Close this search box.


Aiming for Excellence; leading an outstanding Sociology department

Course Code:


This course will consider what excellence in a Sociology department looks like, and the role of the Head of Sociology in helping to achieve and maintain such excellence. It will examine strategies for successful recruitment of students, for optimising teaching and learning, and for establishing and maintaining a position for Sociology within a school. It will conclude with an overview of what the working year of a Head of Sociology involves, and of the opportunities and challenges the job presents at various stages in its life cycle. It will offer constructive, pragmatic advice derived from Led by a Current Assistant Headteacher, former Head of Faculty for Social Science, Specialist Leader of Education and a Teaching and Research Psychologist, the course will provide detailed and accurate methods for making your department meet the latest Ofsted Inspection requirements. The day will incorporate lively discussion and question-and-answer sessions. Delegates will leave equipped with effective practical strategies and ideas. This course is designed for current Heads of Sociology and for anyone interested in holding such a position or in contributing to the management of a Sociology department.


  • Insight to what makes a Sociology department excellent, and the role of the Head of Sociology in achieving excellence
  • Exploring a range of strategies for improving and maintaining high quality recruitment of students
  • Obtain strategies, specific to Sociology, to lead and inspire outstanding and rich teaching and learning
  • Examined the yearly workload of a Head of Sociology and the life cycle of the job
  • Reflect on strategies for dealing with the challenges and making the most of the opportunities presented by a Head of Sociology position


What is an outstanding Sociology department?

10.00 – 11.00am
  • Reviewing the qualities and skills of an outstanding Head of Sociology
  • Why vision comes before strategy and producing an excellent vision
  • Evaluating your department and acting upon this effectively
  • Developing ways of approaching the key challenges faced by Heads of Sociology


Morning Break

11.00 – 11.10am

Selective Student Recruitment

11.10 – 12.00pm
  • Selecting appropriate pathways for learners: recognising exceptional circumstances and balancing the needs of the student and school/college
  • Stretch and challenge without intimidation
  • Developing the department as a physical space
  • Beyond the classroom and the curriculum: educational visits and trips

Leading Outstanding Teaching & Learning in Sociology

12.00 – 1.00pm
  • Implementing effective strategies to ensure a consistent and effective experience for all learners
  • How a Head of Sociology can model outstanding teaching and learning
  • Developing a vibrant curricula and schemes of work
  • Using a range of monitoring tools to track performance, recognise underachievement and motivate learners in order that they meet the needs of the curriculum
  • Understanding when to be restrictive and when to allow creative autonomy



1.00 – 2.00pm

Excellent Departmental Evaluation

2.00 – 3.00pm
  • Identifying gaps in your department and creating strategies to fill these
  • Driving up improvements to enhance performance; what are the most effective techniques?
  • Achieving high expectations and sustained excellence together with powerful support to ensure the correct principles are in place to move to Outstanding
  • Strategies for maintaining the highest quality of teaching and student performance over time: analysing what is now expected of Sociology students and teachers
  • Setting Appropriate Levels of Challenge in Your Sociology Department – stretching and developing all students
  • Resource and budget management to create the conditions for Outstanding performance and updating your curriculum


Afternoon Break

3.00 – 3.10pm

How it works: the Head of Sociology

3.10 – 3.45pm
  • Planning ahead and finding time to do so; Managing your time and workload
  • Department Evaluation – driving up improvements to enhance performance
  • Maintaining freshness and enthusiasm: professional and intellectual development
  • Working with the SLT; the confidence to champion and compromise
  • Preparing for Inspections
  • Peaks, troughs and the long run: responding to success and failure





London | Friday 22 March 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Friday 22 March 2024

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Emma Shakespeare is Assistant Principal for Teaching & Learning at Thomas Rotherham College. She is an SLE and a Chartered Teaching and Research Psychologist. She has presented for the Association of Teaching Psychology and the National Science Learning Centre and presents for Keynote on a range of senior leadership roles. She combines her wealth of experience or both teaching and leadership with cutting edge research to deliver high quality training for educators.


  • Heads of Sociology
  • Heads of Social Science
  • Aspiring/Newly appointed Heads of Sociology
  • Teachers with responsibility for Sociology


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

Enquiry Form

Please complete the form below and we’ll get back to you shortly