chapter  1
6 Pages

The background

The subject leader’s job has developed into a front-line post. Conferring subject responsibility on a single person has created a job of great importance in most schools. Twenty-five years ago the curriculum ‘belonged’ to the headteacher. Some headteachers chose to appoint maths coordinators, but many didn’t. The coordinator’s work was often quite different in both scope and depth from the work done today. Twenty five years ago a headteacher would be proud to talk about ‘my’ school. Everyone, including staff, parents, local authority advisers and HMI looked to the head to explain and discuss the school’s curriculum, since it was the head, in most cases, who had chosen the content and form of the curriculum that teachers would follow. With relatively few externally imposed legal requirements, other than those relating to religious education, the headteacher was expected to have fashioned the curriculum from their own rich experience-and many of them did exactly that very successfully. In recent years the range and complexity of the curriculum has changed so dramatically that a single person cannot be expected to know in detail all the information that relates to all the subjects.