Dr Graham Thomson

Course organiser and tutor on the Post Graduate Certificate in Middle Leadership and Management


Graham is course organiser and tutor on the Post Graduate Certificate in Middle Leadership and Management  He is a former secondary school Head Teacher and a former regional government Head of Service with responsibility for school improvement.   


Research summary

Graham currently works both at home and abroad with schools, local government and a range of organisations across education and other fields.  A key part of his work involves designing and delivering educational leadership training and development programmes, based on research, which are characterised by:

  • highly interactive activities
  • realistic problem solving scenarios
  • focused discussion and hands-on group work
  • high quality support materials for each participant to use on return to school

The role of formal leaders conducting lesson observations of teachers, and the follow on conversations that occur between observer and observee, has become a focus of several of his training and development programmes and a particular interest in terms of his research.  He is interested in the impact here on the observee’s thinking and behaviours around Learning and Teaching and how the process can be improved.  However, he is especially interested on the effects of the whole observation and discussion interaction on the learning of the observer, particularly where this is a formal leader such as a school principal, and in what ways this leads to changes in the observer’s leadership practices.

Some other current aspects of his work include:

  • developing online educational leadership articles and resources for the National College for Teaching and Leadership in England’s “Good Practice for School Leaders’ website. The materials are designed for busy school leaders who want to access leadership materials that are easily accessible and highly readable. They are a stepping-stone in the direction of more detailed research or more in-depth CPD provision
  • the development of  ‘Train the Trainers’ educational leadership packs for middle and senior school leaders. These freestanding materials can be delivered by school and education departments themselves and come complete with facilitators’ notes, slides, activities, and group work and support materials for participants
  • on-going work with schools using a  new Learning Conversations model. This is designed to enable rich and non-threatening conversations following lesson observation by line managers and teaching colleagues
  • the development of  new online learning and training materials on Leadership for Learning