A departmental development plan is very important as it allows all staff and managers to understand what is expected of the department over a specific number of years. Normally a development plan will cover three to five years..

A good Head of Department will involve all departmental staff in its development, with consultation at all stages. A development plan should not have one sole author but be the produce of the entire department. Joint ownership is key to a successful development plan.

The W.A.T.T. team have produced a framework aimed at helping heads of department write a successful development plan.

1. The Head of Department reads through the school development plan (and if necessary, the Local Authority development plan) and from this writes ‘suggestions’ regarding the development of the Technology department over to a three to five year period. All development points should be cross-referenced with the school development plan and Local Authority plan.

2. Hold a departmental meeting with the development plan as the only item on the agenda. At this meeting the head of department outlines his/her suggestions regarding the development of the department. A full discussion takes place. Staff are asked to consider all the relevant points and to put forward their own suggestions at the next departmental meeting.

3. At a second meeting, a framework for departmental development is agreed. Responsibilities for aspects of the development plan should be determined at this point.

4. The Head of department writes a detailed development plan, including a timescale. The W.A.T.T. research team recommend that a development plan should be kept as simple and clear as possible. This will ensure that aspects of the plan are not misinterpreted.

5. The draft development plan is given to all staff. Staff propose alterations / additions.

6. The Head of Department updates the draft development plan. And submits it to Senior Management scrutiny.

7. The Departmental Development Plan is agreed with the Head Teacher.