This course will enable new, aspiring and experienced Heads of Department to develop skills and techniques to lead their department to be the best it can be, to develop strategies to engage and motivate department teams to become focused and effective practitioners, to build confidence in dealing effectively with difficult and challenging colleagues and parents; and to ensure teaching, learning and progress are at their very best.


By the end of this course, delegates will have:

  • Increased their understanding of the most current national and international thinking on effective subject leadership and inspection expectations
  • Been provided with practical, effective strategies to improve standards of teaching, learning and examination achievement across their departments
  • Increased their understanding the new GCSE and A’ level specifications and how to ensure you make the right choices for their students
  • Gained further understanding, practical strategies, guidance, techniques, on how to lead their subject department towards ‘outstanding’
  • Developed enhanced ways of ensuring senior leadership support in their departmental leadership
  • Enhance their ability to lead and manage staff to improve outcomes
COURSE DATE In-school only
  • Heads of Department
  • Senior Leaders in Charge of Subject Head
  • Line managers
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • 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
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues



Session 1: Setting the Context

This session will explore the leadership and management of a subject department in the current educational climate. We will explore current national and international thinking on what makes outstanding subject leadership in schools; and we will draw on a range of evidence in order to distil out the key issues and begin to look at solutions and strategies that take us on the journey to outstanding. We will consider:

  • What does national and international thinking say about outstanding subject leadership?
  • Departmental self-evaluation – Where is your department now, how do you know; and strategies for improvement
  • Ofsted and ISI – What should we aim for, for a successful inspection?

Session 2: A Tool-Kit to master Challenges of Head of Department

  • What makes an outstanding Head of Department?
  • Developing high performance teams – Establishing your department vision and ethos of strong teaching and learning and achievement and how to communicate this vision
  • Coaching staff and students who need support – Difficult conversations and how to tackle them effectively for positive outcomes
  • Working with senior leaders, supporting your SLE team

Session 3: Leading teaching and learning: Developing consistently high level of learning and progress for all abilities

  • What does outstanding T&L look like and how can you support your staff to move in that direction?
  • Evidence-based improvement strategies – engaging with data, lesson observations and ensuring accurate teacher assessment
  • Monitoring and intervention for outstanding learner progress – ensuring progress is visible
  • Motivating and improving attitudes to learning – Choosing the right specification – Strategies to keep examination results high at GCSE and A’ level

Session 4: Techniques to Excel as a Department Leader

  • 5 golden rules for outstanding subject leadership
  • Becoming outstanding – tools to accelerate progress
  • Proven techniques to deal with difficult colleagues, parents and students
  • Motivating your staff to deliver outstanding teaching, tackle complacency and celebrate success

Steve Burnage

Steve’s career spans over 25 years teaching and senior leadership experience in inner city, urban and rural schools. Now a well-respected trainer, consultant and author who is frequently rated ‘outstanding’ by his clients, Steve makes regular contributions to education magazines and newspapers and his ‘BiteSized Training’ is now a regular CPD feature in SecEd magazine. Steve brings a wealth of whole school, faculty and department leadership and development expertise and relevant professional experience to this course.