lleti n
13 Do you find
useful?
th e w e ek ly b u lleti n
14 Do you fe
e l w ell info r m e d about

things th a t are h appening in
s chool ?
15 Do you a
m e eting s ?
tten d too many
16 Do m ee t ing s h e lp you to do your
job b e tter?
17 Are c u r ricu lu m te a m m e eting s
useful?
18 Are tuto r tea m m e eting s usefu l?
19 Are su p port staff b r ie f ings u s eful?
20 Should w e stop s e lling al l unhe al thy
food and d r in k ?
21 Next y ea r should tuto r t im e b e É
22 Do you li k e th e sand w ic h es
provided for pare n tsÕ evening s ?
23 Do you find
as s em bl ie s i n te r es ting?
Routine monitoring …
TUTOR GROUP:
Do all students have
coats off?
Are students wearing
proper school
sweatshirt/polo
shir t?
Are all students
wearing shoes (ie no
trainers except with
doctors’ notes)?
Is jewellery
acceptable (ie no
facial piercings, n
o
bracelets, o nly thi n
metal necklaces)?
Is the tuto r …
Talking t o students?
Signing planners?
Taking the register?
Doing admin?
Other?




Yes
No
Yes
No




Yes
No
Yes
No




Yes
No
Yes
No




Yes
No
Yes
No




Yes
No
Yes
No
 Yes
 No
 Yes
 No
 Yes
 No
 Yes
 No
 Yes
 No
 Yes
 No
 Yes
 No
 Yes
 No
 Yes
 No
 Yes
 No
T uto r g ro up spot -chec k
Week be ginning 17 / 1 / 5
24 t u tor g rou ps were vi sited
H eads o f Year h av e in d ivi d u al res ul ts
Do all students have coats off?
Are they wearing correct school
sweatshirt/polo shirt?
Are they wearing shoes (not trainer
Is jewellery acceptable?
Is the ethos positive and purposeful?
YES
79%
96%
s )?
100%
88%
88%
C over w ork se t o n appr opr iate form
C over w ork left in staff roo m tra y
W ork was clear to foll ow for you
Éa nd for stude nts?
Nece ssar y m ater ials were avail ab le
L ess o n objec tiv e se t
W ork see m ed appr opr iate
An y co mm en ts (eg stude nt behavio ur / disp lay
/ c lar ity of i nstruc tions, e tc):
Planners
Na m e
TG
Cover
clean*
H -S -A
signed
All d ates
comp l e ted
Pa rent signed
la st 3 w e eks
Liam As k ew
9WD
No
Yes
Yes
Leon Brown
9WD
No
Yes
No
Yes
Simon Cr a ck
Yes
Tutor signed
La st 3
wee k s
No
Let te r / hwk
boxes u sed
Oc ca sion a lly
Homework
cons istently
wri tten in
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Oc ca sio n a lly
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Ra rely
No
Comment s on
homework
English
- none for 4
wee k s
Bio – none for 5
wee k s
Tech – none f o r 4
wee k s
M at h s – non e fo r 6
wee k s
Bio – none sin c e
November
Hums erra tic
No of
commend a ti
ons
67 – but lo ts
without
stick er s
66 - di tto
18
ame
Book sampling…
Ye a r /
S et
Te ach e r
C ov er
clean
YN
H o mew o rk
evid ent
YN
H o mew o rk
mar k ed
YN
Pr esen tatio n
G FP
T y p es of w ri tin g
Els o m
O RY
9
WD
Y
Y
Y
G



Robot h am
O RY
9
WD
Y
Y
Y
G



Thinking
Notes
Extende d
ey W ard?
R APHY
9
YE
Y
Y
Y
G


Notes
Exer c is e s



Notes
Exer c is e s
Some ex tended
work
S impson
R APHY
9
HS
Y
Y
Not
consi s te n tly
G
Thinking
Notes
Extende d
G en e ral co mme n ts
C lea rly sequen c ed,
cha llen g ing, h igh -le v el;
exem p lary feedb a ck Ğ
posi tive , pre c is e, person a l
V diffe rent ab ility of
studen t Ğ bu t s a m e strong
expe c ta tion s; tan g ibl e
progress in stude n tÕs
work; supportiv e , po s itiv e
marking
Good posi tive feedb a ck ;
evide n ce o f regu lar
marking ; good range o f
wri ting
C lea r and w ell-use d
overa ll; good to no te som e
extend worrk; m arking
appear s to end in late Sept
Focus groups run by Governors…
What is it like to be a tutor here?
Good bits of the job:
Frustrations:
Good Year Teams
Good communication with Year
Team
Trainees are helpful
Role will be strengthened by
learning plans / target-setting days
Lack of time
Amount of admin
Always dealing with the same
students
What is it like to be a tutor here?
What impact do you have on students and how do you know?
•Informal feedback from students – eg a disruptive student who
admitted privately that he wants to do well
•Seeing decreasing number of referral slips
•Can feel a sense of progress
How would we improve?
•Year 12 mentoring can be inconsistent – role of mentors not
always clear – but principle of them is good
•Small minority – importance of planners not recognised by
students/parents
Heads of Year …
What are the key ingredients in an effective tutor?
•Know and care about students in their tutor groups
•See monitoring and target-setting as a core part of their job
•Understand the need to work with students on skills beyond
the classroom – emotions, motivation, social skills, courtesy,
how to speak appropriately in difficult circumstances
•Are well organised and manage time well
•Listen actively
•Pay attention to small details – courtesy, thanks, etc
•Treat poor behaviour as simply a choice and good behaviour
as a characteristic
•Apologise when they do something wrong or inappropriate
•Catch students being good far more than they catch them
getting it wrong
•Have genuine interest in students’ lives and experiences
Faculty reviews
1 D o y ou fee l supp ort ed in y ou r w ork w ith in th e Facu lty ?
very
mostly
not very
not at
all
mostly
not very
not at
all
mostly
not very
not at
all
mostly
not very
not at
all
2 D o y ou fee l supp ort ed in y ou r w ork w ith in th e s ch oo l as a w h o le?
very
3 D o y ou fee l t h at th er e is a clear visio n w ith in the F acu lty?
very
4 D o y ou fee l inv o lv ed in th e de v elo p m en t of th e F acu lty ?
very
5 Wh at cu rre n tly i m pedes y o ur w o rk ?
6 Wh at s h o u ld b e t h e F acu ltyÕs m ain prio rity ov er th e comi n g y ear ?
A lwa y s
1. M y tea ch ing a pproac hes and p lann in g hav e
taken acco unt of t he p resence of TAs
2. The w ork of TAs has e ncour aged st udent
independ ence in m y classro om
3. TAs w ork ing in m y classe s have ensur ed
that stud ents rem a ine d eng aged throug hout
the lesson
4. TAs have
been encou raged to off er
feedback to m e about clas sroo m
arran ge m e nts
5. I kno w a nd have taken ac count of the
curr icu lu m stre ngths of TAs
6. TAs have
been invo lv ed in the p lann in g of
spec ific lessons
7. I have
hade the o pport un ity to m eet o uts id e
the c lassro om w ith TAs w ho w ork in m y
classroo m
8. TAs have
contr ib uted pos itive ly to th e
m anag em ent of the class
9. I have been p leased w ith the w or k of TAs in
m y class
10. I a m a w ar e of th e spec ia l n eeds of t he
student( s) w ho h ave b een sup porte d by TAs
Us u all y
Sometimes
Ne v er
Student Evaluations …
Student …
1 Do y ou enjo y bein g a t schoo l?
Ne v er
13
Ra rely
25
Mostly
53
A lways
9
Ne v er
10
Ra rely
18
Mostly
67
A lways
5
3 Do yo u thi nk behavi ou r he re is go od ?
Yes
69
No
31
4 A re ou r e xpecta tions abo ut behavi ou r c lea r?
Yes
86
No
14
5 A re ou r e xpecta tions abo ut u niform clea r?
Yes
78
No
22
Yes
65
No
35
Yes
49
No
51
Yes
74
No
26
2 Do y ou f eel p rou d o f being at this
schoo l?
6 Do yo u fee l yo u a re treate d wit h respect ?
7 Do we giv
e enough p raise and encou rage m ent ?
Attitudes to learning
1 Wh at grade d id y o u ge t in E n g li sh?

E ng li sh L itera tu re ?

2 T h in k o f all th e su b jec ts y o u stud ied las t y ear. C irc le o n e o f th e n u m b er s b elow to sh o w
w h ere y o u w o u ld place E n g li sh in a ra n k o rde r of th e su b jec ts yo u stud ied
1 ( h ig h ) 2
3 4
5
6
7 8
9
10 (lo w)
3 W ith o u t n ami n g t eac h ers, p lease n am e ON E th ing y o u li ke d m o st a bo u t E n g li sh less on s
4 W ith o u t n ami n g t eac h ers, p lease n am e ON E th ing y o u li ke d leas t a b o u t th em
5 L oo k in g b ack, h ow d id y ou fee l a b o u t y ou r usua l gr o up for E n g li sh fo r É
(a) ge tt in g o n w ith ot h er pe o p le?
(li ked it a l o t) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ( liked it a litt le)
(b ) lear n in g eff ec tiv ely ?
(li ked it a l o t) 1 2
3 4
5
6
7 8
9
1 0 (liked it a litt le)
Of all th e ways th e tea c h e r g e ts yo u to le a rn a bo u t things w hic h do y o u e njo y th e most?







Activities
Ğ not writin g, not hing intimidating.
More d iscussion, needs to be variety (maths now =
all fro m books)
Biology = copy fro m board Ğ donÕt eve n re ad it
VA Ki in F rench to analyse o w n learning
If te a cher s drone o n = so m e o f us donÕt ha v e th e attention span
Un fairness abo ut time given to complete cours
e work i e some = meet d e adlines. Oth e rs = 3 month s
late so hav e extr a 3 months to work o n it
Too man y tests in short spac e o f time
Would help if dif ferent subject te a chers could talk to each other so
w e do not get all cours e w o rk
assignments at the
s am e ti m e.
Of all th e ways th e tea c h e r g e ts yo u to le a rn a bo u t things, w hi c h d o yo u e n joy least?



Vag u e questions that you donÕt kn o w w h at it means
I think we should b e setted f o r English be c ause it cou ld be mor e challenging too lon
g on on e pie ce
of work would b e helpful , disruptive people w er e in di fficult group
H u manities Ğ go round and round in circles because
donÕt have specialist teachers.
S p end tim e
trying to mana g e behaviour
Studen t pe rceptio n inte rview s
Yea r 9
4 g irls
4 boys
Se ts: 1 4 2 3 1 3 2
Ra nk o rder: 8 7 3 3 9 3 10 3
What d o you lik e ab out M F L lessons? What ac tivities do yo u enjoy ? Why?
 F un, li ke IC T interac tive w hiteboar d, playi ng ga m es, prac tica l a nd gr oup w ork
What activ ities do you n ot enjo y? Why ? Wha t do you fin d dif ficu lt? Wha t wou ld he lp?
 Tes ts Ğ s om e are use ful a nd som e are not
 Prac tica l less ons are goo d
 D onÕt li ke teac hers constantly talking in F re nch. I ge t behind and de -m otivated
 D onÕt li ke having to speak in front of the class Ğ feel u nder pressure and w orr ied
 Pa nic w hen asked to speak and donÕt know h ow
How do yo u lea rn best? Wha t he lps yo u lea rn in othe r lessons?
 O bjec tives are som etim es se t Ğ but d oes nÕt m ak e a ny diff ere nce
 I li ke to have som e gr oup w ork a nd som e form al w riting
 Re inforc ing t he t alking w ith w riting ra ther than just talking and t hen m oving o n and t alking
som e m ore
 Gr oup w ork
 Ga m es
 Wh en behaviour is goo d. Be haviour is good in languages
How do yo u fee l du rin g M F L lessons? What m ak es you f ee l this way?
- B ored Ğ 1 s tude nt
- Interes ted Ğ 1 s tude nt
- E njoy Ğ 1 s tude nt
- T ired Ğ 1 s tude nt
- D onÕt know Ğ 4 s tude nts
C onse nsu s from inter views - languag e s is Òok Ó b ut not a su bjec t w hich stude nts w ould w ish to
choo se to t ake fur ther. G roup conse nsus t hat a bout 30% of the less ons are enjoyable. M ost s tude nts
pre ferred languages in the M idd le Sc hoo l Ğ m ore prac tica l, ga m es, etc
What for you is the most important ingredient in a good
lesson?
Enthusiasm of teacher
Fun
Good class control
No disruptive students
Practical activities
Teacher interested in the subject
Sitting with a friend
Clear instructions and
expectations
What do teachers do that helps you to learn well?
Talk less and let us get on with work
Teaching us techniques for learning and
revising
Practice papers
Explain things clearly
Acknowledge different kinds of learners
Praise us
Basic ideas about how to do things
Providing lunchtime sessions
Teach me in a way that I understand
What one thing would you do to improve this school?
Longer breaks
More trips
Don’t give coursework at the end of term
Tougher line on disruptive students
More guidance with coursework
Stop giving detentions for trivial reasons
Smarter uniform
Regular teacher evaluations by students
Clone Mr Green
Be more relaxed about uniform and jewellery
New headteacher
Hotline to support students who are struggling
Shorter lessons
Bus to Newmarket
Longer lessons
Fewer questionnaires!
Don’t have such high expectations of students
Parent Evaluations …
1 My c h ild lik es sch o ol
2 My c h ild is m aki n g g o od
pr o gress
3 Stu d ents b e h ave w ell
4 My c h ild is n ot bu llie d or
ha rass e d at scho o l
5 T ea c hi n g is g o od
6 I am k e pt well info rm ed a b out
h o w my chi ld is gett ing o n
7 I feel c o mfor tab le a b out
ap p ro ach ing th e sch o ol with
quest ions o r a p ro b le m o r
c o mp laint
8 Staff ex p ect my ch ild to w o rk
ha rd a n d d o his or her best
9 T he sc h ool is l ed a nd m a n a g ed
w ell
10 Staff tr e at my c h ild fa irly
11 T h e sch o ol seeks th e vi e ws of
pa rents a nd takes acco u nt of
their s u g g esti o ns a n d con c erns
7%
Str o ngly
dis a gr e e
7%
-
D onÕt
kn o w
-
57%
64%
14%
-
6%
7%
6%
29%
23%
64%
50%
27%
-
7%
-
23%
57%
20%
-
-
50%
50%
-
-
-
50%
43%
-
-
7%
23%
7%
69%
67%
13%
-
8%
13%
Str o ngly
ag ree
43
57%
Ag ree
Di s ag ree
50%
36%
23%
22%
PARENTSÕ E V ENING FEEDBAC K
We would welco
m e your feedbac k about this ev enin g . Please hand this slip to
students at the Reception des
k in the Foundat ion Roo m
1
I have fou nd the evening:
o v er y info rm ativ e o m o stly info rm ativ e o s li gh tly in form ativ e o no t info rm ativ e
2
T h e o rg a n isati on w as
o e x ce ll en t o g ood o fair o p oo r
3
T wo k ey m essages w ere give n b y
o a ll teac h ers o m o st teac h ers o few teac h ers o n o t eac h ers
Any othe r com m ents?:
The essential skills of good
teachers
What do you think are the 3
most important ingredients
of good teachers / tutors …?
Communication & Staff Development
•
Establish expectations based on school evaluation
•
Build into school systems - observation sheets, performance
management, Faculty reviews
•
Build differentiated training around them
•
Add self-evaluation opportunities
•
Lessons from Finland!
Eg:
Essential
Literacy
Readi n g
Writ in g
Spea k in g & list en in g
Use lay ou t and l a n gu age
to m ake texts accessible Ğ
eg white space,
typo graphical features,
su mm aries, bullets, short
para graphs
Be clear and explicit
about the con ve n tion s
of the writin g you expect
fro m students Ğ e g
audience, purpose,
layout, key words and
phrases, le vel of
for m ality
Pro vidin g assess m en t
criteria and m odels of
appropriate text types
Usin g a variety of
gr oup in gs for structured
tal k Ğ pairs, sa m e-sex ,
friendship, triads, ability
groups
Usin g a ran ge of strategies
to support studentsÕ
readin g Ğ e g readin g aloud,
key words and glossaries,
word ban ks, display, paired
readin g, tal kin g about texts
before answerin g
S p ellin g Ğ m ar kin g no
m ore than 3-5 key
spel lin gs per wor k, writin g
the correct spellin g in the
m ar gin with the error
identified; students puttin
g
these into spellin g pa ges in
the m iddle of exercise
boo ks; usin g starters /
word gam es / m ne m onics /
display / rules / words
within words to support
stud entsÕ spellin g
Usin g sh are d
co m po siti on to show
students how to write
S ettin g objecti ves for tal k
and pro v idin g lan gua g e
m od els Ğ e g le vel of
for m ality, key words and
phrases
Pro vidin g alternati ves to
traditional Q&A
approaches Ğ e g open
questions, thin kin g ti m e,
bi g questions, no -hands,
paired consultation ti
m e,
dealin g with answers,
pro m pts, answer starters
Managing the Talent
•
What training and development
do you give your Leadership
Team?
•
Who are your stars of 1-5 years?
What are you doing for them?
•
Is subject & pastoral leadership
really the way forward? Don’t
schools actually need flexible
project managers?
Course Title
Reflection & discussion


What do you agree / disagree with?
What are the implications for you and your school?
Course Title
Action-planning



What aspect of your school are frustrated by?
What kind of intervention might make a difference?
What could you do in the next 5 weeks to make an
impact?
Course Title
Developing an
improvement project



What do you need to do?
Who do you need to involve?
What will be the early signs of impact?
Course Title
LEADING LARGE SCHOOLS:
CHALLENGES & PERSPECTIVES
Richard Fawcett
& Geoff Barton
Course Title
Project ideas …





Engaging support staff to recognise their impact on
T&L
Giving School Council have a focus on T&L
Using summer term gained time effectively
Using feedback from different cohorts to evaluate
effectiveness
Developing a middle leadership development
programme
Course Title
LEADING LARGE SCHOOLS:
CHALLENGES & PERSPECTIVES
Richard Fawcett
& Geoff Barton
Course Title
Engaging Stakeholders
Course Title
Engaging Stakeholders




Governors: what are they good for?
Students: what do you change as a result of their
feedback?
Support staff: what role do they play in school
improvement?
Parents: do you want anything from them apart
from support (and money)?
Course Title
LEADING LARGE SCHOOLS:
CHALLENGES & PERSPECTIVES
www.geoffbarton.co.uk/teacher_resources
(Number 43)
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