Teachers new to the role of Head of Department have to quickly develop their skills in setting a departmental vision, leading high quality teaching and learning and performance-managing colleagues.  With an ever-increasing focus on student outcomes, the pressures on Heads of Department to produce impressive results are high.

Focusing on the key attributes of leadership, including assessing and developing your curriculum,  making your mark with the SLT, coaching your team and producing an effective Quality of Education for all students, this conference will provide methods and solutions for the differing issues new Heads of Department encounter when they progress beyond the role of subject teacher.

We are delighted that the day will be led by Paul Johnson (former Deputy Head and Head of Department, current Ofsted inspector), Jon Huddleston (Deputy Head and educational expert) and Emma Hollis Brown (Education Consultant and Ofsted inspector), who will demonstrate how to develop the qualities required to be an excellent Head of Department and point the way to more senior posts.


  • Gain a full appreciation and strategies for what is expected of a new Head of Department
  • Discover the best ways for responding and adapting to the key challenges in front of you
  • Learn how to hold your staff to account and motivate them
  • Obtain approaches and methods for developing excellent curriculum models
  • Gain powerful strategies for leading outstanding teaching and learning across the Key Stages
  • Explore and develop the qualities and skills to make your department outstanding in every context
DATE London | Tuesday 26 March 2019
London | Friday 5 July 2019
WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Newly Appointed Heads of Department
Aspiring Heads of Department
Senior Leaders in charge of recruitment
Deputy Heads and Assistant Heads
Senior Leaders in charge of results
Senior Leaders in charge of Teaching and Learning
Educational Research Professionals
Curriculum Managers
Heads of Department
  • 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


Introduction and Welcome

Paul Johnson former Deputy Head and Head of Department, current Ofsted inspector

Moving to Middle Leadership: What is expected of a new Head of Department
Emma Hollis Brown Education Consultant and Ofsted inspector
Jon Huddleston Deputy Head and educational expert

  • The challenges for you and your team as a new Head of Department
  • Your new responsibilities – responding and adapting to the key challenges in front of you
  • Setting out on your new role – easy wins in the first few weeks
  • What the SLT expect: behaviour, responsibility and your new relationship with them

10.50 am

Setting out to ensure an Outstanding department
Paul Johnson former Deputy Head and Head of Department, current Ofsted inspector

  • Analysing the strengths and weaknesses of your new department: how does it compare with others in the school?
  • Evaluating your curriculum: does it cater for everyone, is there progress, the rigour of work scrutiny
  • Setting out your vision, goals and strategies: setting out to ensure outstanding
  • Data and tracking: what is the impact of your analysis on your department?

Workshop Strand 1

1a Developing Curriculum expertise in your department
Emma Hollis Brown Education Consultant and Ofsted inspector

  • Quality of Education: getting the curriculum right
  • Key reflections on the OFSTED curriculum review
  • Evaluating your curriculum – is it right? Does it develop all students?
  • Fundamentals when developing your curriculum vision
  • Managing change effectively: a tricky skill

1b Qualities and actions of an Outstanding HOD
 Paul Johnson former Deputy Head and Head of Department, current Ofsted inspector

  • Outstanding: who says so?
  • Characteristics of the outstanding Head of Department
  • Challenges for an outstanding Head of Department

1c Styles of leadership and when to use them
Jon Huddleston Deputy Head and educational expert

  • Which style of leadership is best deployed for which issues and queries?
  • How to make a judgement on what type of leadership is needed, to what extent, and when?
  • Understanding the principles of what makes an effective leader
  • Know your strengths as a leader: What type of leader are you? What type of leader do you need to be?



Workshop Option strand 2

2a: Student Tracking/Assessment and using the data effectively
Paul Johnson former Deputy Head and Head of Department, current Ofsted inspector

  • Assessing data as a Head of Department, not a teacher
  • Shared teaching groups how do you record? Recording meaningful grades
  • Strategies for setting challenging targets for the more able
  • Raising achievement with targeted students and agreed, meaningful actions

2b Ensuring the highest quality of education
Emma Hollis Brown Education Consultant and Ofsted inspector

  • Aspirational target setting
  • Plans that raise achievement for all and targets that don’t demotivate
  • How to make strategies for targeted students work
  • Setting challenging targets for your more able
  • Really effective monitoring and evaluation – leading with the right standard

2c People Management as Head of Department
Jon Huddleston Deputy Head and educational expert

  • Staffing and staff development: developing your team
  • Does your curriculum and your staff match?
  • Presence and tenor: building effective relationships with key people
  • Bringing your team with you – dealing with the challenging and the coasting
  • Professional development: what type, when, how and who?

Refreshment break

Workshop Option strand C

3a Marginal gains – how to succeed in exams
Paul Johnson former Deputy Head and Head of Department, current Ofsted inspector

  • Making positive and pro-active use of assessment data
  • Mock and trial examinations: how to get the most out of them
  • Marking and feedback
  • Knowledge and technique: the two ingredients of examination success
  • Support and challenge for all your students and staff

3b New HOD, New Directions: setting your mark
Jon Huddleston Deputy Head and educational expert

  • Ways of introducing more innovative, more creative thinking
  • New approaches, the importance of change management
  • Working across departments to improve your team
  • Producing a holistic curriculum

3C Using Coaching Strategies as the Head of Department
Emma Hollis Brown Education Consultant and Ofsted inspector

  • What is effective coaching?
  • Using coaching and mentoring to develop the team
  • Dealing with ‘difficult’ colleagues – developing a range of problem solving tools
  • Effective performance management – how to use monitoring information to improve performance

Plenary and depart

Emma Hollis – Brown
Education consultant and Ofsted Inspector

Emma has wide ranging experience of teaching and learning, working in a range of institutions (11-18) specializing in delivering curriculum solutions in English, Literacy and the Performing Arts and leading high performing faculties to success. Since 2004 she has developed a career in teacher training, leadership challenge and inspection and advisory work, supporting curriculum innovation and collaborative quality assurance. In 2011 she established her own training and consultancy company delivering a range of contracts across public and private sectors. She is a full qualified and badged Lead Ofsted Inspector (schools and ITT remits) and has led a number of quality assurance reviews of primary and secondary schools.

Jon Huddleston
Deputy Head and educational expert

Jonathan is a successful Deputy Headteacher with specific responsibility for the Curriculum. A Senior Leader for over ten years in a variety of roles encompassing Sixth Form Leadership and Teaching and Learning, he is first and foremost a passionate and creative award-winning modern languages teacher. Jonathan has delivered lectures and training courses for a wide-variety of organisations over a number of years including Keynote, the Advanced Learning Alliance, SSAT and the Goethe Institut and is strongly committed to the coaching and development of effective Middle Leaders in schools. As a current practising Senior Leader and Vice Chair of Governors of an outstanding primary school, Jonathan is at the heart of the latest developments in education and uses this knowledge and understanding to deliver realistic and practical strategies that have immediate effect in the department and the classroom.

Dr Paul Johnson
former Deputy Head and Head of Department, current Ofsted inspector

Paul is an experienced examiner, successful former Deputy Head and Head of Department and school governor, with more than 35 years’ teaching experience in a range of educational contexts. He has extensive experience as a senior leader in schools and he is a current Ofsted inspector, as well as training Teachers on their PGCE courses in History with Manchester University. He is highly experienced and regarded provider of national training courses and tutorials for teachers at all stages of their career and with students. Paul is a current senior examiner with a leading examination board for History, a former Principal Moderator and the author of a number of text books and articles on the craft of history teaching.