University of Chester

Programme Specification
School Leadership and Management PGCert
2014 - 2015

Postgraduate Certificate

School Leadership and Management

School Leadership and Management (Isle of Man)

University of Chester

Isle of Man Government, Department of Education & Children

Department of Education & Children's Professional Development Centre, Isle of Man.



Classroom / Laboratory,

2 years for the initial level 6 module, followed by 2 further years working towards the award.

3 Years

Annual - October




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Academic and Professional Programmes

There are no specific benchmarks for this programme but it is informed by the Teachers' Standards and policy documents pertaining to the progression to Headteacher status. The level of the programme is guided by the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

The programme is not professionally accredited by an external body.

APP Postgraduate Awards Assessment Board

Thursday 1st May 2008

The programme is designed to satisfy succession planning needs for senior staff in IoM primary schools and to provide individuals participants with a challenging and stimulating professional development opportunity. More particularly the programme will seek to: 

  • Develop and enhance the skills and knowledge needed for effective leadership and management of subjects/aspects of primary school practice.
  • Enable participants to reflect critically on their own professional practice in relation to current thinking and best practice and to formulate improvement strategies – evidence-based decision making.
  • Enable participants to play an effective role in the strategic leadership of their schools through active engagement in their senior management team.
  • Develop the capacity of participants to evaluate the impact upon practice of the leadership and management role in relation to improved teaching and learning.
  • Provide an opportunity for advanced study by the bringing together of theory and practice.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Critically engage with relevant theory and best practice
  • Harness insights into subject and professional knowledge
  • Critically review the ways in which research methodology supports professional enquiry
  • Make effective use of theoretical constructs and professional knowledge to evaluate the impact of innovation

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

  • Make critical use of research evidence
  • Formulate valid conclusions that link theory to practice
  • Think independently about essential issues, concepts and ideas
  • Use new insights to analyse familiar situations

Practical Skills

  • Enhanced listening skills
  • Deploy leadership strategies in professional contexts

Key Skills

  • Engage in meaningful debate and critical discussion
  • Read critically
  • Synthesise written and oral information
  • Write to academic standards and with a sense of audience
Application of Number
  • Use numeric data to inform decision making
  • Select and use appropriate research methodology, methods and applications for data handling
Information Literacy and Technology
  • Use electronic platforms to access information
  • Access data bases for research and information
  • Effectively exploit electronic systems for analysis and communication
Improving own learning and performance
  • Critically reflect on professional practice
  • Develop new andragogic and leadership skills
  • Deploy initiativewhen managing own learning
  • positionpersonal needs assessment within a sense of continuing professional development
Working with others
  • Engage with the needs of others and be a pro-active participant in group discussionand team work
  • Work with professional colleagues to share ideas, research and good practice
  • Strive to resolve conflict and reduce tension in professional encounters
  • Work cooperatively with others todisseminate coherent analysis and reasoned strategy
Problem solving
  • Apply existing and new knowledge in innovative ways
  • Analyse complex concepts and formulate workable strategies

Transferable Professional Skills

  • Analyse unfamiliar situations and formulate justified actions
  • Create reasoned argument within professional contexts

The Isle of Man Department of Education regards developing the leadership capacity of all its teachers as fundamental to securing both continuing school improvement and providing senior school leaders for the future.

The format of this programme follows successful provision which has served the needs of teachers on the island for some years. The usual delivery pattern of study for one year then a year of further professional experience followed by a further two years of study, is seen by the Department to be the most appropriate to accommodate the commitments of the participants and satisfy the island's needs. The extended delivery time frame enables participants to operationalise many of the key leadership and management concepts encountered on the programme and facilitates the synergy between their developing understanding and their growing professional responsibilities.

The initial module (CD6500) is free standing with the Postgraduate Certificate proper begining with the commencement of CD7500. In order to be able to do this CD6500, or any other eligible accredited study, is recognised through the University's Accreditation of Prior Learning process.

ActivityLevel 6 module of 20 credits (CD6500)Professional practice (non-accredited)Level M module of 40 credits (CD7500)Level M module of 40 credits (CD7500)(same module)

The free standing module is at level 6 in order to facilitate the return to academic study of teachers who completed their initial training some time ago.

CD6500: Becoming an Effective Subject/Aspect Leader considers the issues of leadership from the perspective of the subject leader or those primary school teachers who lead particular aspects within their school e.g. SENCO or KS Leader. Here participants will link key ideas of leadership to the core notion of school improvement.

CD7500: Becoming an Effective Strategic Leadertakes a broader view of leadership and management from the perspective of whole-school initiatives and the role of the individual professional in the senior management team. This module is at Masters level and could be the beginning of advanced study leading to an MA(Education) within the Faculty.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
CD6500 6 Becoming an Effective Subject/Aspect Leader 20 Comp
CD7500 7 Becoming an Effective Strategic Leader 40 Comp

The award of Postgraduate Certificate in School Leadership and Management is given for the successful completion of the 40 credit module at level 7 following successful receipt of creditfor the 20 credit module atlevel 6, or similar accredited experience.

All participants are employed as teachers on the IoM and as such are all graduates* with qualified teacher status. Participants are selected for the programme through the submission of written application which is endorsed by their Headteacher. They are required to have normally been practicing teachers for a minimum of four years.

Applications are scrutinised by the Programme Leader and if unsuccessful advice and guidance is given on career progression that would support subsequent application.

Applicants who successfully completed the previously version of this programme, or similar programmes of study, may gain 20 credits at level 6 through the University's APEL process.

* As there are still some teachers who trained before teaching became an all-graduate profession there may be applicants who will be treated as graduates due to their professional experience and suitability. 

There are no specific benchmark statements for middle-management programmes of this kind which pertain to the schools sector but it is acknowledged that this programme operates in a sector that is highly legislated and subject to clear professional standards and values.

In recognition of the synergy between theory and practice which is the essence of this programme, teaching/learning strategies will be facilitative and collaborative. Taught sessions will draw upon and feed into the on-going professional practice of participants. New knowledge will be introduced in order to understand complex professional situations and relationships which are within the experience of the participants or can be appreciated through case study scenarios.

Class-room based sessions will include lectures, seminars, discussions, presentations and tutorials. Discussion sessions will facilitate the sharing of good practice and the exploration of problematic issues. These sessions may be supported by specified prior/post reading aimed at developing a more informed critical awareness and reflection.

In order that participants can take ownership of their learning the programme and the expectations placed on participants as learners, is detailed through a Programme Handbook and the activities of specific modules, through Module Handbooks. The module handbook will include, inter alia, information on:
  • module aims and learning outcomes
  • outline content
  • assessment methods and weightings
  • assessment criteria
  • dates and procedures for submission of work
  • schedule of learning sessions
  • information about academic malpractice e.g. plagiarism
  • policy on late submission and word length
  • regulations relating to extensions and deferments

Summative assessment elements will enable participants to demonstrate the learning outcomes specified in the module descriptors. Formative tasks will help to move participants towards these outcomes and will give constructive feedback on individual progress as well as generating material for taught sessions.

All assessed work is graded according to a percentage scale 0-100% using the University’s level specific grading criteria (see The Design of Approved Academic Provision Handbook) which are derived from the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Marking procedures are in conformity to the Requirements Governing the Assessment of Students Handbook. A module grade of 39% or less is awarded a fail and participants will be given the opportunity to resubmit failed assessment components.

Feedback is given against the module learning outcomes and the level criteria. Feedback is intended to identify strengths and areas for improvement and development, the latter being presented as targets. 

The University operates a general policy of anonymous marking but this will not be applicable in this particular case as assessment assignments are based within the participant's workplace and are developed in collaboration with programme tutors. It is unlikely that the participants are known to the Link Tutor or the External Examiner so the sampling process will ensure a measure of anonymity.

Successful participants on this postgraduate certificate programme will begin to develop those characteristics that are common for those studying for an advanced award within the Faculty. They will have begun to demonstrate ability as reflective practitioners and critical thinkers and will be able to articulate their views with confidence and conviction. They will have read appropriatly and engaged with theoretical frameworks which have challenged their values, beliefs and understanding.  Study will have developed their experience as researchers, finding solutions to challenges in their professional setting and practice. Their professional integrity will have been affirmed and they will have become sufficiently professionally secure to confront and manage change and to lead others.

This programme is part of the workforce planning strategy of the Department of Education and the provision is predicated on the assumption that successful participants will subsequently adopt roles of enhanced responsibility within Isle of Man primary schools.

As teachers employed on the Isle of Man all participants are expected to adhere to the equality and diversity standards specified in the Teachers' Standards and the protocols prescribed on the Island. These underpin professional practice in the work place and in their extended dealings with colleagues and fellow professionals. As students registered at the University of Chester participants are entitled to treatment commensurate with the policies and procedures of the institution and have the same rights of redress as students studying on campus. Specifically the University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background.

Diversity and equality are major themes within schooling and the teaching profession so consequently they underpin the practice adopted to deliver this programme and, in themselves, constitute important areas of content.

The University of Chester is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

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