Small School Leadership

A small school tackles its middle leadership problems Appleton School in rural Oxfordshire is a successful Church of England primary with only five teachers and 120 pupils. But in 1999 an Ofsted report identified significant weaknesses in subject co-ordination and a lack of middle leadership from teachers within the school. A year after the Ofsted report a new Head, Mary Watts, took over and decided to tackle the problem head on. She allocated multiple middle leadership roles to all five teachers in the school. She trained them to lead in their subject area and she delegated budgetary powers and responsibilities to her staff. She gave them time to carry out their middle leadership roles by covering their classes, and she also led by example, by taking on middle leadership in IT across the school, an area in which she had no former expertise.

The teachers testify to the radical changes that have taken place in the school and how this has also improved teamwork amongst the staff and learning performance for the pupils.

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