This practical course is designed to inspire and equip all English teachers who feel ready to step up to the management and leadership of an English department.

During the day, we will explore the skills and qualities needed to make an effective Head of English and explore the responsibilities, challenges and opportunities that come with post.

We will also work through how to choose the right next post for you, how to make an effective application, how to prepare to begin your role and what to expect in your first year.

We will also consider some issues around leadership style, some of the problems and pitfalls you may encounter, and how you maintain and develop your own resilience to protect yourself and thrive under pressure.


  • Explore the role of leading an English department
  • Gain an understanding of how to identify and apply for the role
  • Develop your own ideas around leadership
  • Explore some of the pitfalls and issues that may arise
  • Develop strategies to maintain your own well-being
  • Take away a plan of action in your steps to becoming a Head of English
  • English teachers who are looking to apply for a leadership post in the next 1-3 years
  • English teachers with a responsibility who are looking to step up to full subject leadership

London | Thursday 26 May 2022

IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

10.00 – 11.00am: Attributes of outstanding English departments and their leaders

  • In this session we shall consider what outstanding English departments look like: they are not all the same, but we shall draw out what are the core features. We shall look at what makes an outstanding English leader in a school and how you can be one – whoever you are, if you are willing to project the right values and encourage them in others (including your students).
  • What are the key qualities of an outstanding Head of English?
  • Reviewing your strategies, what do you do well? Where are the gaps?
  • Exploring some of the issues around taking on a leadership of English role
  • Opportunity to contribute and discuss your own ideas, share your challenges and – hopefully — learn from the experiences of other delegates, as well as from the extensive experience of the course leader.


11.00 – 11.20am Discussion: coffee break


11.20 – 12.00pm Achieving excellence in an English department

This session will build on the attributes of outstanding English departments and their leaders identified in the first session and consider a range of topics including:

  • Curriculum development to ensure progression
  • The importance of examination success
  • Leading Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Evaluation in English
  • The importance of examination success and effective strategies to make this happen
  • Assessing the standard of your department English teaching, your results


12.00 – 1.00pm: Leading Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Evaluation in English

  • The role of the HoD in planning and managing teaching and learning: possibilities and limitations
  • Resources (and budgets): buying resources in and developing resources in-house
  • Developing curricula and schemes of work
  • Opportunities for the HoD to model teaching and learning
  • Making effective use of assessment and assessment data
  • Managing teaching and learning in the Covid era




2.30 – 2.40pm: Managing others and being managed by others

  • Strategies for managing experienced teachers
  • Strategies for managing junior teachers
  • Managing trainees and NQTs
  • Encouraging ongoing professional development: formal and informal opportunities
  • Making observation and appraisal processes as effective as possible
  • Involving others in decision-making, planning and delivery
  • Making the most of departmental meetings
  • Line managers: the Head of English within a management structure
  • Dealing with senior leadership: compliance, challenge and picking one’s battles


2.40 – 2.45pm: Afternoon Tea


2.45 – 3.30pm: How it works: the Head of English

  • Managing one’s time and workload: variables and the work-life balance
  • The pros and cons of delegation
  • Planning and finding time to do so
  • Preparing for Inspections
  • Before and after: staying abreast of developments in primary and higher education
  • The life cycle of the HoD
  • The early years: taking over a department, and the watching brief
  • Maintaining freshness and enthusiasm: professional and intellectual development
  • Career progression
  • Peaks, troughs, and the long run: responding to success and failure


3.30 – 3.45pm: Discussion and action planning

  • Identifying the right role
  • Key learning points to take from the day
  • What are you going to do as a result of this course?


3.45 / 4.00pm: Depart

Owen Jermy

Owen Jermy is a highly experienced Head of English and English teacher have worked in 3 schools in different parts of the country and overcome some considerable barriers in all of these roles to lead very successful departments. He is also an experienced Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for teaching and learning and remains a team leader/senior examiner for GCSE English Literature. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered College for Teaching (FCCT).