My experience as a Subject Leader | Lily Wilson

Jan 4 / Lily Wilson

What exactly does the journey to becoming a Middle Leader look like? Can the hiring and learning process for the role be improved?

This Blog is written by Prospero Learning Education Expert, Lily Wilson, about her experience as a newly appointed, and first time, Middle Leader.

My experience as a new Middle Leader

When I first became a Middle Leader, I had very little knowledge of what would be expected of me, and what the role really entailed.

Learning on the job

During the hiring process, I was asked to complete several tasks, from book looks to data analysis, and a face-to-face interview about what my vision was for the subject I was applying to lead.

Since I was successful in my interview, I clearly knew what to look out for in the books, data, and planning, and I had a good idea of what I thought I could do to improve the teaching of the subject across the school, however, I had little knowledge of how to implement any of this!

There was no training that was offered upon appointment, and I couldn’t find any courses that I could take. I had to do a lot of learning on the job and lent a lot on colleagues who had much more experience than me.

The support I got from my colleagues was invaluable, and I would honestly advise anyone new to or considering applying for Middle Leadership to speak to those around you and learn as much from their experience as possible. However, we all know how limited our time is in teaching, and there was always part of me that felt bad for taking up their time with my questions.

Fixing the training gap

This is why I was so keen for us, at Prospero Learning, to create a course that would go over all the essential information that any Middle Leader needs to know so that Teachers, like me, had a place to go where they could find the support and guidance they need for a Middle Leadership role.

I very much started from a position of knowing the things that I struggled with in terms of teaching that subject, and the elements that I knew I could improve upon: my thinking was that if I was struggling (in silence) then it was highly likely that others were too.

Whilst this approach did lead me to do the auditing, monitoring and mentoring that was needed in my setting, I certainly could have been more systematic had I known more about the role from the beginning.

As such, our course outlines where you should start in terms of auditing and how to prioritise the different tasks and elements of the role. It enables you to come up with a clear plan of action, and then provides you with strategies for how to communicate and implement any changes that may be needed. Furthermore, it explains how you can do this in a way that brings staff along with you, emphasising the need for clear communication and collaboration, and how you can ensure that everything you’re doing is having a clear, demonstratable impact across your school. 

Being an Effective Middle Leader: Subject Leads

If you are considering applying for a Subject Leadership role, are a new Subject Lead, or are an experienced Middle Leader who wants to update and refresh how you lead and manage your subject, our premium 1 hour course, ‘Being an Effective Middle Leader: Subject Leads’, can support you.

In the course, you will learn
- What is Middle Leadership?
- The key responsibilities of Middle Leaders, specifically Subject Leads
- The impact that Subject Leads have on institutions and curriculum
- Effective strategies and actions be use immediately