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System Change

This category contains 52 posts

Context is King. #shortblog

Just a quick observation: In our educational discourse, we make too many generalisations about a wide range of issues that ignore the context in which people operate.  I’m visiting schools all over the country and I’ve worked in lots of types of schools – it’s an inescapable fact that the specific context in which we operate … Continue reading

A word of thanks: our profession is packed with brilliant passionate people.

Sometimes I feel it is necessary to state the obvious.  Teachers and schools leaders are horribly taken for granted in the political bun-fight.  I’ve been out on the road recently and what strikes me is that, wherever I go, I meet the most amazing people.   Our profession is packed with such passionate, brilliant, dedicated … Continue reading

WEEP: CLAP, LAUGH or CRY. A policy proposal.

As part of the second birthday celebrations for the wonderful Datalab,  I had the honour of representing the Headteacher’s Roundtable (who still let me sit around the table) presenting a policy proposal to be considered by the great and the good at the gathering captured here: Reflecting on Datalab's first two years #datalabturnstwo pic.twitter.com/lWiVxBOn7G — … Continue reading

Ofsted Reliability Trials. Some suggestions.

It’s very welcome news that Amanda Spielman is going to support an Ofsted ‘research push’ as reported here in Schools Week.  The publication of results of an initial trial is a step in the right direction. In my ‘Gimme some truth‘ blog at the end of 2014,  I complained about the lack of any validity … Continue reading

The Michaela Way

Last week,  I joined the growing number of people who have visited Michaela Community School to see it action.   I’ve read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers and numerous blogs and articles about the school from its teachers and visitors – so it was great to see what it is really like to put … Continue reading

More issues with Progress 8.

In this post I’m going to set out a few of the issues I see with the use of Progress 8 data, especially as one of the indicators of school effectiveness in inspections and in general school-to-school comparison and evaluation. For further reading on Progress 8, you want also wish to read the following: My … Continue reading

Grammar Schools: Schools that don’t work for everyone.

Having previously been the Head of KEGS, a super-selective grammar school in Chelmsford, for six years, I’ve been asked by lots of people to comment on the latest proposals to extend selection.  Here are my thoughts: Very simply, it’s a bad idea.  By definition, grammar schools do not work for everyone.  The Green Paper title … Continue reading

Free School on our doorstep. October Update.

This post is a follow up to my previous post about the new Free School opening up the road from Highbury Grove. This week I had a meeting with the CEO of the Meller Educational Trust along with other key stakeholders.   Here are the main points regarding their plans for the free school in Ladbroke … Continue reading

Dissecting Progress 8. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Now that Progress 8 has been born and looks like it’s here to stay, there’s no use wallowing for too long in outrage at the data-garbage bonkersness of it all.  We might all agree that averaging out every child’s achievements across the school via a super-convoluted and arbitrary algorithm to generate a single number with … Continue reading

Exam grading is inherently flawed; but there’s no conspiracy.

    To put this post in context, previously I have written various other posts about the nature of exam grading, the way OfQual operates, the bell-curve of norm referencing and its role in setting standards, the degree of error that is inherent in any assessment and grading process.  Here is a selection: https://headguruteacher.com/2013/08/31/ofqual-insights-more-thoughts-on-exams/ https://headguruteacher.com/2014/05/27/the-assessment-uncertainty-principle/Continue reading

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