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Leading an Outstanding English department

Course Code:


These are exciting and challenging times to lead in an English department. This course considers what excellence in an English department looks like, and the role a Head of English has in helping to achieve and maintain such excellence. It examines strategies for optimising teaching and learning, and for maintaining the high profile position of English within a school. It will conclude with an overview of what the working year of a Head of English 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 Q&A sessions. Delegates will leave equipped with effective practical strategies and ideas. This course is designed for current Heads of English and for anyone interested in holding such a position, or in contributing to the management of an English department.


  • Consider what makes an English department excellent, and the role of the Head of English in achieving excellence
  • Look at ways in which a Head of English can develop and improve teaching and learning within the department
  • Enhance your ability to lead, support and nurture teachers in the department
  • 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
  • Meaningful conversations about your curriculum: Intent, Implementation and Impact
  • Take away strategies, specific to English, to lead and inspire outstanding teaching and learning


What Is A Successful English Department?

10.00 – 10.40am
  • Establishing and maintaining the quality of teaching and learning
  • Setting the standards of English throughout the school, from Year 7 upwards
  • Setting the standard of Literacy within the school; created a culture where all departments demonstrated commitment to reading
  • Successful leadership through communicating the vision, conveying the culture, and maintaining high expectations around literacy



10.40 – 11.00am

Leading Outstanding Teaching & Learning In English

11.00 – 12.15pm
  • The role of the HoD in planning and managing T&L: possibilities and limitations
  • Implementing effective strategies to ensure a consistent and effective experience for all learners
  • Opportunities for a Head of English to model outstanding teaching and learning
  • 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 a developing curriculum



12.15 – 1.15pm

Leading Your Team As A Successful Head Of English

1.15 – 2.15pm
  • Modelling excellent teaching and learning, via excellent pedagogy
  • Can all of members of your team stretch and challenge pupils to achieve grades 8 and 9?
  • Reviewing the qualities and vision of an outstanding Head of English
  • Strategies to get your team pulling in the same direction
  • Evaluating your department and acting upon this effectively
  • Managing whole-school literacy


Afternoon Tea

2.15 – 2.30pm

How It Works: The Head Of English

2.30 – 3.30pm
  • 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 | Friday 08 December 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Friday 08 December 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.


Patrick Collins is Deputy Headteacher for Teaching & Learning at Forest Gate Community School in London. He has been part of the development of Forest Gate Community School into one of the highest performing schools in the country. Patrick has worked with the English department on its journey to becoming the TES ‘Best English department in England’ in 2020. He is a teacher of English Language and Literature, as well as a qualified SENDCo, and has worked within the CST as a Regional Director for Vulnerable Students. He has responsibility for the whole school CPD programme within FGCS, delivering high-impact, research driven developmental training to all teaching staff.


  • Heads of English
  • Aspiring/Newly appointed Heads of English


  • 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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