Due to changes in the way OFSTED
carry out Inspections, there has been a shift towards managerial
self-evaluation. Middle Managers are expected to evaluate the successes
and needs of their departments/faculties as well as their own performance.
As middle managers assume greater responsibility for teaching and learning
within their Department they are increasingly under scrutiny from
Inspection teams. This appears to be a new emphasis whereby middle
managers have potentially become the latest targets for Inspections.
Roles and Responsibilities of Middle Managers (a check list):
The most effective Middle
Are expected to share the
vision of the school and its leadership.
Set the level of quality
of teaching in a department/Faculty.
Keep their lessons and
Departments/Faculty focused on teaching and learning.
Build an environment
whereby good ideas are shared.
Encourage teachers to
observed good lessons
Identify weakness - for
development and discussion.
Give full and detailed
Sharing the Vision of the School and
Heads of Department must
implement the vision of the school. They must ensure that Departmental
staff have an understanding of the mission statement and aims of the
school. An effective Head of Department/Faculty should send a clear
message to all staff as to how the Department/Faculty aims to support the
Leadership of the school. This should be clearly laid down in the
Departmental Policy Document.
Set the Level of Quality of Teaching
The Head of
Department/Faculty must be an example of professionalism. He/she should
deliver quality lessons and be prepared to discuss achievement as well as
the need for improvement. This should focus on teaching and learning. The
Head of Department must be prepared to observe lessons regularly and allow
him/her to be observed by staff. The Head of department must encourage (if
not demand) that staff do not remain within their ‘comfort zone’ but
always strive to ensure lessons are interesting, stimulating and promote
Focus on Teaching and Learning
The Head of department
must ensure that departmental staff are actively involved in the
development and promotion of teaching and learning. The structure of a
Departmental meeting should contain ample evidence that teaching and
learning is high on the agenda. There should be plenty of reference to
teaching and learning on the minutes. For example;
Include a slot at each
meeting called ‘Teaching and Learning’. Encourage staff to talk about a
successful lesson they have delivered or a successful aspect of a lesson.
Discuss barriers to good teaching and learning. Arrange for informal or
formal observations. Encourage hard work and good practice at all times.
Include one specific aspect of teaching and learning on the agenda that
will be discussed in detail.
Head of Department Self-Evaluation Exercise
Do I constantly challenge poor and ineffective teaching? How?
Is ‘Teaching and Learning’ the focus of Departmental Meetings and
I understand what is a poor, satisfactory, good, very good or
excellent lesson? Give detail.
members of the Department/Faculty clear regarding the definition of a
poor, satisfactory, good, very good or excellent lesson? How do you know?
staff implement changes to their teaching based on feedback from the Head
of Department and other staff. How do you know?
a Head of Department/Faculty I am happy to receive feedback (positive or
negative) on lessons Departmental staff have observed?
within the Department understand that teaching and especially pupil
learning is the number one priority. Give detail to your answer.
I am prepared to critically exam a colleagues lesson and give
honest and direct feedback.
I have helped the Department/Faculty build a system for the sharing
of good practice and ideas. Give examples.
Lesson Observation – Guidance to Heads of Department
Focus on the quality of pupil learning rather than the extent of
the observation by using notes and then produce a full and detailed
document immediately after the lesson.
to identify any link between quality of teaching, learning and behaviour.
It may be that poor pupil behaviour is aggravated by poor presentation,
inadequate lesson content or poor organisation. Conversely, there may be a
link between good teaching, behaviour and good organisation.
not follow a check list, let the observation flow with the progress of the
lesson. Do not spend the lesson making notes rather than observing what is
not consider the way you would have taught the lesson but rather the way
the existing lesson could be improved. Unless the lesson is a complete
disaster (this is an unlikely scenario).
consider: What have the pupils learned? and what evidence of learning in
the lesson has been found?
Lesson Observation – Feedback
is essential that feedback take place within twenty-four hours of the
lesson observation. If not the direct link between lesson and feedback
The feedback should take place in a quite uninterrupted room.
should be clear and direct.
the teacher to talk about his/her feelings relating to the lesson.
teaching and learning techniques. Never comment on personality or the
on the structure of the lesson. Give details of the amount of time spent
on aspects of the lesson such as, the introduction, demonstrations,
not ignore problems you have observed. Discuss them.
strategies relating to improving the lesson.