What Does a Director of Curriculum and Instruction Do?
The Director of Curriculum and Instruction role comes with plenty of responsibility and you will likely report directly to the Head of the College.
The Director of Curriculum and Instruction’s main responsibility is to provide strategic leadership and effective management of performance for curriculum. The role requires an individual to deliver an efficient curriculum that meets key stakeholder and student needs.
Along with the other directors, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction must be familiar with the latest developments in the FE sector. This will involve ensuring that the college’s curriculum is line with government strategy.
To be considered for the Director of Curriculum and Instruction role, you will be required to have an in-depth knowledge of: large-scale strategic and operational leadership, driving curriculum design improvements and leading delivery teams.
Another key responsibility of the role is to anticipate the risk, challenges and opportunities regarding the College’s curriculum. The role will also involve taking the lead in the setting of key performance targets around student recruitment, learning behaviour, attainment and progress.
You’ll be expected to oversee the development of external work experience and entrepreneurialism within curriculum areas. The role also requires excellent communication skills given you’ll be working with managers to ensure a high-quality teaching, learning and assessment environment.
The Director of Curriculum and Instruction role will include making sure that the curriculum offers the unobstructed route to meaningful student destinations in higher education and work.
The curriculum transition period for FE and Skills providers was extended to July 2021, according to Sean Harford, National Director for Education at Ofsted in February 2020. He said: “We know that a great curriculum does not just appear perfectly formed overnight. It takes a great deal of thought, preparation and work to plan it.”
Ofsted inspectors will be looking at colleges to:
· broaden the curriculum, ensuring it is “at least as broad, deep and ambitious as the national curriculum”
· identify what students should know by the end of each term
· use assessment to address gaps in students’ knowledge
· identify the important knowledge in each subject
· and plan how knowledge should be sequenced.
Example Career Routes
To highlight that one size certainly does not fit all, Steve McAloone, Director of Curriculum, Technical and Adult Learning at Furness College, left school at 16 and took an apprenticeship in the shipyard in Barrow. After 12 years in the retail sector and a number of jobs in the FE sector, including roles encompassing learning support and lecturing, McAloone became a Curriculum Manager.
Meanwhile, Dean Vaughan, Assistant Principal at West London College, took a different route, working in the FE sector for almost 30 years. He became Assistant Principal at Hammersmith and Fulham College in 2015, before moving on to become Director of Curriculum in 2017 and then to his current position.
To become a Director of Curriculum and Instruction, you’ll need a minimum level 2 in maths and English, a postgraduate teaching or education qualification or certificate in education and a degree or relevant professional qualification.
What's the Difference Between Assistant Director, Director and Executive Director of Curriculum?
Both the Director of Curriculum and the Assistant Director of Curriculum sit on senior management team, as evidenced at Southern Regional College. The Assistant Director plays a crucial role in supporting the Director in their duties. The performance of the Assistant Director in this role will be evaluated by the Director.
Executive Directors take part in the day-to-day running of the college, while Directors form part of the board involved in the important decision making. Executive directors are generally at the head of the board, functioning as “both manager and leader of the board”.
Things to Consider About Leadership
Further Education Trust for Leadership-funded research found that the ‘big leadership’ conversation requires the following:
· A shared framework of leadership to facilitate a coherent discussion.
· Individual engagement and investment
· Building networks across organisations.
· Size of group.
· Designing platforms.
· From local to global and back.
· The medium is the message.
Reforms of the further education (FE) sector have been initiated by the government in recent years. A key part of the changes is to “ensure that FE teachers, leaders and governors are of high quality and are high performing”.
Research undertaken by the Department for Education shows that the high performing colleges in the UK are propelled by “principals and chief executives highly skilled in using flexible forms of leadership and sensing and responding to the complex and changing contexts in which FE providers operate”.
Following the Evidence
Chris Davies, director of curriculum at South Staffordshire College, says that his role demands leading an evidence-based approach to a college-wide problem.
Speaking of his role, he justifies his decision to align central administrative staff with curriculum areas on the various campuses by the evidence backing this up — a study found 40% of non-teaching staff time was spent on things other than teaching.
Davies underlines a key mantra of identifying a problem that affects the learning of students and then strengthen knowledge through evidence.