Best Practice

Distributed leadership and departmental self-reviews in the secondary school

Greater autonomy and greater quality assurance? Clare Duffy sets out the benefits of using a distributed leadership approach to departmental self-reviews across a secondary school
Image: Adobe Stock

Identifying our challenge

Middle leaders are integral to the success of a school, but it is a role that is often torn between the conflicting demands of the day-to-day administration of running a department and the desire to dedicate time to thinking strategically about how to improve student outcomes.

At my school, Uppingham Community College in Rutland, we are fortunate to have a team of experienced heads of department and we have always been keen to draw on their expertise.

We know that giving teachers greater autonomy has a significant impact on retention and job satisfaction (Worth & Van den Brande, 2020). Therefore, we wanted to encourage these colleagues to lead on teaching and learning within their departments and have greater autonomy over quality assurance – all areas they had asked to do more of.

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