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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

Compliance

Compliance. It’s another of those ideas in education that drives people into their camps. For some, compliance or systems that generate compliant children are an outrage; children suppressed, their natural creativity crushed, their rights and freedoms denied, victims of authoritarian power structures that have no place in the modern world. For others, compliance is a … 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

Towards an Assessment Paradigm Shift

Despite my reservations about some of the big data measures that are used to judge schools, I am hopeful that our discourse is shifting the debate on assessment in a very positive direction.  If this continues it will represent an important paradigm shift with positive consequences for students’ learning and their overall school experience. The … Continue reading

Twenty Teacher Types – a real-life test of leadership.

In my experience, the toughest part of being a school leader is dealing with all the different personalities in a large staff.  Delivering on your grand vision stands or falls on whether you can mobilise the staff in your team – always a diverse, complex group of individuals. Getting everyone to give their best and … Continue reading

Maximising P8: Macro-Micro Thinking – and Ethics.

In my view it’s a sad state of affairs that we are a long way down the road towards absolute Data Delusion; where teachers, school leaders and commentators are engaged in discussions about the quality of education provided by a school via a single two digit number that purports to capture a measure of the … Continue reading

Teaching for Distinction @OldhamCollege

The most exciting job I’ve had since starting out with Teacherhead Consulting has been working with Oldham College.  Principal Alun Francis approached me to explore whether there was scope in applying current thinking around teaching and learning, curriculum planning and my experience of the delivery of CPD in schools to the FE setting.   He … Continue reading

Here’s your school development plan – no, really, don’t thank me. #SLTchat

There are so many things you might need to do to take a school forward. Based on my reading and engagement with schools around the country this year, here are some areas I’d recommend for consideration. Before outlining the details, here are two preliminary considerations: A:  Sort behaviour.  Don’t do anything else until this feels … Continue reading

Schools that work for everyone? The challenges for comprehensive education. #educationfest

My talk at the Wellington Festival this year was originally intended to contribute to the discussion about new grammar schools.  However, given that this idea seems to have been put aside – at least at any significant scale – I swerved it around to focus more on comprehensive schools.  Years ago, when I worked at KEGS, … Continue reading

National Baccalaureate for England: Join in; sign up with @natbacctrust

In our view, establishing a National Baccalaureate for England is a policy gift for anyone responsible for taking our education system forward.  Thankfully, we don’t have to wait.  Schools and colleges can get started right away. The National Baccalaureate for England now exists as a framework for ensuring all learners have a rich, broad curriculum experience throughout their school … Continue reading

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