Team Education management – Why leaders need to respect the limits of staff capacity ?


Surface features
This isn’t an unfamiliar scenario. In recent years, workload in many schools has seen a slight reduction in expectations around data and marking, and a pivot towards curriculum-related projects. This work is often crucial – departments without a clearly structured curriculum, or a long-term plan for learning and retrieval practice, need to make immediate changes.

But not all of this curriculum-generated work is welcomed. Some has little, if any, effect on student outcomes, and bears worrying similarities with old accountability measures that only ever focused on surface features of lessons, rather than substantive questions of student learning.

Annette is feeling the brunt of this. She has a million things to do before breakfast – arrange cover, analyse Y8 assessment scores, prepare a Y9 unit of work that went inexplicably missing, deal with three students who didn’t attend detention and speak to two parents fretting about whether their Y11 children will finish the course in time for mocks.

And that’s all before she even has the chance to think about her own classes and planning, or her steadily growing pile of essay marking…

A static sector
Annette isn’t sure why she’s been asked to produce a curriculum roadmap, as she doubts that any students (or colleagues) will even read it. She knows it will take a long time, and yet she already has a perfectly serviceable list of topics the department uses across KS3.

She’s aware that Ofsted apparently now care a lot about curriculum; that her school has recently appointed a new assistant head for curriculum impact; and that the head of English – who’s practically perfect in every way – has already produced a beautiful, full colour curriculum map that currently adorns the English corridor.

Annette has many tasks to carry out, each with varying timescales and deadlines, and isn’t convinced by their utility. At a fundamental level, she hasn’t the time to execute them all to a good standard.

She’s worried, frustrated and concerned that people will doubt her competence or work ethic. She takes work home, causing her evenings and weekends to become dominated by work she neither enjoys nor values.

Annette is far from alone. Her story is replicated in schools across the country, and nobody is immune. Senior leaders, middle leaders, frontline teachers and LSAs can all quickly become tangled in an ever-tightening net of work, with easy solutions hard to come by.
( Sharing )

Qamar Mahmood Bajwa

Ex.Senior Academic and Life learning leader Aitchison college lahore.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *