Teaching has commenced for the ten learners enrolled on new MA modules for co-operative school leaders, which are being offered by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) with the support of the College. It is the first joint teaching between the College and MMU.
The teachers are all drawn from primary and secondary schools belonging to the Co-operative Academies Trust, which comprises seven schools in Manchester, Leeds and Stoke-on-Trent sponsored by The Co-operative Group. The course is flexible, to fit around the timetables of practising teachers. The first session took place in the boardroom of The Co-operative Group at 1 Angel Square in Manchester.
The module, entitled ‘Approaches to Leadership’, covers educational leadership, change and transformation in educational settings and organisational culture, in addition to the application of the co-operative values and principles in schools.
The learners, many of whom have previous Masters credits, have various motivations for enrolling on the course. Some are interested in developing their leadership and learning strategies to use in leadership and management. Others are looking forward to taking the opportunity to reflect with others and network. Some wish to gain academic recognition for their role, and some want to give something back to their school. Others are undertaking the course for a personal challenge, for professional development and to learn and share new and fresh ideas.
The initiative also provides a mentoring system with heads and management teams in co-operative schools having the opportunity to develop their mentoring skills. Julie Thorpe, the College’s Lead for School Programmes and Digital Learning, has been co-ordinating school visits for the learners, who will be conducting their first visit in November. The learners will then develop their own questionnaires as the basis for individual research projects.