United Learning Teaching Schools Alliance’s Specialist Leader of Education programme was launched at the start of January 2014. It gives schools the opportunity to engage the support of United Learning colleagues who are outstanding practitioners in their area. The first twelve SLEs were designated in January 2014 and all have been deployed to support at other schools. An additional two SLEs were delegated in October and the next round of delegation is due to take place in May.
Here is an example of the kind of support being provided by our SLEs.
As an SLE I had the opportunity to work with Carter Community School and their Humanities department. Before the visit I received information about the school and the department, including their latest Ofsted report and department data. My first visit was primarily to identify the type of support that the department required. This was achieved through productive meetings with members of the department, conducting learning walks of lessons and looking at resources that were already available. The support required me to visit the school again; this time it was a chance to sit with some members of the department and plan schemes of work. The aim was to enable the new team to do this in the future successfully across the whole curriculum area. This was a great opportunity to develop colleagues in another school, but also to share ideas about teaching and learning that I could take back to my own school. It was a really positive experience working with other United Learning colleagues and a brilliant way of establishing links with another United Learning school for further development of teaching and learning.
Louise Jones, Specialist Leader of Education; Humanities. Kettering Buccleuch Academy
The Humanities department and I at Carter Community School were given the opportunity of having Louise Jones for three visits over the course of the academic year last June. The only History specialist in this curriculum area had recently left and the team were looking for ways to establish consistency across departments. Louise was given the background information about the department before she arrived via e-mail and phone conversations. During her first visits, Louise carried out learning walks in the morning and assisted us in a review teaching, identifying current strengths and areas for improvement, giving us a clear vision to take forward for the rest of the term. On her second visit I was able to secure the newly appointed History teacher for one day to work with Louise and to map our curriculum across KS3. This was an invaluable task as I had non-specialist teaching in both History and Geography for the rest of the year. A year 9 History scheme of work was produced and amendments were made to the current curriculum plan. This proved a very successful scheme of work for our pupils and this is something we are going to use every year. The History department is currently in the best shape it has ever been and, with the help of Louise Jones, we are able to see rapid and sustained progress through engaging content, accurate and creative assessment and well planned lessons.
Greg Etheridge, Head of Creative and Performing Arts, Year 7 co-ordinator, Carter Community School
As a relatively new member of United Learning we have been so impressed with the level of support from the SLEs. Louise Jones had a major impact assisting an inexperienced humanities team. Her joint planning with our NQTs and the support she gave our non-specialists was second to none. I know it put the team at ease and they felt well prepared to start a new year.
Sam Davidson, Acting Principal, Carter Community School
‘The SLE programme is an excellent way to provide support to schools where and when it is needed in a non-threatening way. It is also a great way to develop strong practitioners in their roles across schools – enabling them to take the step up to senior leadership more readily’.
Jan Shadick, Principal, Lambeth Academy / Strategic SLE lead for United Learning Teaching Schools Alliance
The SLE programme has proven to be very popular very quickly. Not only are schools speaking highly of the support being provided, the SLEs have spoken very enthusiastically about the opportunities this provides them to support and learn from others.
Brian Doyle , English Specialist Advisor (South) , Head of SLE Deployment and Development