Around this time I started an M.A. in Education where I carried out some action research in the classroom. It was partly face-to-face but mostly online which helped as I could study when I liked. The action research was carried out in class and analysed in my own time. I loved the challenge of academia and took great pleasure in adapting lessons for pupils and really spending time analysing the effects of this.
The results were shared with school leaders who smiled and nodded and even paid for a little bit of it (to get out of paying TLRs for all the other stuff I did in the school) but to me, that was a fair exchange.
Near the end of my M.A. I was asked to lead an introductory module for other teachers. This was really challenging in terms of providing educational content for adults at that level and to get them to participate and collaborate virtually. It proved to be less scary than at first imagined and I had the distinct advantage of having completed the module a few years earlier and was still ‘half in and half out’ of school on the ‘hokey-cokey’ model. This proved to be useful as I may have retained an element of respect or kudos still being a practising teacher (and not a full time academic). I hadn’t forgotten what the realities of life were at the chalk face.
My school was reimbursed for my time on a secondment model, which is something that you too might consider doing.
What are the opportunities for this in your field, area of expertise or interest? With the demise of AST posts, there are still opportunities to develop yourself and the skills of teachers inside your school and externally through these programmes which might allow you to also do the hokey-cokey method!
If leadership is your bag:
DfE Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE) https://www.gov.uk/specialist-leaders-of-education-a-guide-for-potential-applicants
You need to be teacher in a leadership role below headteacher level for 2+ years and that can be curriculum or otherwise. Your headteacher will be asked to confirm that you are in an appropriate role. You can be from any type or phase of school and it does not need to be in an outstanding school or a teaching school, as long as your school has the capacity to release you to work in other schools.
If your subject is your thing:
Lead Practitioner http://www.ssatuk.co.uk/ssat/support/accreditation/lp-accreditation/
Lead Practitioner accreditation provides an opportunity to reward those who already lead others and to develop those who have the potential to be future leaders of learning or aspirant SLEs.
Please share any other schemes nationally or locally you come across!