The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Middle leadership

Ashmi Morjaria

School leadership: for better for worse, till death do us part

I often hear colleagues talk about being 'married' to teaching. But what happens when matrimony becomes acrimony, and who can prevent it? For almost a third of teachers, the profession is a turbulent union that will end in divorce within the first five years Relationship breakdown Back in 2010,...
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Liz Worthen

Developing sustained, effective middle leadership: keys to success

With middle leaders as the vital cogs in the wheel of school improvement, how can we best enable them to operate smoothly and effectively? ‘There was a common thread in schools that struggled over many years of persistent weaknesses in middle leadership.’ (Ofsted annual report 2014/15) ‘It’s not...
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Owen Carter

Putting CPD at the heart of school success: case study

We spoke to Healing School in Grimsby about how it’s redesigning its professional development programme to help all teachers continually improve. Almost every teacher in the world wants to improve. But the demands of the job, time pressure and mental fatigue means that reflection time often gets...
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Liz Worthen

The stretch zone is for grownups too

Good leaders find the stretch points for their team and empower them to take action. Proofing the entirety of our primary and secondary Insight magazine is a somewhat arduous task. However, it does give me the opportunity to fully appreciate (and actually read!) the resources which the Optimus team...
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Alex Masters

Good vibrations for middle leaders

‘It has never been a more exciting time to be a middle leader!’ James Toop, chief executive of Teaching Leaders, announced in his rousing opening speech at our recent Secondary Middle Leaders Conference. ‘You can make the biggest difference in helping the system to move forward.’ Toop explained...
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Alex Masters

Middle leaders: the pressure is on but help is at hand

‘The success of Primary phase in the next five years will depend heavily on its middle leaders.’ Russell Hobby’s statement sums up all too clearly the pressures that today’s primary middle leaders are facing . Middle leaders have to get to grips with more demanding curricula, cope with declining...
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Sara Boomsma

Middle leaders: beat the stress and lead your team to outstanding

Battling time constraints, managing staff, engaging in the day-to-day running of the school and teaching high-quality, differentiated lessons... is it any wonder that today’s middle leaders are stressed? Now that the Government and Ofsted have upped their focus on accountability and a wider range...
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