Following is a brief summary of the results of a partnership between the Hammersmith and Fulhman LEA, the Initiative, and the Esmee Fairbain Foundation.
Hammersmith and Fulham, “Heads You Win” Project
The “Heads You Win” project has given the Headteachers of Hammersmith and Fulham:
- A chance to undertake the academic course of the 21st Century Learning Initiative synthesis which has stretched their minds and required them to think about education and to focus on the nature of learning and where and when it happens.
- The opportunity to develop their ICT skills and meet some of the most exciting new developments in that field.
- Time to step back from the day to day hassle and the demands of the Government to see where they and their staff and schools are.
- Staff development of the highest quality in pleasant surroundings with good hospitality as befits senior managers
- The opportunity to develop a school based project:
- which is entirely their own,
- which can help the school to meet the HeadÕs own agenda for the school,
- which will help the school to meet the challenges it faces,
- which can link together or build on initiatives already being addressed if appropriate,
- for which they can determine their own agreed outcomes and assessment criteria,
- which gives them a chance to try new styles of management to move their schools forward.
- The confidence to lead their schools as valued professionals.
- A strong peer group for discussion and support, challenging and sharing , learning from each other and breaking down the feelings of isolation which immersion in oneÕs own school from month to month can bring.
The course of theory, in which the Headteachers followed the Synthesis of the 21st Century Learning Initiative, has given them:
- Time for reflection about:
- themselves and their leadership.
- how children learn
- what they want for their schools
- the elements of a good learning environment
- what makes a successful leader and manager
- their school’s relationship with families and the community.
- Knowledge and understanding which has given them confidence.
- A sense of their value as professionals.
- An awareness of the potential in themselves, their staff and their pupils.
- Ideas for the raising of achievement in their schools.
- An awareness of the potential and some of the pitfalls in ICT in schools.
- Some of the pedagogical changes which ICT demands.
- A forward looking and positive approach to change and its opportunities for unlocking the potential of children.
- A challenge, for it has required a depth and breadth of reading, discussion and thinking which most of them have not had to do since they finished their higher education.
The ICT input has given the Headteachers:
- An opportunity to develop their own ICT skills whether from a low base or a high one.
- A chance to explore some of the developments in ICT which lie at the cutting edge of new opportunities for schools.
- The makings of a plan to move their schools forward.
- Examples of good practice from visits and contacts with other schools outside their area.