Leading a school is difficult.
In your hands are the education and wellbeing of dozens or hundreds of individuals, both student and staff. Every day these individuals walk through the halls of your school and it is the responsibility of the leadership team to ensure that each and every one of them is receiving the support they need to learn or teach. Every day you can expect to receive dozens of requests, important conversations, emails, budgetary questions, complaints, problems to solve, and the list goes on.
That said, proactive school leadership is a crucial component of a successful school. Ofsted agrees with this and has consequently placed great importance on this factor, allowing a separate area to assess school leadership and management.
This is by no means an easy task. It is for this reason that we have gathered some ideas around how technology can make this momentous job a little more manageable. Below are some of the main criteria Ofsted examines when looking at leadership and management, as well as some digital tools that can help enhance school leaders to manage and direct their institutions.
Vision and Ethos
Having a clear direction for your school is necessary not just for Ofsted inspections, but also to align your school staff, students and resources to create greater learning impact. Ensuring this vision is adhered to, however, is much more difficult than simply setting one, especially in a community with such a vast array of stakeholders - from teachers, students, staff, and parents, and so complex a set of tools - from quizzing apps, student information systems, multimedia resources, and learning management systems.
This is where the modern learning experience comes into play. With a comprehensive modern learning platform like Firefly, school leaders can not only manage communication with all school stakeholders but also manage all their digital tools from one central hub. Whether a school leader wants to contact their students’ parents for an important message, or examining the performance of a single teacher or students, this can all be completed through a single platform. Pursuing a single and unified vision is made feasible when you can direct all school stakeholders and resources through one primary location.
As a school leader, you are responsible for not only student learning but also that of your staff as well. Similar to student learning, however, there has recently been an increase in the number of tools and resources available to support teacher training and development. Twig has partnered with Imperial College London to develop Reach Out CPD, a digital resource for online teacher continuous professional development. These resources have been tailor-made for teachers, providing them with bite-sized learning modules to work around their busy schedule. They even have resources made for parents to conduct activities with their children.
Staff Workload and Wellbeing
Staff wellbeing should be at the centre of any school leader’s agenda. A leader needs tools to monitor their teachers’ workload and ensure they are being properly supported to perform the mammoth task that is teaching.
Administrative tasks that once took up the bulk of teachers’ time can now be completed at a click of a button, using the right digital tools. Tools like Firefly can make marking and providing quality feedback a breeze. It can also make managing rich classroom resources and student information, a crucial yet previously tedious task, a piece of cake. We exist to make teachers’ lives easier so that they can focus on what matters, their students’ learning.
Governance and Oversight
Finally, leaders have the opportunity and the responsibility to view their school from multiple levels. Not only do they require a birds-eye view of the school’s performance, but they must also see things from the point of view of students and teachers, as well as switch from school-wide, to year and class-wide levels of data.
Being able to jump between these perspectives is a unique characteristic of Firefly. Whether wanting to observe the marks of an individual student, the performance of a class, or the responses to a school-wide survey, Firefly gives school leaders the power to manage their school from all of these viewpoints from a single platform.
Want to learn more about how Firefly can help you manage your school with ease? We recently launched Firefly Essentials, for MATs and maintained schools, who need a single central hub for all their teaching and learning activity without breaking the bank. Sign up here for a free consultation!