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Aspiring to Lead an English Department

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These are exciting and challenging times to lead in English, it is equally the most demanding and most rewarding subject to teach, and teachers benefit from many developments and resources for teaching on social media. However, English can be a more difficult subject to lead than others within a secondary school with a complex curriculum offer, shortages of qualified subject specialists, large teams and some non-teaching staff to lead. In this current educational climate, it has never been more important to develop and encourage those who are aspiring to take on the mantle of leadership; particularly in English. Aimed at those that aspire to a leadership role within English, this practical and forward-looking course is aimed at those ambitious teachers looking to progress take the next steps in their career progression, and those who already occupy a 3ic or 2ic role looking to further their journey and take the next steps on their leadership journey. This valuable course will include ways to hone leadership skills and behaviours, exploring strategies to promote and signal your leadership potential.


  • What is it like moving from teacher to manager? Move from classroom-thinking to thinking for the whole school
  • Discover the traits of vibrant leadership and how to demonstrate excellence
  • Evaluate the difference between a department’s vision for change, and how this can be scaled up to whole school
  • Enhance your ability to lead, support and nurture teachers in the department
  • Plan to lead difficult conversations
  • Explore dynamic strategies that are effective in raising expectations
  • Examine the yearly workload of a Head of English 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 English position


Aiming for Excellence: What it means to be an excellent Head of English

10.00 – 10:40am
  • What does a Head of English do? The decision making, the key challenges, common mistakes, and owning your area
  • Communicating the vision, conveying the culture, maintaining high expectations and high reward
  • What are the main duties and responsibilities as a leader in English?
  • Identifying the challenges your department is facing
  • Balancing leadership tensions, running the team well, spotting the gaps in the life cycle of the role
  • Discovering the qualities that Ofsted find in highly effective Leaders of English – how do they demonstrate excellence?



10.40 – 11.00am

Taking on the Responsibilities of Senior Leadership

11.00 – 11.30am
  • Taking advantage of opportunities, taking on responsibilities and showing your potential
  • Getting noticed: initiating projects that add value to whole school literacy
  • Applying/transferring your departmental strategic perspective into whole school strategic thinking

Exploring the behaviours of an effective, inspiring and motivating leader

11.30 – 12.30pm
  • Exploring the different skills needed to be excellent as a teacher, effective as a manager and inspirational as a leader
  • Exploring the behaviours of successful leaders
  • Understanding your natural style of leadership
  • Exploring different styles of leadership and understanding when each style is effective and what the pitfalls might be



12.30 – 1.30pm

Effective Leadership in Teaching and Learning: High Expectations, High Challenge, High Reward

1.30 – 2.30pm
  • Strategies for establishing, maintaining and promoting high quality TLA in English
  • Supporting your team with innovative and engaging teaching pedagogy
  • The importance of delegating and utilising the strengths of your staff
  • Using data effectively for monitoring and feedback, to lead to outstanding student outcomes


Afternoon Tea

2.30 – 2.45pm

Dealing with challenging issues

2.45 – 3.15pm
  • Monitoring staff performance to ensure outstanding student outcomes across the department
  • Challenging underperformance, sustaining excellence and maintaining standards
  • How to best support staff professional development in line with departmental needs
  • Dealing with difficult conversations

Selling yourself: How to get the job

3.15 – 3.40pm
  • Alignment of values
  • Writing your application and letter
  • The interview day
  • What might be involved and asked: exploring your preparation





London | Tuesday 21 November 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Tuesday 21 November 2023

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.


Chris Jones has over fifteen years successful experience working at a variety of levels in the education sector. His key areas of expertise are teaching and learning, curriculum, and English. Chris is an accredited Walkthrus trainer and delivers teacher training and CPD on a wealth of topics. Chris is a senior associate with a leading exam board in English on multiple qualifications, from Functional Skills through to GCSE. Chris is passionate about improving the literacy skills of pupils.


  • Aspiring Heads of English
  • Those with leadership responsibility in an English department (2ic, 3ic)


  • 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

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