Innovation in Middle Management

How can you innovate in school leadership?

Middle managers are crucial to reaching and maintaining high standards in schools.

They transform the vision and strategy of senior leadership into practice, as heads of departments, team, program or project leads. They are responsible for improving educational standards, influencing school performance and helping to ensure consistency across the whole school.

Whether as subject lead, head of pastoral care, specific project lead or a school champion, a combination of leadership and management skills are required.

Unfortunately, often the experience of an expert teacher does not match the skills and experience required of an excellent school leader. A significant problem faced in schools then, is closing the gap between the skills of teaching and those of leadership and management.

This is where World ORT’s Leadership in Education, Administration and Development Program (LEAD) delivers a solution.

Often described as the ‘engine room’ of their organizations, our mid-level managers lead the teams of professionals that transform strategy into practice on a daily basis.

Over the course of a year, ORT trains 20 professionals to take the next step in their careers, to lead other teachers in their schools, strategically and practically.

LEAD encourages teachers to develop a deeper understanding of communication and motivation and identify the styles and methods of leadership that will make the greatest impact in leading improvement in their school.

The program is an opportunity for education professionals to take time out of their regular schedule, to reflect on their practice and learn new skills.

A central learning point of the seminar is the importance of developing your own leadership style.

There are many different types of leader and different forms of leadership. From a commanding role to a more democratic or coaching role. This is an element of the theory learned through LEAD.

Though LEAD, participants learn that there is more than one way to be an effective leader.

The most effective leaders adapt their style and approach according to the circumstance and stakeholders they are working with.

In a team that is recently formed and lacking in direction, a commanding approach may be most effective. In a team that is working well, limited intervention and a collaborative approach paired with coaching might be the most effective way to lead the team.

LEAD participants find that taking the time to understand their own leadership style, the needs of their teams and how they might support them through adapting their approach, is paramount.

Whilst the theory is gained through the training seminar, the practice is developed individually in school, with the support of personalized follow up sessions with ORT’s consultant leadership and development coach.

As well as the training, coaching and follow up sessions, LEAD participants have access to one further resource – each other.

Delegates collaborate with and challenge one another, influencing their own performance and those around them.

Effective school leaders work together to discuss their mutual challenges, share tools for improvement and coach others through their problems.

LEAD develops innovative leaders who implement policies, collaborate with and challenge their fellow middle leaders, influencing overall performance and helping to ensure consistency through sharing, coaching and mentoring.

When I had the opportunity to speak with the other leaders and teachers at the seminar, I realized that it was the optimum learning experience. Every little detail helped us to learn from each other Ana Flores Rueda, Mexico

Through the training, participants discover that they have a great deal in common in their professional lives despite coming from diverse countries, cultures and backgrounds.

LEAD participants learn that their greatest resource for innovation is each other and their colleagues in school.

Follow updates

The 2019/20 LEAD program will launch with a 5-day training seminar in London at the beginning of November. You can follow updates from the program on our social media channels and publications.