There is much change happening for subject Heads of Departments and Faculties with the new directives, not only in terms of the increased responsibility of the role, and therefore increased contributions to implementing school principles, policies and new directions, but also in the directives coming in from the new inspection framework, in particular, curriculum change.

There is a need for new events for Heads of Department, and Senior Leaders working with them, which address the complexities, challenges, skills and approaches of leadership of high performing departments in the current radically changing climate where new directives are constantly being put forward, directives which have a direct impact on leadership roles.

This event fills the gap in focusing on both on the changes that need to be made  with the new directions, in evaluating and making changes to their department curricula, in stronger scrutiny on ‘How well is their subject being taught’, and adapting data processes. Attendees will also be able to explore and access new leadership skills, approaches and techniques in line with the increased responsibilities of the role.

Join us for this conference:  Aspiring to Excellence – Leading a High Performing Department, where our expert speakers and practitioners will offer insights into the most important issues, the challenges and approaches of leading high performing departments, and to make those essential changes to drive good departments to outstanding.

The event will take a practical approach, offering attendees effective strategies, techniques, and approaches to lead their departments forward. The event will first address the latest changes that will directly affect Heads of Departments, before exploring department curriculum design and delivery, developing your staff, ethical leadership of your department, setting appropriate levels of challenge for students in your department and leading your department to overall excellence.


  • Gain a deep and full understanding of the latest new directions and how they will impact on your leadership role
  • Ensure you have sufficient curriculum expertise to evaluate your curriculum and make changes in line with the new inspection framework
  • Find out more about how to adapt you data processes to the new framework
  • Learn new strategies and approaches on how to coach, develop, motivate and hold your staff to account
  • Find out more about how to successfully setting high level student expectations and achieve them
  • Gain new ideas and techniques for inspirational leaders which leads to high department performance levels
DATE London | Monday 21 June 2021
  • Senior Leaders
  • Head of Faculties
  • Heads of Departments
  • Teachers
  • Heads of Year
  • Heads of Pastoral Teams
  • Higher Education ITT
  • ITT tutors
  • Alliances and MATS senior leader teams
  • 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


10.00 – 10.15am
Welcome & Introduction: Leading Change, Driving Improvement

  • The increased responsibility for middle leaders in implementing whole school change and new directions in their department –new strategies coming in from SLTs
  • Subject leaders at all levels have clear roles and responsibilities to carry out their role in curriculum design and delivery
  • Curriculum leadership expertise – subject leaders have the knowledge expertise and practical skill to design and implement a curriculum that suits the needs of students studying subjects of their department, and to make sure that all students progress in knowledge and successfully ‘learn the curriculum’
  • Other latest changes which could include early intervention processes to ensure school inclusion targets, values-driven leadership/dealing with behavioural practices as a department
  • Expectations of performance, grade results, including ensuring a successful transition to KS5

Simon Goodall, Learning consultant and former Assistant Headteacher at Denbigh School, Milton Keynes

10.15 – 11.05am
Department Curriculum Design and Delivery: How Appropriate is Your Department Curriculum for your Students?

  • How to accurately evaluate your current curriculum, the implications for changes that may be required from new Ofsted framework (intent, implementation, impact)
  • Ensuring you have sufficient curriculum expertise to make necessary changes
  • Designing topics around the subject knowledge that needs to be learned to allow good coverage and with a clear progression model
  • What are your progress rates like from KS2, through to KS3 – KS5 – needs to look at new angles nurturing knowledge, expertise, developing your team in the new thinking, new knowledge, new ways of teaching it to make for high quality of education in your department

Anne King, Assistant Headteacher & Head of Sixth Form, Moor Park School & Sixth Form, Preston

11.05 – 11.20am

11.20 – 12.00pm
Workshop Strand 1

1A: How Well is Your Curriculum Being Taught?

  • What is the standard of learning like in your department? How good is the teaching? Developing teaching techniques & skills amongst your teachers to enhance questioning, dialogue, thinking skills
  • How are you instilling high quality levels of teaching approaches and techniques to develop different learning  strategies for vulnerable, students, able students, students in danger of  slipping
  • Revision and exam strategies

Emma Shakespeare
Assistant Headteacher in charge of School Improvement, McAuley Catholic High School

1B: Effective Techniques to Develop Your Staff

  • Driving up improvements to enhance performance; what are the most effective techniques?
  • Strategies, techniques, methods – TOOLKIT – learning walks, recording, sharing approaches (internal CPD) feedback, recording, monitoring marking and techniques to improve

Anne King, Assistant Headteacher & Head of Sixth Form, Moor Park School & Sixth Form, Preston

1C Adapting Your Data Processes to the New Framework

  • The systems are now moving away from assessment and data – need to be looking at ways to adapt your current approaches and usage of data to the new framework in which data is less of significance, which is now being placed on knowledge and how well the curriculum is being taught.
  • Using the data effectively
  • How are you going to ensure progress is made at the right pace, suitable for all abilities of pupils.

Steve Burnage, Educational specialist

12.00 – 12.40pm
Workshop Strand 2

2A: Ethical Leadership of Your Department

  • Evaluating the qualities and actions of an outstanding head of department
  • Evaluating your Department; what do you do well, what are the gaps?
  • What is changing in the new OFSTED framework regarding leading your department and how will this impact on you?
  • Ethical leadership of your department – connecting vision, values, culture
  • Improve key skills by building rapport in your team, listening, questioning, allowing flow of ideas and approaches between your staff

James Wildig, Assistant Principal, Cardinal Newman College, Preston

2B: Coaching Skills and Techniques

  • Implementing coaching techniques as a HOD – when and how to use best; different between coaching and mentoring – giving good feedback
  • Motivating colleagues for CHANGE – to implement CHANGE and to get the mind set for change to happen

Anne King, Assistant Headteacher & Head of Sixth Form, Moor Park School & Sixth Form, Preston

2C: Developing Culture of High Department Success and High Performance

  • Achieving high expectations and sustained excellence together with powerful support to ensure the correct principles are in place to move to Outstanding

Simon Goodall, Learning consultant and former Assistant Headteacher at Denbigh School, Milton Keynes

12.40 – 1.40pm

1.40 – 2.20pm
Workshop strand 3

3A: Setting Appropriate Levels of Challenge For Students in Your Department

  • Setting appropriate levels of challenge for students, including highly able students, so they can develop and progress their knowledge of topics and tasks
  • Ensuring your staff set and monitor to correct standards – linearity
  • Self-regulation: helping students develop mastery in their learning of your subject
  • Deploying strategies that work with vulnerable students to remain engaged and by academically successful
  • Ensuring effective exam revision, exam technique, and positivity during exam build-up

Fran Eardley, Assistant Head: Academic and Creative Studies, Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group

3B: Connecting Lines: Leaders to Leaders
  • Developing your relationship with the SLT team in new directions including curriculum
  • Meeting the challenges of the increased significance of role, and your contribution to school ethos, culture, vision and implementing new directions
  • Your contribution to inspections – a key players in the overall leadership of the school
  • Moving Up to Senior Leadership – practical advice and approaches to taking the opportunities, positioning yourself to move up to the next level

Emma Shakespeare, Assistant Headteacher in charge of School Improvement, McAuley Catholic High School

3B: Leading Challenging Conversations and Situations

  • Developing communication and response skills that help us turn difficult conversations into positive outcomes
  • Examples of useful language that calms, deflects and starts to resolve difficult situations
  • Practical techniques to maximise outcomes so that both parties end in a ‘win/win’ situation
  • How to say ‘no’ and mean it in an assertive way without resorting to negative aggression
  • Practical strategies for working positively with ‘coasting’ staff, over-confident staff and those against change. 

Steve Burnage, Educational Specialist

2.20 – 2.30pm

2.30 – 3.20pm
Inspirational Leadership

  • Inspirational leadership which leads to high performance levels
  • Attaining top grade results in your Department
  • What is inspirational leadership?

Anne KingAssistant Headteacher & Head of Sixth Form, Moor Park School & Sixth Form, Preston

Anne King
Assistant Headteacher & Head of Sixth Form, Moor Park School & Sixth Form, Preston

Anne King has worked in a variety of sixth forms ranging from inner-city (initially low performing) sixth forms to some of the top performing sixth forms in the country.  Throughout her career Anne has been constantly been assessed as an “Outstanding” practitioner in every inspection.  In January 2014 Anne commenced the role has Head of Sixth Form at Moor Park High School a recently established sixth form (of 3 months) from a blank canvas developing both the Curriculum and Pastoral programmes to ensure that students developed to be rounded young adults.

By 2018 student numbers had grown consistently every year, and with educational research to underpin her methodology the quality of education had developed to meet the need of the students.  Moor Park Sixth Form was the top performing school sixth form for value added in 2017 with an outstanding ALPS grade.  In April 2018 an OFSTED inspection was conducted and the sixth form achieved OUTSTANDING in all areas. Anne was referred to as a “Powerhouse“ with “high expectations for all”. Comments from the inspection stated “Teaching in the sixth form is excellent”. “Leaders accurately say that the curriculum reflected their vision of an inclusive sixth form”. “Leaders ensure that the students’ curriculum is a rich experience” and “Careers guidance is a strength of the sixth form”.

James Wildig
Assistant Principal, Cardinal Newman College, Preston

James Wildig is Assistant Principal for Students at Cardinal Newman Sixth Form College in Preston.  Over the last decade he has developed an outstanding pastoral system which embodies the Catholic ethos of care and support, whilst using careful analysis of data and use of Cedar monitoring systems to ensure high achievement in all learners. James has worked closely with the Cedar development team to advise on pastoral and curriculum monitoring tools to allow a user friendly platform.  He continues to visit Sixth Forms across the UK, in a consultancy role, to explain how to use Cedar monitoring systems effectively to fully support outstanding outcomes for learners.

Steve Burnage

Steve’s career spans over 30 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 devotes much of his professional time to coaching and developing senior and middle leaders in schools throughout the UK and internationally. His experience of some of the challenges of school leadership enable him to offer first hand, practical experience in how to handle difficult conversations and support the wellbeing and mental health of staff and students alike. 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 expertise and relevant professional experience of resolving difficult and challenging conversations to this course.

Emma Shakespeare
Assistant Headteacher in charge of School Improvement
McAuley Catholic High School

Emma has been teaching and achieving consistently Sig+ outcomes in Psychology at both GCSE and A Level for over 10 years. She is currently Assistant Headteacher in charge of School Improvement at The McAuley Catholic High School. A BPS Chartered teaching and Research Psychologist and Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) for a Teaching School Alliance, Emma delivers CPD in her own school, local authority and has previously delivered on behalf of the ATP and NSLC. She is an enthusiastic presenter who loves developing new resources and has previous experience as an examiner for AQA.

Fran Eardley
Assistant Head: Academic and Creative Studies
Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group

A dedicated, diligent and ambitious teacher and manager in the FE sector, experienced in teaching GCSE and A Level Chemistry, leading teams and driving improvement. I have a proven track record of results for classes I have taught and improvement in departments I have managed. I am motivated, organised and through various roles and achievements, have proven to be excellent at time management and working well under pressure. I enjoy taking on new challenges and working to improve education for all.

Simon Goodall
Learning consultant and former Assistant Headteacher at Denbigh School, Milton Keynotes

Simon is currently a teacher of Science in Liverpool, having relocated to the North West for family reasons. Previously, Simon was Assistant Headteacher at Denbigh School, Milton Keynes (2014-2018) and Wrenn School, Wellingborough (2013-14). Prior to this Simon was Head of Faculty (2011-13, Performance and Head of Physical Education (2007-2011). Simon is a keen advocate of educational technology and was selected to represent Team UK at Microsoft Global Exchange (E2) in Singapore in 2018. In 2018 Simon was awarded a Masters in Educational Leadership from Birmingham City University. Simon continues to refine his ability to have whole-school impact through teaching and learning and behaviour for learning.

leading department