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Ten ways to step up from teaching to leadership

Once you have been teaching for four or five years, you may feel that you have refined your trade sufficiently to take on more responsibility. If you feel a passion for your subject or year group, and you think you can get the best out of others, it may be time for you to step up into a leadership role.

The teaching profession boasts a strong ethos of career progression and, although budgets may be restricted, there are a great range of courses and development routes open to education professionals.

How to start

If you have not done so already, start taking more responsibility in school by shadowing a senior staff member, asking to attend leadership meetings for your own development and voluntarily giving your time to support department heads.

It’s worth drawing up your own career development plan as a starting document. Once you have a skeleton plan, work with your Head or faculty leader to flesh it out with the exact qualifications or experience they think would be most useful for you to work towards over the next two years.

Stepping up from teaching to a first leadership post

1. Draw up your own career development plan

2. Maintain a professional CPD portfolio

3. Stay abreast of academic developments via journals – reflect on these and your own learning

4. Join your subject association and attend the meetings

5. Join a union or association that offers CPD opportunities such as the ATL

6. Present all or part of an INSET

7. Widen your responsibilities e.g. exam marking or moderating

8. Become a staff governor for your school

9. Contact your local Authority for a list of leadership courses such as SSAT as part of your CPD

10. Update your profile on Eteach so schools with opportunities can find you

Qualifications to consider

– Relevant qualifications from the DfE course list

– Masters modules in coaching and mentoring, leadership or teaching and learning

– Masters in your specialism

– Institute qualifications for specific subjects – summer schools and evening/weekends

– SSAT Senior Subject Lead Practitioner

If you feel your current school does not offer the opportunities you need to grow, why not search for a new challenge?

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2 thoughts on “Ten ways to step up from teaching to leadership

  1. Why oh why should I leave the role I love teaching in a classroom to get involved in the politics associated with “leadership” ! Why oh why are people so quick to forget what Blunket said and by doing so clearly valued the “classroom teacher”. In 26 years of classroom teaching I have seen the “Good the Bad and the Ugly” of management and leaders. I do not personally aspire to leadership and am saddened that this is portrayed as the supposed “normal” career route. Still, each to their own.

  2. You don’t step to leadership.. you step to management…. leadership has nothing to do with your job title or assigned role ….

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