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Leading an Outstanding Art & Design Department

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These are exciting and challenging times to lead in Art & Design. This refreshed course will consider what excellence in an Art & Design department looks like, and the role of the Head of Art & Design in helping to achieve and maintain such excellence. It will examine strategies for successful recruitment of students, for optimising teaching and learning, for managing teachers experienced and inexperienced, and for establishing and maintaining a position for Art & Design within a school. It will conclude with an overview of what the working year of a Head of Art & Design 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 experience, and will aim to 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 Art & Design and for anyone interested in holding such a position or in contributing to the management of an Art & Design department.


  • Considered what makes an Art & Design department excellent, and the role of the Head of Art & Design in achieving excellence
  • Looked at a range of strategies for improving and maintaining recruitment of students
  • Looked at ways in which a Head of Art & Design can develop and improve teaching and learning within the department
  • Enhanced their ability to lead, support and nurture teachers in the department
  • Examined the yearly workload of a Head of Art & Design and the life cycle of the job
  • Reflected on strategies for dealing with the challenges and making the most of the opportunities presented by a Head of Art & Design position


What is a successful Art & Design department?

10.00 – 10.30am
  • The position of Art & Design within a school: variables, challenges and opportunities
  • The quality of teaching and learning
  • Managing staff towards happiness and fulfilment
  • Expectations and outcomes: senior leadership, the intellectual environment, public exams and progression to higher education

Student recruitment

10.30 – 11.30am
  • Key Stage 3: curricula to attract and retain students
  • Stretch and challenge without intimidation
  • Developing the department as a physical space
  • Beyond the classroom and the curriculum: educational visits and trips
  • Promotion and advertisement using traditional and new media
  • Art & Design in a digital world


Morning Break

11.30 – 11.45am

Leading outstanding Teaching and Learning in Art & Design

11.15 – 1.00pm
  • Implementing effective strategies to ensure a consistent and effective experience for all learners
  • How a Head of Art & Design can model outstanding teaching and learning
  • Developing curricula and schemes of work
  • Making effective use of assessment and assessment data
  • Understanding when to be restrictive and when to allow creative autonomy
  • Using a range of monitoring tools to track performance, recognise underachievement and motivate learners in order that they meet the needs of the new curriculum
  • Selecting appropriate pathways for learners: recognising exceptional circumstances and balancing the needs of the student and school/college
  • Outstanding homework that develops outstanding students
  • Ofsted approved practices – department strategies and approaches to stretch & challenge highly able students



1.00 – 2.00pm

Staff Development: How to support and develop your staff

2.00 – 2.45pm
  • Strategies for managing your staff, from experienced to inexperienced teachers and NQTs
  • Making observation and appraisal processes as effective as possible
  • Involving others in decision-making, planning and delivery
  • Making the most of departmental meetings
  • How to introduce change: reducing resistance and addressing concerns
  • Developing curriculum expertise in your department
  • Matching your curriculum and your staff and to your team
  • Strategies for maintaining the highest quality of teaching and student performances over time
  • Making the right appointments and coaching for successful performance
  • Professional development: what type, how and who?
  • Implementing and managing departmental systems and paperwork
  • Resources (and budgets): alternative sources of funding and developing resources in-house


Afternoon tea

2.45 – 2.50pm

How it works: the Head of Art & Design

2.50 – 3.40pm
  • Managing one’s time and workload: variables and the work-life balance
  • The pros and cons of delegation
  • Planning ahead and finding time to do so
  • Preparing for Inspections
  • Department evaluation – driving up improvements to enhance performance
  • Maintaining freshness and enthusiasm: professional and intellectual development
  • Peaks, troughs and the long run: responding to success and failure
  • Working with the SLT; the confidence to champion and compromise





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.


Dr Helen Jones was a Director of Teaching and Learning in Art with 12 years teaching experience. She now lectures at the University of Chester working with Art PGCE Students, and leading national CPD in the visual Arts. She has been an AQA A level and GCSE Art & Design moderator for the past 5 years.

Helen completed an MA in Art Education and then completed a Doctorate in the subject. She has been assessed as an outstanding teacher by OfSTED, achieved record residuals at both GCSE and A level and delivered at a number of Art Education conferences. She has taught art primarily in Secondary schools in the UK, but also in Finland, Italy and Spain.


  • Heads of Art & Design Departments
  • Aspiring Heads of Art & Design Departments
  • Heads of Art & Design Faculties
  • Senior Leaders responsible for Art & Design


  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full 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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