In Headship is a postgraduate programme for new head teachers which supports them to develop and continue to build the necessary knowledge, skills and understandings required of head teachers.

in-headship

Specialist Qualification for Headship – Masters Pathway

Applications for In Headship will open in January – March 2018. 

About In Headship

In Headship is the third and final component of Specialist Qualification for Headship and participants will normally enter the programme within 2 years of taking up post as a head teacher, with at least 60 SCQF credits at level 11 achieved through other elements of the Specialist Qualification Masters pathway.

It builds on, enhances and advances academic and professional learning gained through the successful completion of the postgraduate qualification Into Headship through which the GTCS Standard for Headship was initially attained. The programme provides a means for the deepening of understanding, application and evaluation of the Standard for Headship in practice, operating within the SCQF level 11 framework.

The In Headship programme is underpinned by a focus on professional problem solving and school improvement and is structured to extend the personal, professional and intellectual knowledge and skills that new head teachers require to be able to lead school improvement in a dynamic policy context and anticipate and address the challenges that this may bring.

In Headship aims

The In Headship programme encompasses the role of head teacher as a strategic leader within, across and beyond the school community.  It is designed to facilitate and support head teachers in the transition through the early stages of headship, to enable them to develop as effective strategic leaders who contribute to system leadership.

The programme aims to enable head teachers to:

  • engage in critical reflection on their transition to headship
  • recognise, understand and adapt to the complex challenges and opportunities of headship through critical engagement with a wide range of academic literature and research
  • develop a culture of sustained professional growth for self and others
  • demonstrate professional values and personal commitment as stated in the GTCS Standard for Headship
  • build on critical understandings of a core set of professional and academic literacies including research, data, political, as well as knowledge and understanding of evaluative and interpersonal skills
  • develop a critical understanding of professional learning as collective and emergent, to facilitate school and system improvement
  • understand the significance of strategic and system leadership in driving change and improvement.

Programme structure

In Headship is delivered in partnership with SCEL, local authorities and initially the following Universities:

  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Stirling

It is anticipated that in future, other universities will also deliver In Headship.

The programme will consist of three elements which will be delivered across 60 credits at SCQF Level 11. Please see detailed module descriptions below.

  1. Shaping professional identity and practice: critical reflection in the transition to headship
  2. Pursuing equity and excellence
  3. Building capacity in self and others.

As part of the initial engagement with the programme, there is an opportunity to engage in an online pre-course provision to support learning at SCQF Level 11.  Please indicate on the application form if you wish to undertake this element of the programme. The programme begins with an induction day in June and there will be a residential event on 29th and 30th September 2017. In Headship is currently fully funded by the Scottish Government and there is no cost to participants.

The programme will be assessed through a range of formative and summative assessments.

Participants will be expected to identify an experienced head teacher who can act as a critical colleague to support them in their professional learning throughout the programme.

Critical colleague role spec

Programme modules

Module 1

Module 1: Shaping professional identity and practice: critical reflection in the transition to headship (20 credits SCQF Level 11).

This module forms participants’ first engagement with the ‘In Headship’ programme and is undertaken for the duration of the full programme.  During this module participants will engage critically and reflect on their transition to headship as they pursue equity and excellence through building capacity in self and others.

The unit consists of an initial intensive study one night residential for the national cohort which includes a series of online critically reflective tasks pre-and post this event which draw on academic reading and experiences in practice).

Learning outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • demonstrate critical reflection in their transition to headship through applying academic and professional literacies, drawing on a wide range of literature and research
  • demonstrate emotional intelligence, adaptability and resilience in the context of strategic leadership
  • demonstrate critical understanding of sustained professional growth as a key factor in improvement
  • develop and apply critical foresight in understanding the complexity of change and in driving improvement
  • articulate values-based leadership through the creation and communication of a strategic vision for the school and its community.
Module 2

This module has a focus on critical reflection on professional learning during early headship, drawing upon a range of data to evidence professional growth in strategic leadership leading to a strategic plan for professional learning in a period of complex change.  The second component of the In Headship programme consists of two elements:

  • Module 2a (nominally 20 credits SCQF Level 11) – Pursuing Equity and Excellence in practice
  • Module 2b (nominally 20 credits SCQF Level 11) – Building Capacity in Self and Others.

Module 2a: Pursuing equity and excellence in practice (nominally 20 credits SCQF Level 11).

This module will provide focused challenge, requiring new head teachers to undertake a situational analysis and write action plans specifying what they want to achieve in their new post with an emphasis on strategic planning for school improvement drawing upon a range of academic literature and research evidence.

The mode of delivery for this module will be a blended model of face-to-face sessions complemented by online components.

There will be a focus on evaluative writing linked to strategic reporting which will be reflected in the formative and summative assessment tasks.

Learning outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • engage in critical reflection on their transition to headship through applying academic and professional literacies, drawing on a wide range of literature and research
  • undertake a situational analysis of the school community through engaging stakeholders and partners in applying appropriate tools to evaluate the strengths and development needs of the school and its community in the context of social justice
  • engage members of the school and its community in building and sustaining a strategic vision for the school/educational establishment
  • develop an enhanced understanding of, and apply theory in the design of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in context
  • work with the community including with other agencies and partners to advocate for and maximise educational outcomes for children and young people.

Summative assessment: identify the key issues related to achieving equity and excellence in practice from the situational analysis and present an educational argument and a plan for addressing one of the identified issues through critical engagement with research literature and the wider educational community.  This will be supported by formative assessment throughout.  The assessment will take the form of an academic poster to present to tutors and peers for discussion and feedback (equivalent to 4,000 words, including a plan for action).

Options for Final Module

The final Module in this programme may take a number of forms depending on the university provider:

  1. Module 2b (see below), or
  2. The selection of an elective to gain further knowledge and skill in a specialised area identified in Module 2a (equivalent to 20 credits at SCQF Level 11), or
  3. An experiential learning opportunity identified in Module 2a which will require the submission of an assessed piece of work to be meet the learning outcomes for Module 2b (equivalent to 20 credits at SCQF Level 11) to be awarded following Recognition of Experiential Learning (REL) guidelines.

Module 2b Building capacity in self and others (nominally 20 credits SCQF Level 11).

Participants continue to develop their identities as school leaders through critical self-reflection and building capacity in self and others by addressing a key strategic issue (identified in Module 2a).

The mode of delivery for this module will be a blended model of face-to-face sessions complemented by online components.

Learning outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • engage in critical reflection on their transition to headship through applying academic and professional literacies, drawing on a wide range of literature and research
  • develop, build and sustain professional networks across the wider community
  • develop an enhanced understanding of professional learning
  • develop enhanced leadership capacity within the school community
  • identify appropriate learning opportunities to support agreed priorities for development.

Summative assessment: This assessment comprises two sections:

  1. the participant will lead a small group discussion about the challenges and opportunities they have identified in the early stages of building capacity in self and others. Tutors and cohort peers will provide feedback (equivalent to 2,000 words).
  2. a critical report suitable for publication/dissemination in the school/education community which explains how they are continuing to build capacity across their school community (equivalent to 2,000 words).

This will be supported by formative assessment throughout.