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Leadership Issues

This category contains 182 posts

Don’t do ‘Can do’. The problems with can-do checklists and trackers.

In my recent talk at ResearchEd in Birmingham, I explored some ideas about assessment and critiqued various responses to the challenge of getting assessment right.  Sensibly enough, given all the limitations and flaws in grading systems, lots of schools are trying to make their assessment systems meaningful, rooted in the detail of what our students … Continue reading

We know Amy is struggling. The question is what we do about it.

As part of my talk at ResearchEd in Birmingham last weekend, I explored the role of centralised data collection, the ever-present bell curve, the problems with morphing fine-grained ideas about standards and achievement in different subjects into common data formats  – all as a pre-amble to examining the limits of ‘can do’ statements.  (That’s a … Continue reading

Hope and inspiration: so many brilliant school leaders driving change.

As I go about my  business as a consultant and speaker working with schools and colleges around the country, I’m continually impressed by the people I meet.  Although I am often dismayed by the direction of government policy and I worry about the rate of recruitment into the profession, there is no question that our … Continue reading

Data-drops. Get some perspective.

This tweet below is one my most-ever liked and RT’d tweets   It clearly resonates with people.  It’s worth exploring the reasons why that might be.  Some of the reasons are highlighted in the thread that follows and some of the replies. A lot the issues are covered in a previous post about what I … Continue reading

The five forms of feedback I give to teachers most often…

In my work I have the privilege of being able to watch lots of teachers teach in a wide range of contexts.  I see lots of superb teachers and lots of great lessons.  Where I have constructive feedback to give, I find that there are a few common areas for improvement that come up time and … Continue reading

New Year Gold: A selection of brilliant ideas from some fabulous schools

To kick off 2018, here are some of the best ideas I’ve come across on my travels to various schools around the UK.  I’ve limited most of this sample to practices I’ve encountered in more than one school  – to avoid the sense that things can only happen in specific contexts.  Where relevant I’ve named the schools … Continue reading

Six principled practices for intelligent schools:

On my travels I’ve encountered schools that are doing brilliant things without resorting to short-cuts,  without saying that they’ve sacrificed their principles to satisfy external pressures and without making life miserable for their staff with ugly brute-force whip-cracking performance cultures. Some schools are lovely to work in because leaders increasingly recognise the power of building … Continue reading

10 low impact activities to do less of – or stop altogether.

Teachers and leaders across the country do too many things that have unacceptably high ratios of time and effort relative to their impact and/or they are unjustifiable educationally.  Sometimes I think that the debate about workload is tinkering around the edges when actually we need much more fundamental change.  I also think that we need to … Continue reading

Just Teach!!

Featured Image: USC Rossier School of Education  Just Teach? What do I mean?  On my travels I see a lot of lessons where I find myself wanting to say this to the teacher.  Sometimes Just Teach! is the essence of my feedback. It has two meanings. 1. Keep it Simple: Just Teach means that you teach … Continue reading

Goodbye Headteacher; Hello Consultant

Yesterday morning I woke up to my weekly Guardian and TES job alerts and, instead of exploring the latest batch, I deleted them.  I’ve unsubscribed.  Doing that has sealed the decisions I’ve made this week marking a major turning point in my professional life. I’m no longer someone in between jobs, looking to return to Headship; I’ve … Continue reading

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