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System Change

This category contains 65 posts

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

Accountability ‘stick’ is taking us to the brink: Time for radical change.

Over the last few weeks, there have been some superb blogs and articles, alongside some grim news reports, adding fuel to the fire that is burning under our accountability culture.  More and more, as more and more people are saying, it seems blindingly obvious that our system of very high stakes inspection and performance measures … Continue reading

Let’s get radical on Ofsted reform. Power:reliability:impact ratio is wrong.

I think it is time for a very significant review of the role of Ofsted, the nature of inspection and the whole accountability machinery for schools in England.  I have a lot of time and respect for Amanda Spielman and I’m writing this hoping she will read it at some point.  I’m sure that much of what follows … Continue reading

Priority One: Improving the Quality of Teaching. 

The dominant issue in delivering a great education to all young people in a school or college is to ensure that they are being taught well, by someone with the confidence, knowledge and skills required, relevant to the school/college context, in every lesson.  Recruiting, retaining and developing great teachers should be a total frontline priority.  It already is … Continue reading

Tackle Workload. This bandwagon actually matters.

Everyone is talking about workload and rightly so.  It’s even becoming a line of enquiry for inspections.  The folk up at Wizard of O HQ are banging on about it – because they are the new Good Guys –  and Headteachers now have an extra incentive to make sure they are doing something.  This time, … Continue reading

Standards?! What’s going on with GCSE grades?

Are standards going up?  Here’s my annual twitter joke for GCSE results day: DfE media guidance. Response to GCSE outcomes: If results have gone up: This is evidence of policy raising standards. If results have gone down: This is evidence of policy raising standards. It’s a clever trick – but it’s not actually wrong.  A … Continue reading

GCSE Results Post-Mortem

I hope your results have been kind to you and your students; I hope you are still standing after the annual tightrope walk.  However well things went, whether you are a senior leader, Head of department or teacher you’re going to want to try to extract as much information as possible from the results so that you can celebrate all … Continue reading

Where is Education now? Hope vs Despair

Things that make me despair: Visionless policy-making. There’s no overall vision for education from any party.  No joined up thinking; no coherent strategy.  It’s piecemeal bits and pieces, stabbing around for election hits.  Tory Grammars was the most head-in-sand example but Jeremy Corbyn needs to stop talking about kids learning things by heart as if … Continue reading

Lessons for Ed-Research from Quantum Gravity via @carlorovelli

I recently read this fabulous book by Carlo Rovelli. The book works on many levels.  It is an attempt to explain the emerging theory of quantum gravity.  This has numerous mind-blowing conceptual elements – such as the idea that spacetime is quantized, that time isn’t really a fundamental thing that ticks forward – it’s just … Continue reading

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