Subject Leadership in the Primary School: Views of Subject Leaders.
The profile of the primary school Subject Leader has risen significantly over the last decade. This has culminated with the TTA setting National Standards for Subject Leadership. This paper presents some of the findings of an ongoing study into Subject Leadership in primary schools and will explore the views of practising Subject Leader’s. Interviews with twenty teachers reveal the complexity of their posts, their frustrations and their responses to the challenges they face in raising the quality of teaching and learning in their subject area.
In 1979, HMI documents had begun to raise issues that teacher’s subject expertise was important to raising standards (Goodson 1990). By 1993 John Pattern (then minister for Education), and later the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED 1994), were highlighting the need for improved subject teaching in primary schools. As a consequence, the role of the curriculum co-ordinator (now Subject Leader) became the focus of increasing attention along with an expansion in the need for subject specialism. The Teacher Training Agency (TTA) after a period of consultation, set out the requirements for Subject Leaders (TTA 1998). The TTA state that the core purpose of the Subject Leader is: -
To provide professional leadership and management for a subject to secure high quality teaching, effective use of resources and improved standards of learning and achievement for all pupils. TTA 1998 page 4.
In order to achieve those aims the TTA list a number of expectations to be met. Issues raised within the "Key areas of Subject leadership" fall into four categories: -
• Strategic direction and development of the subject.
• Teaching and learning.
• Leading and managing staff.
• Efficient and effective deployment of staff and resources.
The notion of teachers providing subject support for colleagues is not...