Leadership at CopPICE VALLEY

THE FRAMEWORK FOR ETHICAL LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION  was developed by the Ethical Leadership Committee to guide school leaders through the moral maze of educational decision making. At Coppice Valley, we use these principles to ensure we act in the best interests of our school community.

Selflessness  - School leaders should act solely in the interest of children and young people.

Integrity  - School leaders must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. Before acting and taking decisions, they must declare and resolve openly any perceived conflict of interest and relationships.

Objectivity  - School leaders must act and take decisions impartially and fairly, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias. Leaders should be dispassionate, exercising judgement and analysis for the good of children and young people.

Accountability - School leaders are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.

Openness  - School leaders should expect to act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from scrutiny unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.

Honesty  - School leaders should be truthful.

Leadership  - School leaders should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles, and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs. Leaders include both those who are paid to lead schools and colleges and those who volunteer to govern them.

What is leadership like at Coppice Valley? 

All decisions we make start and end with the needs of our pupils and our unique context. We strive to implement our Coppice curriculum so our pupils achieve excellent outcomes and have their personal needs met. Through careful consideration and research, we have arrived at our own bespoke system of leadership which fulfils our core purpose as a school: for our pupils and staff to be the best they can be. To achieve this ambition, we have leaders at all levels of the school, with specific remits, which are all integral parts of the jigsaw of school development.


Pupil Voice

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 12 (respect for the views of the child) states that, "Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously."

We put our children at the heart of our school and our decision making. Pupils assist the leadership team to steer the direction of the school and enjoy taking part in events such as the North Yorkshire Youth Voice Conference. The Senior Leaders Team have regular "Question Times" with delegations of pupils when they can ask us about how the school is run, how decisions are made and tell us about how they things are going with our school development plan.


Subject Leadership

Our leadership team includes discrete leads for reading, writing, mathematics, science, PE and ICT. Our evaluation of subject leadership beyond these curriculum areas was not as effective and rather than continuing to identify 'nominal' leads we have instead incorporated this into the Deputy Head role. Staff now work in school improvement "Teams", focussed on specific projects from the school improvement plan. This allows a focus on the continuing development of teaching and learning skills and reflects our commitment to cross curricular work. Individual subjects and their teaching are supported more effectively and, as a result, our pupils' subject knowledge and its application is more meaningful and productive. Over time we are building in pupil leaders to the Teams to represent our pupil body’s voice. 

Headteacher’s Role - inspiring the vision and culture of the school, ensuring the safeguarding of all pupils, ensuring high behaviour standards, working with the MAT to promote the interests of the school, performance management of teaching staff, managing the operation of the on-site nurture unit, having oversight of teaching, learning and curriculum, recruiting and retaining excellent staff, finance, assessment leader.

Deputy Head’s Role – improving teaching, learning and assessment, ensuring the curriculum is broad, balanced and meeting the needs of the pupils, managing the Teams, providing CPD for teachers and TAs in staff meetings, performance management of teaching assistants, new and returning staff induction, ensuring curriculum policies and strategies are meeting the needs of the pupils.

Assistant Head’s Role – assisting deputy head with teaching, learning and curriculum projects, trialling R&D projects in the classroom, modelling excellent practice to colleagues in teaching and embodying the vision and values of the school, monitoring the fulfilment and impact of the Coppice 50, assisting deputy head with performance management of teaching assistants, day-to-day operational staffing issues, EYFS co-leader and educational visits.

Phase Leaders’ Roles – assisting in the strategic development of teaching, learning and curriculum by trialling R&D projects, modelling excellent teaching to colleagues, organise key stage meetings, the purpose of which are to ensure pupil needs are being met and expectations are high. Examples of key stage meeting work are moderating work samples, “book looks” for to ensure standards and pupil progress meetings.

TA Leader’s Role – organising monthly TA meetings, being a communication link between leaders and teaching assistants, assisting deputy head with delivery of CPD to TAs in TA meeting time.

Vulnerable Learners Leader’s Role – acting as SENCo, safeguarding lead, disadvantaged pupils’ leader and forwarding the interests of all vulnerable pupils. Creating a strategy to close gap between vulnerable learners and their peers in school, and nationally. Liaising with the school pastoral TAs about identification, intervention and impact of work with SEMH projects.

Teams Role – groups of staff, building in former subject leaders’ roles working together to investigate, implement and measure the impact of projects from the school development plan in a project based approach. Previous subject leaders now participate in Team Commissions. All teaching and teaching assistant staff work in a team on a school development plan project. Performance management is used to secure accountability for individuals work in Teams. Using the Education Endowment Fund Implementation strategy as a model of creating effective change and improvement in school, each team investigates, implements and measures the impact of their school development project, reporting back to the Deputy Head. This approach works for us as it ensures commitment to, and a tight focus on, the school development plan. Research and Development Staff feel closely involved and valued in school development.

CPD, self-evaluation and school improvement cycle – our culture of professional growth and development is characterised as an organic cycle of evaluation through monitoring, then providing coaching, mentoring, pupil progress surgeries (non-judgemental opportunities to pick SLT brains about pupil progress issues), leading to in-house CPD. Weekly staff meetings are CPD based. Leaders produce CPD support materials and a reading list using Microsoft OneNote so staff can revisit training. In phase meetings, colleagues provide each other with peer to peer support through data analysis sessions, work scrutinies, moderation and lesson study style research. TAs have additional monthly CPD meetings and their own lesson study research groups to develop and extend their own practice.