Improving as a subject leader

Deborah Weston

How can you improve as a subject leader of RE?

What are your strengths and areas for development under each of the key areas of subject leadership? Read the following table of suggestions and then complete the task below:


  • keeping up to date with school, local and national initiatives in order to form a strategic view of departmental improvement within the whole school context.
  • creating, a subject development plan based on rigorous self-evaluation including manageable targets for improvement
  • producing a handbook for RE that complements whole school publications with appropriate policies and information to ensure smooth running of the department on a day to day basis


  • leading the development of schemes of work and lesson plans
  • leading the collection of evidence in order to form a judgement about the quality of learning and teaching across the department
  • agree targets for improvement in teaching and learning
  • monitoring progress against departmental and school targets
  • analysing data to detect trends in performance
  • initiating intervention when required to keep the subject team on track
  • evaluating the effectiveness of school and departmental plans and policies


  • ensuring that there are clear lines of communication between the subject team and other areas of the school include senior leaders
  • supporting teachers with implentation of rewards and sanctions for students
  • managing effective training for all teachers of RE including peer, formal and informal observation and encouraging continuing professional development
  • co-ordinating performance management for the subject team
  • carrying out regular lesson observations - formal and informal, work sampling exercises, learning walks and feeding back to individuals and the team as appropriate


  • sharing information about resources that are available for teaching RE including strategies and content from other subject areas
  • advising senior staff about the allocation of classes to individual teachers as appropriate to their level of expertise and specialisms
  • ensuring all staff, including students and visitors understand and follow school policies and procedures including those related to safeguarding and health and safety
  • managing the allocated budget for the subject area and seeking opportunities to fund aspects of the development plan

Read the suggestions in the chart for the role of the subject leader and identify one area for improvement from each of the four categories A-D and in the second column phrase it as an aim. In the final column describe the steps you need to take to achieve that aim.

Download the Improving_as_a_subject_leader.docplanning document.

In order to improve: I aim to: To achieve this aim I plan to:
A Strategic direction and development of the subject
B Learning and Teaching
C Leading and managing staff
D Development and deployment of staff and resources