Curriculum Leadership

Skills of the curriculum leader

In one way the curriculum leader's role is simple: it exists to help colleagues teach better. Since every teacher wants to teach as well as they can this should be a straightforward business. But of course, it isn't. The classroom is beset by a host of constraints that deter change and limit experiments. Not least of these is the attitude and behaviour of the children. What actually happens is always a compromise between the ideal and the possible.

No one knows this better than teachers themselves: the more idealistic the teacher the greater their sense of failure. To be reminded how much better things could be - through a negative OFSTED comment for example - hardly helps. It is more likely to create stubborn resistance than a positive basis for change. Like other professionals teachers want to be trusted and part of that trust consists of giving them the credit for being their own harshest judges.

This is why those nearest to them in age and experience are often the best agents of change. Sharing day to day problems with colleagues means that suggestions are realistic and goals achievable, especially if everyone is a learner at some time or another. At the same time no one should put themselves in the role of helper unless they have some genuine assistance to offer. What skills therefore does the curriculum leader require?