Press release: Transforming the education landscape in the South West through middle leaders

Today (Friday 17 July) marks the closing event held at St. James School in Exeter.

Middle leaders play an influential role in school improvement. They are leaders of subjects, years, or key stages and are responsible for developing teaching and learning and for holding individual teachers to account for the achievement of the children they teach.

The overarching purpose of these events was to improve the quality of middle leadership in the South West in order to improve the quality of teaching and through that educational outcomes for children. The seminars focused on practical aspects of leadership and school improvement, shared good practice and challenged middle leaders to play their part in improving outcomes for children and young people across the South West.

Ofsted’s priorities in the South West are to improve educational outcomes for children who are in local authority care, those eligible for free school meals and the brightest children. Inspection evidence shows that these groups of children do best in schools where they are known by middle leaders.

Speaking at St. James School in Exeter, South West Director, Bradley Simmons said:

High quality middle leadership is about more than managing a subject or an aspect of a school life. These leaders play a critical role and have the power to transform a school, especially in improving the life chances for disadvantaged children and stretching the most able students to achieve their potential.

The middle leadership events underline Ofsted’s determination to challenge and support schools to do better. Her Majesty’s Inspectors have been working with schools, academies and local authorities across each area in the region to ensure middle leaders are equipped to support headteachers in bringing about high quality teaching and outstanding behaviour.
Having high-calibre middle leaders is particularly important because ultimately senior leaders and headteachers of tomorrow are the middle leaders of today.

Notes to editor

  1. The series of middle leadership events across the South West were organised following the highly successful South West Pupil Premium Seminars held in September 2014. Headteachers who attended the seminars had requested a similar approach focusing on middle leadership as part of school improvement. Middle leadership seminars have been held in late June and July in Banes, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cornwall/ Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Poole, Plymouth, Somerset, North Somerset, Swindon, Torbay and Wiltshire.
  2. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children’s social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.
  3. Media can contact the Ofsted Press Office through 03000 130415 or via Ofsted’s enquiry line 0300 1231231 between 8.30am – 6.00pm, Monday – Friday. Out of these hours, during evenings and weekends, the duty press officer can be reached on 07919 057359.
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