We are really proud of the rapid growth of our Camden Hub: we have grown from 1 to 5 and now 13 primary schools. Working within a local authority that has retained a collaborative structure with no academy converters or chains, we already had a strong social capital amongst heads. What could our hub do that brought something different?
We decided that we would have a theme for hub meetings of ‘Learn and Lead’ and exploit Challenge Partners national network so that as many school leaders as possible were able to experience the reviews and the leadership development days and thus develop their leaderships skills and confidence. Then, as a supportive peer group, others can challenge, coach and question as they feed back.
Hub meetings are carefully timed and structured so that at each meeting, different participants are able to share what they have learnt from their review, from being a reviewer or from a Leadership Development Day visit. Last April, all the non-headteacher members presented their key learning - for their school and for themselves - more formally to the whole group reflecting on ‘what went well’ and ‘even better if’.
Moving forward, we end this year with a ‘Learn and Lead’ hub conference using our hub funding to secure great presenters – and a nice lunch! We wanted too, to strengthen social capital at a class teacher level and so annual Teach Meets (marketplace style) , are now firmly on the calendar as a key CPD night! Enticed with free drinks and nibbles, well over 100 teachers attend with a choice of 24 presenters. It is timed for the first week of December so we can have a festive atmosphere.
Sarah Ewins, Hub Manager