Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Seize the day

In the context of this year's presidential theme, 'leading professionals', the time is right for a debate about CPD for all the professionals in our schools and colleges, says new ASCL president Brian Lightman.

As we return from our summer break there is every sign that education will remain high on Gordon Brown's agenda.

ASCL's role in influencing Government's thinking will remain as important as ever and much of my time as president will be spent lobbying and campaigning about the issues within the ASCL public policy agenda.

Everything on that agenda relates closely to the theme of my presidential year - 'Leading Professionals'. In all that encompasses, there is no more important aspect than leading learning.

In the context of relentless change, we can easily be distracted from leadership of learning. However, if we are serious about harnessing the obvious power of personalised learning, it is down to us and nobody else to take the lead.

Another aspect of my presidential theme is our role as the leading professionals in our organisations. In this context I believe that the time is ripe for a debate about CPD for all of the professionals who work in our schools and colleges.

In light of the Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) review, there will be much to discuss this year about the shape, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of leadership teams and governing bodies of the future.

The working conditions and pay of senior leaders, both QTS and non-QTS, are key areas and I know that members will be looking to us to exercise influence and bring about improvements.

These must match those that teachers have enjoyed through workforce remodelling and must reflect the massive increase in accountability, responsibility and, sadly in many cases, vulnerability our members have experienced.

The media response to the PWC report showed that there is still a major task ahead to ensure that the developing role of senior support staff within school leadership teams is widely understood by the public and by policy makers so that we can have an informed debate about the necessary changes to pay and conditions.

There is a risk that workforce remodelling will be seen in some quarters as an initiative which is now complete. I believe it is absolutely essential to keep it very much 'on the radar' and, in particular, to provide further support for lead professionals to ensure they are not distracted from teaching and learning by other workload demands.

Specifically, as leading professionals we have a massive role to play in ensuring that the introduction of TLRs really does bring about a change of culture among middle leaders. Again this is nowhere near completion.

Undoubtedly, the debate about a move from over-regulation to intelligent accountability will continue. There has been nowhere near enough effort by the Government on this front.

It is an honour to represent you this year and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during my travels around the UK. I would be delighted to speak to branches or to hear your views on any aspect of ASCL's activities or priorities. Please contact me at brian.lightman@ascl.org.uk

Brian Lightman

© 2019 Association of School and College Leaders | Designed with IMPACT