The Duston School recognises that its middle leaders are the engine room of the school. The Directors of Learning, Heads of Year and other teachers with teaching and learning responsibilities are the essential drivers of change and lead on the continuous sharing of good practice and the formulation and implementation of new policies to ensure that all students get the best possible learning experience.
As a result of this, the Senior Leadership Team invest significant amounts of time and finance in opportunities for middle leaders to develop their capacity and skillsets, as well as have an active role in developing the quality of learning and teaching at a whole school level.
· TLR Breakfasts: These weekly breakfasts are devoted to whole school projects being undertaken by the Senior Leadership Team and middle leaders. These breakfasts have led to the creation of new marking scrutinies, a new philosophy for planning schemes of learning and are currently redesigning homework.
· Accredited courses: Nine middle leaders from across the school, in a variety of leadership positions, are currently undertaking the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) in conjunction with six teachers from our sister school, Sir Herbert Leon Academy in Milton Keynes. These are run by Teaching Leaders and span the course of the academic year. Each session focuses on a different aspect of leadership and allows participants to hone their skills in order to lead their respective teams as effectively as possible to have a positive impact on student learning, their outcomes and their engagement with school.
· Internal courses: In addition to providing accredited courses we also have a personalised internal middle leader course for our new and emergent middle leaders. The course is part of our developing Leadership Academy suite of internal programmes. The course has been written and is delivered by members of The Duston Teaching School Alliance with successful backgrounds in both Middle and Senior Leadership.
· Internal opportunities: Middle Leaders have ongoing professional development through their day to day leadership of their teams. Middle leaders are often responsible for holding whole school briefings to share good practice, coaching and development provided by the Senior Leadership Team and taking responsibility for whole school events.