Book review : Succeeding As A Head of Year

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Author: J. Tait
Publisher: Bloomsbury Education
ISBN: 978-1-4729-6337-6
£16.99

Jon Tait is a deputy headteacher working in a large and diverse secondary school. As an experienced pastoral leader, and former head of year, he is well qualified to advise those aspiring to roles of responsibility in their careers. The book is based on his own experience, as well as on the contributions of 14 middle and senior leaders who provided their professional perspectives.This enables the reader to gain insights into a broad and balanced range of knowledge and advice from ‘the front line’. 

Chapters include:
●      Your readiness for the role
●      Leading and learning
●      Raising achievement
●      Managing behaviour|
●      Closing the gap

Each chapter follows a similar format, opening with an overview, providing reflective activities and closing with a summary of key points and actions to take. This is kept to 3 simple tasks such as read one related book and speak to appropriate members of staff. The chapters blend theory and practice and Tait writes clearly and with passion for empowering staff to support all students in the school, with particular emphasis on reaching out to disadvantaged students and their families. 

Tait stresses the need for rigorous tracking and analysis of student data relating to achievement, behaviour and attendance. He encourages aspiring heads of year to engage in developing a deeper analysis of their current school situation as part of their strategies when moving towards leadership.

An excellent guide.

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