New research shows that the thing that distinguishes really effective school leaders from their peers is how well they create conditions for the success of their colleagues. This principle forms the basis of six new qualifications available to school teachers and leaders from Autumn 2021.
Summarising findings from studies from thousands of schools across the world, our recent TDT working paper A Culture of Improvement found that there are five aspects of teachers’ working conditions that appear most closely associated with increased student attainment:
- Creating opportunities for effective teacher collaboration to explore student data, plan and review lessons and curricula, and plan and moderate assessments,
- Involving teachers in whole school planning, decision-making and improvement,
- Creating a culture of mutual trust, respect, enthusiasm in which communication is open and honest,
- Building a sense of shared mission, with shared goals, clear priorities and high expectations of professional behaviours and students’ learning, and
- Facilitating classroom safety and behaviour, where disruption and bullying are very rare and teachers feel strongly supported by senior leaders in their efforts to maintain this classroom environment.
Improving a school is fundamentally about developing the knowledge and expertise of its people. This is the principle that the Teacher Development Trust puts at the heart of our work to develop school leaders.
This evidence adds to a long line of expert advice that has focused on the idea that learning to be a great leader is not just about knowing what to do, it’s about having the skills and knowledge to bring people with you on the journey. A great many brilliant authors have explored these themes in books, whether it be Kat Howard and Claire Hill exploring the key role of senior and middle leadership of curriculum in Symbiosis, John Tomsett and Jonny Uttley exploring leadership of schools in Putting Staff First or Zoe and Mark Enser exploring how to create the conditions for success in The CPD Curriculum. And the campaign has gone wider; the NAHT recently published the results of their commission on school improvement, picking up the same key themes as a blueprint to reform the system.
Growing a culture that values the continuous development of its people ensures schools provide great teaching and learning for all.
So it was with huge excitement that we built on this core wisdom when launching our new suite of qualifications; collaborating with these amazing authors, Kat, John, Jonny, Zoe, the NAHT and many other incredible colleagues at the heart of our writing team. We’re also proud to be working with some amazing schools and Trusts including Greenshaw Learning Trust, River Learning Trust and TEAL.
The new Teacher Development Trust suite of National Professional Qualifications is aiming to do something different – not “just another” set of courses but a new and highly innovative set of flexible, blended-learning qualifications for you and your staff, rooted in the art, the craft and the science of School Improvement through People Development.
Three Specialist NPQs which replace the old, generic NPQ in Middle Leadership
- Leading Teaching (12 months) – For those who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibility to lead teaching in a subject, year-group, key stage or phase ← Fully funded for staff employed in one of the 30% of schools in England with the highest levels of pupils on Pupil Premium*
- Leading Teacher Development (12 months) – For those who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of early career and/or other teachers in their school ← Fully funded for any staff working in state-funded schools in England*
- Leading Behaviour & Culture (12 months) – For those who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibility to lead pupil behaviour and culture and support others in these areas ← Fully funded for staff employed in one of the 30% of schools in England with the highest levels of pupils on Pupil Premium*
Three fully reformed Leadership NPQs that put the focus on practical knowledge and skills
- Senior Leadership (18 months) – For those are, or are aspiring to be a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities ← Fully funded for staff employed in one of the 30% of schools in England with the highest levels of pupils on Pupil Premium*
- Headship (18 months) – For those who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school ← Fully funded for new headteachers who are in the first 24 months of headship in a state-funded school in England; Fully funded for staff employed in one of the 30% of schools in England with the highest levels of pupils on Pupil Premium*
- Executive Leadership (18 months) – For those who are, or are aspiring to be, an executive leader or chief executive. This course includes a weekend residential. ← Fully funded for staff employed in one of the 30% of schools in England with the highest levels of pupils on Pupil Premium*
This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for career progression, right across the system and we’re enormously excited to start delivering these qualifications that will start in November 2021.
If you’d like to find out more about the new suite of qualifications, go to https://TDTrust.org/npqs to download materials, express interest and take the next step in your career journey.