is to play a key role in helping England's 25,000 schools transform
how they work and give teachers more freedom to focus on teaching and
Dame Pat Collarbone, director of leadership programmes at the
College, is heading a new national remodelling team that will help
schools change the ways they use teachers, support and administrative
staff, timetabling, buildings and ICT so that teachers can teach and
raise pupil standards.
The team is part of a wider package of support announced by the DfES
and designed to fulfil the national agreement on raising standards
and tackling workload signed in January by the government, employers
and school workforce unions.
Dame Pat says: 'Schools are facing huge changes. If we want them to
move from a model of informed prescription to one of informed
professionalism we have to empower and inform schools to lead and
manage their own change.
'This team will focus and energise a committed school workforce,
capable of working together to create and sustain a purposeful and
inclusive climate that secures high pupil standards and sustainable
The national remodelling team, working to a new remit from the DfES,
will develop, train and coordinate advisers and LEA facilitators who
will help schools understand the change process - and support them in
developing their own solutions to manage change.
The team will also develop guidance, case studies and training
materials and bring LEAs together on a regular basis, nationally and
regionally, for training events, exchange of ideas and experiences
and to develop cross-LEA projects.
David Miliband, minister of state for school standards adds: 'To be
sustainable, workforce reform needs to be owned by schools and
adjusted to their local priorities and needs - it cannot be directed
from the centre. But schools will need support in managin g what is a
fundamental change of culture. And they must be given access to the
ideas and experiences of other schools that have already begun to
The team will be based in London and will have a regional presence
throughout England. Its strategy has already been developed, through
a nine month pathfinder project, in 32 secondary, primary and special
schools across England. The 1,100-pupil Deer Park School in
Cirencester was one of the schools involved in the trial. Head David
Carter said the strategy had already made a real difference to his
'Staff like the fact that they are part of a bigger team,' he says.
'There have been some quick wins in workload reduction such as the
reduced number of meetings through more efficient use of email but
staff will begin to see real reductions in workload next year.'
Deer Park School's change management strategy has involved the
creation of six change management teams, each with responsibility for
managing and implementing a different aspect of change, such as
teacher workload and ICT strategy.
Changes include the introduction of additional learning assistants in
every faculty to provide administrative and learning support for
teaching staff. And new technology, including interactive whiteboards
and a collaborative planning system, means that teaching notes are
now shared amongst staff.
Rekha Bhakoo, head of the 300 pupil Newton Farm First and Middle
School, a beacon school in South Harrow, said that her school had
been transformed as a result of its involvement in the trial.
The school set up a change management team to look at a range of
issues. Action included the appointment of two teaching assistants to
relieve pressure on teachers' time, and an intranet to improve
planning and the sharing of information.
'One hundred per cent of my teaching staff would have to say that it
had really transformed their lives,' she said.
' I think that this change management programme will have a huge
effect on standards as we can now spend more quality time with
students. Seven after-school clubs have sprung up since we became
involved in this project - simply because my colleagues now have the
time and energy to do that.'
The National College for School Leadership was launched in November
2000 and is delivering training programmes, seminars and other
leadership development activities regionally around the country and
through NCSL's online arm www.ncsl.org.uk. The College's physical
centre, a £28m Learning and Conference centre in Nottingham,
was officially opened by the prime minister in October 2002.
It's hoped that all school leaders will visit NCSL's Learning and
Conference Centre at least once in their career. However to ensure
that school leaders across the country can be involved with and
benef it from the College many of our programmes and activities will
still be made available regionally and online.
The college aims to:
- provide a single national focus for school leadership development,
research and innovation
- be a driving force for world class leadership in our schools and
the wider community
- provide support to and be a major resource for school leaders
- stimulate national and international debate on leadership issues
For more information on NCSL visit our web site at www.ncsl.org.uk