This year’s cohort of students are well underway with the MA in Co-operative Educational Leadership and Management. This unique, flexibly-delivered Masters is committed to professional development through active learning, informed by teachers’ own research and investigation, and focusing on the ‘co‑operative difference’ and values in co‑operative schools and academies.
We got in touch with Poppy Lewis, Assistant Headteacher at Woodlands Co-operative Academy, and Michelle Peavoy, Co-operative Academies Trust Values Co-ordinator, to see how they have been getting on with the course:
“I enrolled for the opportunity to explore leadership qualities, styles and gain advice, best practice and suggestions to improve my own practice from across the Trust. Also, I wanted to develop my own knowledge of what impacts leadership from a modern and historical perspective and how our values can been seen through different leadership styles and settings.
“It has been interesting to explore the impact of government policies across time and the changing shape of education and to make predictions regarding future educational polices and ideas.
“As a result of taking this course, I have developed a stronger leadership style, grown in confidence, and deepened my ability to recognise effective leadership qualities to improve my own practice. I also feel more valued by the trust (and the Co-operative Academy of Manchester who have supported me attending the course) for the desire to want to improve for the benefit of raising standards for our students. Moreover, I have picked up ideas from across the primary and secondary stages and deepened my understanding of transition between the two.
“There is a drive for teachers to hold higher level qualifications and for teaching to be recognised as a true profession. As a result, I feel this qualification will come in useful.
“The course team have been very supportive, especially given the need to complete assignments. I can always get hold of them via email and through Skype, and Caroline and Cilla are always willing to meet up individually or talk on the phone.”
“I was a new member of the senior leadership team and simply wanted to learn more, so I signed up for the MA! I wanted to feel confident in my leadership and the day to day running of the school, but what is most important to me is leading the way to successful future changes which will impact on the children in our school. It may sound daft, but I had aspirations of wanting to be an influential leader that would influence others (teachers, pupils and parents) to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. I wanted to find a pedagogy to support my leadership and explore the kind of leader I wanted to become.
“It has been interesting to learn more about the theory and different ideas behind leadership. Some theories you may agree with and some may challenge you. They will inspire and motivate you. The course makes you constantly self-reflect and strive to improve your practice. You take risks and see the benefits in your initiatives. The results will shock you! Best of all it shows you the importance of being co-operative and what you can achieve by working together to improve teaching and learning which is at the core of it all.
“The course has benefited my role in school in several ways. The most important way is by understanding the importance of pupil and staff voice, but also utilising and upholding the co-op values. My proudest achievement to date is creating our own English curriculum, by working alongside and using the ownership of all of the teaching staff, in creating a scheme of work that is personalised to the pupils. We put quality texts at the heart of the curriculum, books that the teachers want to teach from and that the pupils want to learn more about. We have raised the expectations and aspirations of the teaching of English within our school by using a co-operative style of leadership.
“The course team has been extremely supportive. They really help to take the difficulty out of simultaneously working full time and studying for a masters. They will provide readings, guidance, videos and answer any questions or issues. They take as much time out of the studying process as they can, so that you can carry on doing what you need to do at school. In turn, it has really helped me to fine tune my leadership and make real impacts to a higher standard than if I was learning all of this on my own.”
For some more information about the 2016/17 course, please view this flyer.
Please keep an eye out for updates on the 2017/18 cohort, including course content and how to apply, which will be coming soon.