Science leader toolkit

This toolkit provides the 'must-haves' for every science leader; either to get you started or help reinvigorate your leadership.

New and experienced leads can raise the profile of science in their schools with this guidance. We have tips, ideas and example resources to download in every section. So, take them away and adapt for your school!


Lead by example

If you are passionate about science, your enthusiasm will be infectious. Keep the profile of science high by teaching it well in your class, offering support to your colleagues and talking about it at every opportunity.


Establish regular release time

Establish regular and protected subject leader release time with your head teacher from the beginning. Without this it will be difficult to truly establish yourself in the role and complete all the actions you have planned for science.

Subject audit and surveys

As science leader, you will need to build a picture of what science currently looks like in your school – the good bits and the bad bits! The best way to do this is by undertaking an audit of key areas and asking your pupils, teachers and parents.

Getting started

During your first year as a science leader you can make some big steps. However, it is important not to try and do everything at once. Prioritise your tasks by creating a set of clear and manageable objectives in a subject action plan and focusing on some core baseline activities.

Rolling activities

As your first year progresses, there are a few other important ‘rolling’ activities that will support you and your school to improve science teaching and learning.

Take it further

Having established the foundations in your first year, it is vital that you continue to oversee, monitor and develop these core ‘baseline’ and ‘rolling’ activities. Begin each year with your subject audit and pupil/teacher voice surveys to re-establish your overview of science and set updated objectives in your action plan. Your confidence as a subject leader will have increased, as will your subject knowledge and you can really reflect on your progress, embed those things that have been working well and adapt those things that have not gone as planned.

If you remain in position as science leader for the next few years, then you have an excellent opportunity to really develop and innovate science teaching and learning at your school. Grab this chance to put your own personal stamp on the subject; the more personally invested you are, the more you will enjoy your leadership role. Here are a few suggestions for ways that you can develop and strengthen science in your school:

Experienced leaders

If you have been a science leader for several years, have the day-to-day management of your subject sorted and have very much made it your own, there are still things you can do. Here are a few suggestions:

Written by: Thomas Barton

Primary Science Project Manager at Wellcome

I joined Wellcome after having been a teacher and science lead in primary schools in London. I now support improvements in science teaching & learning in UK primary schools.

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