Lead Practitioner Programme

What is the GLF Lead Practitioner programme?

The programme develops learning and teaching within the GLF schools. Once an accreditation process has been completed, Lead Practitioners lead and work on aspects of learning and teaching within a designated subject area of the school, with the sole aim of developing student progress – both through their own practice, and developing the practice of others.

Why do we have one?

For a number of years, Advanced Skills Teachers and Excellent Teachers have been leaders of innovative learning and teaching practice in schools across the country. A large part of their work has been to collectively ensure that excellent practice has been shared and moreover that the quality of learning and teaching has continued to be developed and has been at the heart of faculties, phases, departments and schools across the UK. Since 2013 the AST and ET programme has ceased, leaving a void within the learning and teaching strategies of many schools; ASTs and ETs often ensured that learning and teaching was never static and was a vibrant, innovative part of a school’s culture and ethos.  The GLF Lead Practitioner programme essentially replaces the AST process, looking to develop and accredit enthusiastic, innovative teachers with a passion for learning, teaching and student progress.

“The aim of learning and teaching is to instill a sense of challenge, enjoyment and passion for learning that will equip our children and students to achieve their potential and raise their expectations as to what they believe they can achieve. Teachers who do this have a passion for their subjects, make it interesting and lively and, very importantly, build positive relationships with their students. This must be our aspiration across all teachers across all GLF schools.”

What’s happening to existing ASTs?

Existing ASTs within the GLF will be rebranded as Senior Lead Practitioners (SLPs). Their roles and responsibilities within a school will remain the same. In some cases they will mentor those aspiring to be accredited as a LP. Furthermore, the role of the Senior Lead Practitioner will be a role that is open to Lead Practitioners over the longer term.

What’s in it for staff?

The role of Lead Practitioner is an excellent opportunity for career development. It provides the opportunity to lead aspects of learning, teaching and staff development at both a faculty/phase and whole-school level. The LP is both a conduit and a vehicle for sharing and developing effective practice amongst staff – they ensure that learning and teaching is high profile in every subject and never static. The eventual outcome of this is that students in all subjects receive dynamic and innovative lessons.

Furthermore, there is the opportunity for those appointed as Lead Practitioners to eventually progress to the level of Senior Lead Practitioner (formerly AST) – a role that sees the applicant become a Middle Leader and progress onto the Leadership pay spine.

What’s in it for the children/students?

In simple terms, the LP programme has the quality of learning and teaching at its heart, and its sole purpose is to develop the quality of teaching that students receive. As the LP has an integral role in coaching and developing/sharing excellent practice, the outcome is that the children/students receive excellent lessons on a daily basis in all subjects.

What will be the impact on the children/students?

The quality of teaching that the students receive will be better across all subjects. The LP will ensure that through the constant, high profile development of teaching, learning and innovative practice, the children/students will not only achieve academically but also grow, learn and flourish. 

Learning and teaching make the difference. We aim to deliver inspiring learning and support students to enable them to achieve their potential. This reminds us of the reasons for the existence of GLF Schools and the criteria by which we are judged. It is focused, uncompromisingly, upon the needs of children and students.”

The 10 Skills / Required Standards of Lead Practitioners

Personal Skills

  1. Effective communication and presenting
  2. Leading and influencing
  3. Challenging, developing and innovating
  4. Always a learner

Professional Knowledge

  1. Undertaking research to improve learning and teaching
  2. Knowing how all learners (teachers and students) learn and make progress
  3. Transfer specialist expertise, knowledge and pedagogy

Process and impact on others

  1. Coaching / mentoring to lead
  2. Networking to lead
  3. Leading others

Who can apply to be a Lead Practitioner?

Any qualified teacher, from either the primary or secondary phase, who has a passion for learning and teaching can be a Lead Practitioner. Ideally this will be a teacher who does not have any other middle or senior leadership responsibilities; however, this is not concrete; a Key Stage coordinator, for example, looking to develop further would be an ideal candidate.

There is no required duration of teaching experience necessary in order to apply; however, as one of the assessment standards is to provide excellent results this would imply that the applicant should be at least an NQT +1.

How does the accreditation process work?

Firstly the applicant will apply to a post of Aspirant Lead Practitioner. They then have one academic year to complete a folder of evidence and become fully accredited as a Lead Practitioner. 

The assessment process will be as follows:

  • One file of evidence that clearly demonstrates that all of the LP assessment standards have been met.
  • An assessment ‘half-day’ during which the assessor will assess the folder, interview the applicant, observe the teacher once and interview a small student panel (selected by the teacher).

Is this a paid position?

Yes; this works across two phases. When an applicant is appointed as an aspirant Lead Practitioner at the start of the entire process they will be paid an additional £2000 per year; this is paid on the premise that the applicant will be fully accredited as a LP by the end of the academic year. After a full year as a LP the teacher is then able to apply for the post (if available) of a Senior Lead Practitioner. The SLP will be on the Leadership pay spine in line with the previous AST role.

What happens with external applicants for a Lead Practitioner post?

If the applicant is an AST they will be appointed as a SLP; no accreditation process will be required. With regard to the post of Lead Practitioner, the respective Head of School is free to choose whether the applicant should be appointed as an aspirant or accredited LP, dependant on their level of experience. NB – this is applicable to external candidates only.

How does a Lead Practitioner become a Senior Lead Practitioner?

After completing a year as a fully accredited Lead Practitioner, the respective teacher can apply to become a Senior Lead Practitioner (SLP); this is subject to a post being available within that specific school. The application will involve submitting a supplementary folder of evidence, a lesson observation and an interview. The updated folder must also provide additional evidence for two SLP standards.

Lead Practitioner timescale and Progression

Lead Practitioner 1

For further details regarding the GLF Lead Practitioner Programme, please contact Tom Hayter: haytert@glynschool.org