Moray House School of Education and Sport

Principal teacher: leadership of learning

This course is designed for individuals in both primary and secondary sectors to give an understanding of the key concepts and strategies for leading and managing the processes of learning, teaching and assessment within a department/faculty. 

The focus will be on the role of the middle leader in building professional capacity to drive forward the improvement agenda and bring about change within the context of Curriculum of Excellence, and with the current focus of raising young people's attainment and achievement.

This 'classic' and ever popular course will give you an opportunity to explore with colleagues the unique challenges of departmental and faculty leadership from your perspective as a middle leader: as a leader of learning.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, you will:

  • examine approaches to leadership of learning,
  • explore the role of middle leaders in promoting and sustaining improvement in learning,
  • consider ways of leading, motivating and developing your staff through change,
  • consider approaches to self-evaluation,
  • learn about strategies and take away materials that will be of practical value to you as a principal teacher/faculty leader, leading change and improvement.

The two sessions will be interactive. There will be opportunities to work with fellow participants, and for discussion including sharing practice, challenges and opportunities for change in schools, as well as hearing about the latest research, policy  and practice to  support professional learning about leadership of learning .

Who this course is for?

Faculty Leaders, Principal Teachers and teachers preparing for a move into a Principal Teacher/Faculty Leader role in primary and secondary schools.

Key words/concepts:

Leadership, learning, teaching, assessment. attainment and achievement, collaboration, culture, motivation, professional learning, community, challenges, improvement, process of change, self-evaluation, analysis.

About the facilitator:

Dr Val Corry, who was a successful secondary Head Teacher, will lead the course. As well as delivering courses on leadership, strategic planning and transformational change, raising attainment, building resilience, parental engagement and professional coaching, Val works with leaders in schools to enhance professional learning, within the context of each school’s improvement journey, with the focus on positive outcomes and impact for learners.  Val was the Programme Leader and a tutor for the Post Graduate Certificate in Middle Leadership and Management at the University of Glasgow, and a tutor on the Into Headship course running at the University of Glasgow. Val was part of a small group seconded to work with the Scottish Government on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning to give advice on raising attainment, and has worked with the Scottish Government and Education Scotland as a Professional Advisor with a focus on raising attainment and reducing inequity.  She has also worked with Children in Scotland, on behalf of Scottish Government, Education Scotland and National Parent Forum Scotland, on parental engagement and continues to work with Children in Scotland on parental engagement.

Val works as a practice adviser and a registered facilitator for International Futures Forum (IFF). She strongly advocates the IFF method which is very much about providing ‘effective space for co-learning’, recognising that we are all learners, where ‘different perspectives, different thinking modes and disciplines, different value sets are shared, engaged with and explored rather than immediately challenged. The result is that diversity and deep expertise become a strength and source of insight’.  The thinking and learning models and tools provided by the IFF method facilitate conversations that lead to co-created joint action.

International Futures Forum (IFF) method

Date of next course

If you wish to be notified when the date of the next course has been confirmed, please email professionallearning@ed.ac.uk.

  Quotations from past participants:

Very engaging and useful content. Speakers were superb - I have got lots to take back and put into action in school.

Acting Principal Teacher, previous participant

It has given me more confidence to give good leadership by reinforcing some ideas I already had and giving me some new ideas (e.g. in the approach to peer observation or in assessing situations to consider what type of leadership they require.

Principal Teacher, previous participant