Research in teaching

Operations Group Activity

Comprised of senior leaders from across the City, the Operations Group drives the strategic direction set by SEF. The Group organises TeachMeets for newly and recently qualified teachers, as well as events for mid-career professionals. There is a well-established programme of learning walk visits, and senior leaders share expertise across the City, focussing on issues of importance to individual schools and colleges.

The Operations Group meets half-termly to lead on a number of curriculum and management issues across the City. Based on the agreed schedule of learning walks, small teams of Operations Group colleagues visit other schools and colleges to scrutinise practice across self-identified areas. These learning walks provide an objective perspective on specific issues in schools and colleges, and the learning from these observations is fed back to school and college management, as well as being shared with the Operations Group as a whole. The process has been in operation for a number of years, and is one of the key Operations Group initiatives.

Strategic Professional Development

Quality assurance of the City-wide continuing professional development programme is also carried out by the Operations Group. There are programmes for professionals at all levels: an ECT/RQT programme providing a high level of support for colleagues new to teaching; an Aspiring Middle Leaders programme, for those who are more experienced and wish to move into middle management; and an Aspiring Senior Leaders programme, for those experienced professionals who aspire to leadership roles. The Chair of the Operations Group reports regularly to the SEF Executive on Operations Group activity.

The Operations Group also oversees the activity of the subject networks, and the SEF Network Co-ordinator reports regularly to the group on curriculum and management issues arising from the networks.

Focus on transition - moving from KS2 to KS3 and KS4 to KS5

Since the 2018/19 academic year, a key focus of the Operations Group is transition - from primary to secondary phase and from secondary to post-16. The importance of this focus cannot be overstated; managing transition and the information and data around it are key to the success of some young people.