Results below the floor standard results in the Sponsor relieving Principal of his duties.
A full review of the curriculum followed, changing GCSE examination boards, removing discounted subjects and introduced short term core provision in Year 10 and 11. A restructured middle leadership rationalised the middle tier. Greater focus on student progress was encouraged by changing our “Head of Year” roles to “Progress Leaders.”
A new Principal, two new Vice Principals and an Assistant Principal were appointed. With defined roles, I solely focused on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. I shared with staff ‘The Wellington Academy Standard,’ constructed with curriculum leaders, this document clearly communicated raised expectations of planning, teaching and assessment.
I worked with a number of teachers to develop their practice. Some where developed their professional practice, some sought new opportunities. I also took on responsibility for redesigning our library, a project that resulted in a transformed library space, the introduction of Accelerated Reader, a range of kick-start and reading recovery programmed and regular author visits.
Following our inspection in January 2014, I ensured that the Ofsted areas for improvement became the focus of a comprehensive teacher-led Professional Development Program and integrated with Performance Review objectives. Evidence based (often data-informed) school improvement groups has improved classroom practice, distributed leadership opportunities and promoted cross-curricular conversation. Working with a teaching team, I introduced a range of leadership and coaching opportunities to develop leadership capacity. In little more than two years, I had developed a teaching, learning, assessment and coaching culture that was having a “positive impact with colleagues becoming more reflective about their own practice,” (Regional Commissioner Feedback 2014). Furthermore, our leadership capacity has both broadened and deepened, with staff retention significantly improved.
Curriculum Leaders now lead departmental professional development and/or school improvement groups. Progress Leaders now coordinate data-informed solution circles for focus students and/or academic mentoring plans for under-achieving students. Both sets of leaders routinely undertake quality assurance investigations and learning observations. Under my leadership, teaching quality is consistently “Good” and data has moved from being inaccessible and incomplete to “data is used to raise expectations of what students can achieve,” (Ofsted Monitoring Visit 2014).
I introduced a leading School Improvement software package, primarily focused on securing professional accountability but also assessing and coordinating self-evaluation and school improvement. School leaders are able to monitor and assess school improvement at all levels of the organisation and staff performance, at any given point in time. Middle leaders now modelling and integrate area self-evaluation and improvement plans with school documents, coordinating and focusing our investment and staff have access to their own personal development profiles with line manager feedback. In leading others, I am able to challenge “in-faculty variation and marginal performance” rigorously and constructively. In leading the school, I am confident in my ability to present a coherent and accurate account of the school’s performance in a form appropriate to the range of audiences, to enable them to play their part effectively.
After two and half years commuting, leaving before the children get up, returning just in time for bath-time, I decided that I would look to relocate nearer to home.