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MORE SUPPORT FOR SCHOOLS TO MAKE CHANGE

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A new team based at the National College for School Leadership ...
A new team based at the National College for School Leadership

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

learning.

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

growth.'

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

tackle reform.'

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

school.

'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.'

ENDS

Notes:

About NCSL

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

NEW SCRUTINY UNIT TO TACKLE RED TAPE IN SCHOOLS

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