Looking at Our School 2016: The Leadership and Management Domains - Skills Development















The ‘Looking at Our School 2016: A Quality Framework for Primary Schools’ outlines 4 domains as guides for teachers to step into management roles. 

These 4 Domains are:

1.    Leading Teaching and Learning

2.    Managing the Organisation

3.    Leading School Development and

4.    Developing Leadership Capacity

While I have already written blog posts for each individual blog post (linked below) today’s blog focuses on the skills development necessary for stepping up to the next level in your career.

I have taken the prompts from each domain and then outlined some necessary skills that you may already have or you may choose to develop further as your progress in your career.

Domain 1: Leading Learning and Teaching

(A) Promote a culture of improvement, collaboration, innovation and creativity in learning, teaching, and assessment. (B) Foster a commitment to inclusion, equality of opportunity and the holistic development of each pupil. (C) Manage the planning and implementation of the curriculum. (D) Foster teacher professional development that enriches teachers’ and pupils’ learning.

Organisational Skills: In order to show evidence of leading teaching and learning in your classroom, school and community you may choose to focus on develop your organisational skills by asking yourself: How organised am I now? What could I do to be even more organised? What would that look, feel and sound like? How could you promote an environment whereby pupils and staff feel safe to try new things and experiment with things that they have learned?

Communication Skills: All of us have a personal level of communication that outlines our verbal and non-verbal communication with ourselves and others. I invite you to reflect: What is your internal self-talk like? Is it mostly positive or negative? How do you communicate with others when under pressure? Who presses your buttons? How can you change that automatic reaction? Do you rely solely on verbal communication with colleagues or are there written ways to better collaborate and communicate key information?

Facilitation Skills: Writing about fostering the personal development of teachers is something my clients sometimes find tricky. What could you do to help parents, colleagues, volunteers, etc. to further their own personal development?  

Domain 2: Managing the Organisation

(A) Establish an orderly, secure and healthy learning environment, and maintain it through effective communication. (B) Manage the school’s human, physical and financial resources so as to create and maintain a learning organisation. (C) Manage challenging and complex situations in a manner that demonstrates equality, fairness and justice. (D) Develop and implement a system to promote professional responsibility and accountability.

Empathy: An effective leader has a certain empathy and understanding for those around them. Finding a balance between understanding, being consistent and getting things done is important. This means that

Problem Solving: Have you noticed that your school is lacking a particular set of skills or resources that are necessary for staff or pupils. Perhaps you notice that the way that your school communicates with parents is ineffective or that the safety needs of pupils need greater awareness when it comes to keeping them safe at home time. What is a more effective solution to that problem? Sometimes small changes can make a big difference in an organisation and developing problem solving skills and taking action shows an awareness at a whole school level and leadership potential. Reflect: What are some problems that your school has that you can help with?

Adaptability: Do you have a fixed or growth mindset? When something doesn’t go your way how do you respond? Are you able to fit in well in new situations? Can you go along with things the way that they are being done or are you focused solely on ways you could do things better? Adaptability is an important and highly regarded skill amongst leaders as it shows that things can run smoothly and new hires can show patience, take instruction and adapt and fit in in their new surroundings.

Domain 3: Leading School Development

(A) Communicate the guiding vision for the school and lead its realisation. (B) Lead the school’s engagement in a continuous process of self-evaluation. (C) Build and maintain relationships with parents, with other schools, and with the wider community. (D) Manage, lead and mediate change to respond to the evolving needs of the school and to changes in education.

Action Taking: When your school sets a target for SSE do you take that challenge on board and make that a focus for your classroom. Perhaps you are at the cusp of changes in education and the latest trends and you are happy to share your thoughts and learning with others? How have you pioneered projects that allow you to work and learn from other schools in your area and develop your teacher network? Effective leaders reflect on what kind of activities and initiatives are suitable and necessary for their school environment.

Public Speaking: How do you feel when it comes to speaking out loud in staff meetings or in INTO meetings or conferences? What action could you take to ensure (if this is a priority for you) that you feel more comfortable speaking out?

Record Keeping: Are you able to put your hand on an important document when it’s needed? Are the records that you keep informing your path forwards? Are they useful and empowering? Is there an easier way to cut down on the time it takes to plan and keep records? What action can you take so that your records are useful and informative?

Interpersonal Skills: How do you develop relationships with others? What approaches do you take? How do you maintain those connections? How do you cast your net wider so that you’re connecting with other schools and the wider community? How can you help them?

Domain 4: Developing Leadership Capacity

(A) Critique their practice as leaders and develop their understanding of effective and sustainable leadership. (B) Empower staff to take on and carry out leadership roles. (C) Promote and facilitate the development of pupil voice and pupil leadership. (D) Build professional networks with other school leaders.

Critical Thinking: Do you accept things as they are or do you challenge the status quo sometimes? What does your own growth mindset look like? In what ways are you a reflective practitioner? Focusing on opportunities to brainstorm other solutions or evaluating whether something is working or not and making small tweaks or scrapping it can be very effective.

Networking: Building your professional network online and offline is key to developing as a leader. Surround yourself with people on the same journey as you and those who are where you want to be. This can be done online via LinkedIn or online platforms etc, by reaching out to others in person, attending courses and conferences and by developing your own personal brand e.g. creating a consistent platform on which you can be found e.g. sharing your thoughts and achievements on LinkedIn or by developing a podcast.  

‘Looking at Our School 2016: A Quality Framework for Primary Schools’ is a great tool to help us all navigate our way as teachers and leaders and reflecting on the skills above and others means that when the right opportunity arises you will be ready to show the necessary evidence that you can do a great job.

If you want to learn more about the ‘Looking at Our School 2016: A Quality Framework for Primary Schools’ document - Check out my blogs on the 4 domains here:

The 4 domains are something we focus on inside the Teachers’ Promotion Club - If you would like to join us click here to find out more.

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