The change process enables and encourages schools and their partners to: identify and agree where change is necessary, facilitate a vision of the future shared across whole school and stakeholder communities, collaborate internally and externally with other schools, organisations and agencies, in an effective and productive way, create and implement plans for tailored' change in an atmosphere of consensus, embed an inclusive and proactive culture of long term progress, and improve standards for staff, stakeholders and pupils.
The TDA change tools are on the Training and Development Agency for Schools website.
The School Teachers Pay and Conditions document 2009, section 4, gives guidance on changes relating to work life balance in the national agreement, including leadership and management time and dedicated leadership time. This information can be accessed by the Teachernet web site.
Dedicated Headship Time
1 September 2005, head teachers are entitled to dedicated time in which to lead, not just manage their schools. This is specifically designed to be taken 'during school sessions when the head teacher can focus on strategic leadership matters without being interrupted by routine management issues. Its aim is to significantly improve the leadership of the school by reducing workload and improving work life balance. Effective support systems must be in place in order to allow the Head teacher to take his dedicated time and support is required from the governing body for this to effectively take place.
The National Agreement
In January 2003 the Government, employers and the majority of the school workforce unions signed a national agreement that underpinned reforms to raise standards and tackle teacher workloads.
A national Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group was set up to promote the agreement and help finalise changes to the teachers' contract.
Phase one of the national agreement states that all teachers, including head teachers, should enjoy a reasonable work/life balance.
It defines work/life balance as being "about helping teachers combine work with their personal interests outside work" and cites working hours and workload as key, but not exclusive, elements of this.
Other elements include a sense of control, personal fulfillment, career development, work flexibility, physical and emotional wellbeing, and the will of both employers and employees to ensure staff enjoy a reasonable work/life balance.
Implementing work/life balance initiatives is not only about improving the lives of school staff, it is also a highly effective way to raise school standards. Benefits often include:
reduced stress and sickness, and lower supply requirement
greater motivation, morale and physical and emotional wellbeing
increased job satisfaction and improved recruitment and retention
improved teaching and learning, better time management, and greater efficiency
open and honest relationships and greater awareness of staff and pupil needs
increased quality of leadership and management and more trust between management and other staff
greater cohesion and communication between governors, senior management and all school staff, and
additional capacity to improve communication between schools and with local communities.
Support staff roles and qualifications
The changing workforce agenda has led to changes in the roles of many of the school support staff including higher level teaching assistants and parent support advisers.
There is a suite of new vocational support staff qualifications at Level 2 (GCSE level equivalent) and level 3 (A level equivalent). These allow candidates to work incrementally towards larger qualifications as their role grows. Smaller qualifications can be added to over time. They include units that develop knowledge at level 2 and level 3. In addition at level 3 there are units that develop understanding and demonstrate competence in the work place. They include units shared with other qualifications, especially those intended for the children's workforce, to support mobility and offer opportunities for shared training. The level 3 Certificate and Diploma have units which will support multiple and newer roles e.g. pastoral work, mentoring and an increased range of SEN units.
Summary of the proposed new Training and Development Agency qualifications:
Level 2 Award in support work in schools- knowledge based and an induction qualification for volunteers and school staff new to schools
Level 2 Certificate in supporting teaching and learning in schools
Level 2 Certificate in supporting the wider curriculum in schools
Level 3 Award in supporting teaching and learning in schools
Level 3 Certificate in supporting teaching and learning in schools
Level 3 Certificate in cover supervision
Level 3 Diploma in specialist support in teaching and learning in schools..
Useful web sites and documents can be found to right of this page.