Questions to Ask a Subject Leader

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subject leadership

Model for a subject leaders’ answers

Many primary schools ask for a standard list of questions which a subject leader could consider, especially prior to an inspection. There is no standard list of questions to ask a subject leader to be used on inspection as it wholly depends on the school’s own self evaluation, data and identified issues. If a subject leader considers the following model, they will be able to answer questions in all areas.

subject leadership

The specific questions below may also help a subject leader to think through issues.

Standards, Progress & Achievement

  • What proportion of pupils attain at and above age related expectations?
  • How has this changed as the cohort has moved through the school?
  • What have you done which has had a positive impact on outcomes? How do you know?
  • Which aspect of the subject do the pupils achieve best in?


  • How effective are your assessment arrangements? How accurate are assessments?
  • How do you moderate assessments?
  • What does your tracking tell you?

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • How do you monitor and evaluate?
  • What has your evaluation led to? What has been the impact?
  • How do you make sure you are getting a true picture of what is happening?

Teaching & Learning

  • How effective is teaching & learning in the subject?
  • Which are the strongest/weakest elements?


  • Which aspects of the subject are the strongest?
  • Which aspects most need improving? What are you doing to address this?
  • How do you ensure that basic skills are applied across the curriculum?


  • How effective is your leadership? How can you evidence this?
  • What has been the impact of your leadership?
  • How do you communicate new issues & expectations to colleagues?

Related Blogs

Developing Middle Leaders by Tim Nelson

Underperformance in Science by Tim Nelson

Leading English Effectively in Primary Schools by Ros Ferrara

Making the Most of Subject Leaders by Tim Nelson

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