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VIEWS & OPINION ff


VIEWS & OPINIO N


The importance of effective leadership training Comment by GRAHAME SMITH, School Improvement Manager, London Borough of Havering


RAHAME SMITH, School ImprovementManager, London Borough of Havering


We know that effective leadership in schools is by far the most important driver for improved provision, standards and outcomes. In the London Borough of Havering, it became crystal clear that if we were to secure continuing high standards for the children and young people of Havering, then we needed to invest in leadership. In an increasingly diverse, even fractured educational landscape, the simple truth was clear: we needed to develop and nurture both current and future leaders by providing (or commissioning) and promoting opportunities for all tiers of leadership. In addition, we needed to map provision from local providers to ensure that there are clear and coherent pathways for staff, including effective induction when new to post, support and challenge when in post, and opportunities, development and preparation for those aspiring to the next tier. In order to steer this ambitious project, a Leadership Strategy was developed and then, on 1st November 2017, the Havering Academy of Leadership was launched, governed by a Board of representative headteachers and principals reflecting the range of stakeholders, providers and education sectors.


The Academy is a genuine collaborative of partners: conceived, born and bred in Havering, to support and develop leadership in Havering’s education community. It was forged by a partnership between Havering Local Authority, the two Havering Teaching Schools and headteachers, principals and governors across the borough. All schools, academies, free schools and colleges, in all sectors, are automatically members of the Academy and we are supported by a number of high profile partners, including TES, BESA, SSAT, Rising Stars and The Key.


Our vision is simple - for Havering’s schools, academies and colleges to have the highest standards of leadership, so that our young people can thrive while achieving outstanding outcomes and personal development.


The importance of effec tive leadership training Comment by GRA


The Academy co-ordinates the provision of leadership programmes at all levels and ensures a coherent leadership development programme from the range of providers, including the Local Authority and the teaching schools, national and regional programmes, and commercial partners. In essence, it ensures that there are no gaps in provision and no unnecessary duplication. It does this through its ‘Leadership Ladder’ and ‘CPD Framework.’


The Academy has already co-ordinated responses from right across the borough and its new website, accessed free, hosts the following: • Leadership training and programmes (local, re • On-site consultancy from system leaders (NLG consultants and advisers)


s, NLEs, LLEs, SLEs, gional, national)


•Mentors drawn from schools for all levels of leadership • An effective practice register • Networking opportunities • Publications and resources


The Academy also has a strong social media presence where it promotes upcoming programmes and events, key leadership updates and developments locally and nationally, and advertises opportunities for its member schools for both formal and informal professional development. A broad and diverse leadership network is therefore now emerging. One of the future functions of the Academy will be advocacy - for leaders in Havering in relation to local, regional and national initiatives, developments and pressures. The Academy will also track effective leaders at all levels to encourage leadership talent to stay and grow in The birth of the Havering Academy of Leader


ship has provided Havering Havering.


with a vehicle for managing, promoting, nurturing and retaining talented leaders. It’s still early days, but there is a collective will to make it work.


Keeping assessment r elevant for s tudent s Comment by DR SUEWILKINSON, Head of eAss essment, International Bacc alaureate (IB )


Assessment is, of course, a necessary part of the teaching and learning process – benefitting students, parents and teachers by offering each further insight into a student’s learning style and progression. However, there is so much more to teaching and learning beyond preparing students to simply pass tests. Some argue that education is about preparing students for the future, others that its primary purpose should be allowing children to simply enjoy learning. The truth is that both are vital for a student’s personal success. If the remit of education is that broad, then s to be equally all-encompassing to support this objective. at children of different ages and stages of development


It is obvious th assessment need


will benefit from different teaching and learning approaches, but this level of variation is problematic for examination boards: how can they develop enough examination papers to suit each child’s potential breadth of investigation and accurately assess real-world skills?Which begs the questions, what should we be assessing?


Assessments need to measure the full extent of a student’s potential, not merely what they can remember. The onus has, for a long time, been on teachers to stop teaching to test, but this is almost impossible when assessments are structured as they are. If the focus of tests encompasses the full extent o f students’ learning, this will allow teachers to do their jobs and develop well-rounded citizens.


As educators for the 21st century, we must look at incorporating technology into assessment to ensure that tests are relevant and accessible, that they are being offered the best mediums to communicate their knowledge. Noticing the need to adapt assessment methods to ensure they remain relevant, we developed on-screen examinations for our


Marc h 02 1 8 2018


Middle Years Programme students to take in their final year of the programme at the age of 16.


The eAssessment pushes students to go beyond rote memorisation, with just 25%based explicitly on knowledge and understanding. The rest focuses on inquiry, communication and critical thinking skills. Students are challenged to connect previous learning with what they might learn next, to make predictions and take action to see what happens, collect data, analyse results and apply big ideas to solve real-world problems. Within each on-screen examination, different tasks are used to ensure that the right tools are being used to test the correct skills. A short essay might be used to assess writing capabilities, while creating an infographic might be used to assess communication skills. Using this variety of tasks means that a student’s achievement against all of a subject’s objectives is thoroughly tested.


Assessments should not limit students’ potential or restrict choices, but support the fantastic work happening in classro people who are well-rounded, with responsible offer than a set of grades.


attitudes and more to oms to develop young


Through introducing technology into more aspects of both teaching and learning, education can be kept relevant i n today’s world and ca n more readily measure a wider range of abilities needed for life after education. The eAssessment is a key stage in the IB journey to developing students who are forward-thinking individuals, with the motivation to create a better world. As a sector, we are just at the beginning of unleashing the power of technology to make learning and assessment more meaningful, but it is a really exciting place


www. wwweducation-toda y.co.uk


.co.uk 12 to start.


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