I’ve just started on the NPQSL with Leadership East . The programme is licensed by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and involves a 12-18 month school improvement task based on action research with the central component lasting at least two terms. There are 3 learning areas:
- Educational Excellence;
- Strategic Leadership;
- Operational Management;
and these are further divided into 9 key leadership competencies.
Prior to attending the Introductory Day a ‘360º Diagnostic’ online self-review process was carried out to identify areas of strength and any competency areas requiring development. After completing the self assessment part of the process I asked a total of 8 colleagues to also answer the same questions independently. The final report was illuminating – a far more useful appraisal than any Performance Management (PM) process I have taken part in since its introduction. For one thing the other respondents don’t see either your own self assessment or each others so you get a ‘real’ set of answers. To gain the maximum benefit from the process you do have to choose your respondents carefully however; its no good just asking people who you think will give a ‘glowing report’. I selected an equal mix of male/female colleagues and made sure that the group had SLT, HoY, HoD, Learning Support and classroom teachers represented. I deliberately didn’t ask anyone from within my own faculty because I wanted as objective a view from outside looking in as I could manage. The respondents I selected were also representative of the colleagues I hope to work with most closely on the school improvement task. The process is a little uncomfortable but well worth it from a self awareness point of view. Completing the very detailed follow up Workbook really concentrated the mind. Of particular interest were:
- Known Development Needs (where both the respondents and I agreed on less well developed behaviours);
- Blind Spots (where respondents scored me lower than I scored myself);
These really flagged up some pretty important elements that I need to keep in mind and the final Summary Form and Action Plan have provided a very focussed baseline from which to move forward.
Talking to colleagues who have come to teaching after working in other fields, business etc. it seems that the 360º Diagnostic Model is quite a common tool. I think it would be useful to have a similar tool within the PM cycle and wonder if there are already schools who have adopted this model?