Teachers from a top independent school will undertake the Middle Leadership Development Programme after the Deputy Head made a fact-finding visit to Brooke Weston.
Mr Ben Figgis of Oakham School said: ‘I am wanting to develop our management training and development and Brooke Weston have obviously got a very excellent range of programmes … you are one of the lead schools regionally in that. It creates an opportunity for us to find ways in which an independent school and an Academy can work together and share some ideas about how we do things.’
Oakham School, which has over 1000 students, offers both day and boarding and runs extensive after-school activities including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, voluntary work and the Combined Cadet Force. Mr Figgis said: ‘It has a balance between the academic curriculum and what we call the “total curriculum” which is all the other things the students can do including sport, music and drama to prepare them for a successful future.’
With so many activities, lesson plans and administrative tasks to juggle Mr Figgis believes the Middle Leadership Development Programmes at the Brooke Weston Teaching School will provide ideal professional development for his staff: ‘In our schools we might have heads of department and middle managers who are very busy but the training for middle leaders in the independent sector is not nearly as developed as it is in a school like Brooke Weston.
‘The best way of training is for teachers to go and visit other schools and see what is happening, whether that is in middle leadership, the classroom, or some of your staff spending time with us. It will enable our staff to see how things are done, effectively for the same purpose, educating children, but how that is done in other contexts and other ways, rather than just continuing to operate week by week, term by term, year by year in the same way.’
Ms Gemma Marks, who facilitates the MLDP programme at Brooke Weston, said: ‘This is the time that we will have staff from an independent school in the cohort and therefore it will be very interesting, for both them and us, to discover the points of difference between our practices. I am sure it will be very instructive for all of the practitioners who have a range of professional backgrounds to collaborate on this development opportunity. I am sure we all, facilitators and participants alike, will learn a great deal and hopefully forge partnerships between schools that will carry on after the programme has ended. It is very exciting for us to welcome Oakham School onto the programme.’