One of the key accountabilities of department leads is the role effective leadership has in supporting outstanding performance and the role weak leadership can have in causing or at least, condoning underperformance. This intensive course explores in some detail the factors that can contribute to department underperformance, key change strategies – what needs to be implemented and ways to go about it – and, critically, how to measure the impact of

This intensive course explores in some detail the factors that can contribute to department underperformance, key change strategies – what needs to be implemented and ways to go about it – and, critically, how to measure the impact of change to ensure growth and improved performance keep going at a good pace. Participants will develop a strategic understanding to identify under-performance in staff and students, evaluate intervention strategies and place data at the heart of improvement conversations and action.

This course includes the use of a pre-course evaluation toolkit to be prepared prior to attendance at one of the venues or as an in-school programme. This ensures that each participant will receive personalised support where issues can be focused on and covered during sessions.

We can also offer this course as an in-school 2-day model, with day 1 focusing on identification of issues and agreeing key improvement strategies and day 2 (around 10 weeks to a term later) focuses on evaluation of impact and future improvement strategies. During the period between days 1 and 2, participants work on their school improvement strategies with email and Skype support from the course leader.


Participants will be able to:

  • Engage with a range of evidence to establish where, why and what underperformance is taking place
  • Explore effective intervention strategies to engage a department team in improving the quality of teaching, learning and progress
  • Identify and tackle specific pockets of underperformance and measure effectiveness and impact
  • Develop techniques to handle difficult and challenging conversations and set sharp SMART targets
  • Recognise the value of a success driven improvement culture, share positive outcomes; and value team members
COURSE DATE London Wednesday 07 February 2018
WHO FOR?  Headteachers
Senior and Middle Leader
Staff development and CPD coordinators
Pastoral leaders
Governors and anyone with involvement in tackling poor performance in schools
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
Detailed notes On-line materials
Powerpoint presentations CPD Certificate
 High quality training facilities Sit-down buffet lunch



10.00 – 11.15am: The Importance of Effective Evaluation

  • What causes staff and students to underperform?
  • The 5 stage improvement cycle
  • Know what Ofsted identifies as underperformance in departments
  • Using data effectively to intervene successfully
    Forensic tracking systems
    Using assessable, timely and reliable data so all staff can effectively monitor
    Check all learners on the right course at the right level
    Track targets, attendance, punctuality and on-course support
    Make effective links between self-assessment and access to data – what does the information signify?

11.15 – 11.30am: Discussion: coffee break


11.30 – 12.45pm: Making Your Department a Shining Example in Your School

  • Unpick inspections key identifications of successful departments
  • Look in detail at the 8 common features of successful Departments
  • Put people at the heart of success to
    turn your vision of a successful department into reality
    Develop and lead a high performance team
    Handle effectively difficult conversations, complacency and performance management

12.30 – 1.15pm: Lunch and networking


1.15 – 2.15pm: Step-by-step guide to key improvement strategies

  • Ensure evaluations of the effectiveness and quality of teaching and learning is clear, accurate, robust
  • How to improve teaching, learning and assessment by:
    placing learners at the core of improvement programmes
    observations, collaborations – being thorough and systematic in sharing and learning from good practice
    are the performance management systems fit for purpose?
    measuring competency, capability
    strengthening management information systems to influence teacher performance impact on learners
  • Leading improvement – how to
    effectively address underperformance
    ensure shared ownership of the leadership’s values, vision and ambition
    ensure attention is strong on improving outcomes for learners
    achieve persistence, patience and the presence and visibility of leaders
    lead with decisiveness in remedying areas of concern
    achieve more close accountability for every teacher
    how to use observation sessions most effectively to share best practice, build trust and tackle underperformance
    create excellent robust systems for revaluating the effectiveness of the quality of teaching

2.15 – 2.30pm: Discussion:afternoon tea


2.30 – 3.30pm: Practical Toolkit to Measuring the Impact of Your Improvement Strategies

Proven strategies to excel in your departmental improvement

  • Ways to achieve your improvement goals that are sharply focused, inclusive, challenging yet supportive.
  • Exemplar material and models of good practice

Evidencing difference

  • Tools and models to take back to school for immediate use
  • Learner engagement and data – being SMART in your evaluation
  • Stakeholder feedback – ensuring the voice of every stakeholder is heard

Celebrating success

  • The role of motivation in ensuring sustainable improvement
  • Performance management and performance related pay
  • Communicating success effectively

3.30 – 3.45pm: Plenary and end

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.