Why is supervision important in schools? 

Schools are so often at the heart of work with children and families who may need additional help. As well as contributing to multi agency safeguarding systems, there are increasing demands being placed on schools to be the first port of call in working with a variety of complex issues including supporting vulnerable families and addressing the mental health needs of pupils. This can be challenging for staff who may feel emotionally drained, lacking in confidence and overwhelmed by the expectations placed upon them.   

Supervision can make a real difference to the wellbeing of staff, pupils and families through providing a space where staff can explore feelings, thoughts and responses and develop confidence in working with a range of complex situations.   

Preparation 

Talking Heads is delighted to be able to bring training to schools we are working with, where there is a readiness to expand supervision to other staff members. In recognition that supervision is a relatively new concept in schools and may need explanation we expect that anyone attending our courses to train as a supervisor has already received supervision themselves for the preceding academic year.  

Training

The training is founded on the Integrated Model of Supervision (Morrison and Wonnacott, 2010) and adapted for school settings by Sturt and Rowe (2018, 2023). In exploring the Integrated Model of Supervision for Schools, (IMS(S)), it is important to contextualise supervision, its role in schools and how it supports staff in working with students. This training course builds on the work undertaken by Talking Heads delivering supervision across school settings and the range of communication needs children have. 

The definition of supervision, provided by Morrison and modified for schools by Sturt and Rowe is explained as follows: 

“Supervision is a process by which one member of staff is given responsibility by the school to work with another staff member/groups of staff in order to meet certain organisational, professional and personal objectives which together promote the best outcomes for students. These objectives are:  

  • Competent accountable performance (QA/ governance) 
  • Continuing professional development (developmental)
  • Supporting well-being
  • Engaging the staff member with the school (organisational engagement).” 
    (Sturt & Rowe, 2023, IMS(S)) 

During the training days delegates will be introduced to the Integrated Model of Supervision for Schools; at its core is the supervision cycle.  Participants will be offered the opportunity to try out the supervision cycle (a model that develops emotional containment, reflection, critical analytical thinking and defensible decision making).  

Delegates will also consider: 

the importance of emotionally intelligent leadership 
techniques to enhance and develop supervision as a safe containing space  
maintaining the golden thread of safeguarding students and staff wellbeing. 
 

Training Courses: 

Supervising to Safeguard in Schools – Introduction for Senior Leaders 0.5 day workshop delivered online to establish a supervision framework. We recommend this course takes place in the term before supervision training is offered to make sure the school(s) obtains maximum benefit from the training programme and has the necessary strategy to implement supervision effectively. 
 

How to supervise: Using the Integrated Model of Supervision for Schools –3 day training course to people, who have already had the experience of being supervised, to learn to supervise others. This will be delivered in person and is delivered as 2 consecutive days followed by a further day a month to six weeks later to enable supervisors to consolidate their learning and to bring any challenges that may have been encountered in putting their initial learning into practice. 


Reference 

Sturt, P. and Rowe, J. (2023) Using Supervision in Schools Pavilion Publishing


“A great book – highly recommended for those introducing an effective model of supervision into their school.” Debbie Innes – Safeguarding Consultant