The art and craft of Line Management?

For just over two academic years I have been in a team responsible for Middle Leaders and their development in different forms. Be it leadership in their subject areas or their Continued Professional Development. I have enjoyed this responsibility in the run up to our Ofsted Inspection and in this blog I would like to share one of the ways we have upskilled and developed our teams.

Working in a start up school is both invigorating and challenging, where you do not want to just simply do what you have previously done in other settings you have worked in, instead you want to ensure you are working and using the most evidence enriched, tried and tested ways, removing the fluff and previous failures you had to endure or work through.

We know, and it goes without saying that middle leaders are the powerhouse of the school, therefore enabling, empowering and developing them is of paramount importance. One of the ways we have found we can align our whole school priorities whilst personalising the subject specificity of developments is by adapting a line management template proforma The Greenshaw Trust provided us in a previous visit.

First, you have to consider your standing items, your key areas for development…

You can see from the image, we picked T&L, Curriculum, Raising Standards, Leadership and Departmental Operations…

The idea is to then allocate questions, prompts, suggestions in advance that align to your School Improvement/Development plan, school calendar, and key events.

The questions, prompts, suggestions you allocate need to take into consideration different roles too. For example, Pastoral Leaders need a variation from the Academic leaders. There may need to be tweaks for Senior Leadership Team members line managing the middle leaders too.

I have attached a version of the proforma below for you to tweak, edit, adapt and use. It is important to note that these questions are to be driven by the line manager, they can be pre-populated in advance in bullet form, to angle discussions, or can be filled in during the meeting. I would recommend a two week cycle window, and allow discussions to be driven by departmental priorities. You could make these questions and prompt more bespoke to the subject areas… that will be the next stage, where Line Managers drive their own prompts…

Thank you to The Greenshaw Trust for allowing me to vary and make great use of this way of line managing and supporting our teams.

Let me know your thoughts…

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