New Leader – a) Roles & Responsibilities - Primary Leadership Journey

By Phil Wickins posted 20-06-2024 12:18


Welcome to the first of a series of blogs that accompany the Primary Computing Leadership Journey. 

This first section, comprising of 5 incremental blogs on the STEM community, is aimed at New leaders as you can see from the graphic below. Please read the main blog for New Leaders on the NCCE website first, which explains the Leadership Journey in more detail.

Leadership Pathway

So, what are the roles and responsibilities of a computing subject leader? Is that the same as a subject coordinator? Are we supposed to be dropping everything to help colleagues when their USB stick doesn’t work? Or they can’t get sound on their YouTube? Or the business manager needs help forwarding an email attachment? Are we supposed to provide ALL the planning and resources for teachers, or just an overview?

I’m sure you’ve come across these questions and many more like them if you’ve been a computing lead for any length of time. The truth is, it is slightly different in each school and you definitely have to be prepared to say no to things that you don’t have the capacity for that fall outside of your remit. Some of these things however, you may be happy to serve others with as you may genuinely be the only person who has the skill and the knowledge! My advice would be to try your best to teach your colleagues at every opportunity rather than always doing it for them, to reduce ‘learnt helplessness’ in your team. One teacher recently revealed to me an excellent routine of revealing a ‘tech hack’ or important helpful tip at the end of every staff meeting, just to keep everyone aware and up to date.

One of the main responsibilities for subject leaders is to make sure that policies are present and up to date. The subject of computing may generate more specific policy requirements than other foundation subjects; for example policies for equipment, acceptable use, screen time for children, personal devices for teachers, even guidance for parents and carers on social media. 

I’m sure we can all agree that there is also a huge crossover with computing and safeguarding; this is another area where you will have to make sure you understand your role very clearly, as responsibility for online safety can often lie with the safeguarding lead and not with the computing lead. 

All of this, and more, is covered in the first section of the Leading Primary Computing – Module 1 face to face course, which I strongly recommend taking part in if you haven’t already. 

Do you have any surprising stories about being a computing subject leader? Or have any useful tips for new leaders? Write them in the comments below!

Next blog: Primary Computing Certificate
Previous blog: New Leader

CQF: If you have signed up to complete the Computer Quality Framework, then any activity undertaken in this incremental section of the Leadership Journey would count towards to the 'Leadership and Vision' dimension of the CQF.