Tuesday, 31 July 2012

"Character, in the long run,
is the decisive factor in the life 
of an individual and of nations alike."
Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, 30 July 2012

"Most people say it is the intellect that makes a great scientist. 
They are wrong: it is character."
Albert Einstein

Sunday, 29 July 2012


“Laugh and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Saturday, 28 July 2012

"You can easily judge the character of a man 
by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."


Another year in some incredible places with some ordinary people doing extraordinary things has made me realise once more the critical importance of a coherent, joined up approach to learning and skills in this country.

Friday, 27 July 2012


I was at the Knowledge Transfer Centre at the Advanced Manufacturing Park this morning to meet with Alison Bettac, Director of Training at the AMRC (Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre), Ian Chowcat, Project Lead for the Sheffield UTC, Stephen Anderson from Sheffield College and Nick Duggan from Sheffield's 14 - 19 team.

Thursday, 26 July 2012


I had a rather unwelcome visitor last night...

"I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but people
will never forget how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Cutlers' " Made in Sheffield" Ambassadors Programme!

I had a great meeting today with John Barber, from B&E South Yorkshire, and Nick Duggan and Simon Baddeley, from Sheffield's 14 - 19 team, finalising the details of the Cutlers' " Made in Sheffield" Ambassadors Programme!  

"Technical skills and intellectual brilliance, by themselves,
do not lead to a world worth living in."
Mose Durst

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

"It's not the brains that matter most 
but that which guides them - character."
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Monday, 23 July 2012

"Watch your thoughts,
for they become words.
Watch your words,
for they become actions.
Watch your actions,
for they become habits.
Watch your habits,
for they become character.
Watch your character,
for it becomes your destiny."

Saturday, 21 July 2012


Another school year draws to a close and I know that everyone is looking forward to a long Summer break where hopefully the sun shines and colleagues can relax, unwind and recharge the batteries.

I hope all my friends, colleagues and followers have a happy holiday, wherever you are!


"The principal goal of education... 
should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things... 
men and women who are creative, inventive, and discoverers."
Jean Piaget

Friday, 20 July 2012


Research shows that students who learn in a positive classroom environment have a better school experience. They achieve higher test scores, learn new skills at a faster rate and are happier at school. 


Spending time with some old friends and colleagues this week, I was reminded that the culture of Education Leeds and our legacy is captured by this wonderful poster.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


Tim Allen, Director of the Carlston Family Foundation, interviewed hundreds of students who listed the qualities that make their favourite teacher stand out from the rest. Here are nine of the key qualities/strategies that outstanding teachers share:

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Assessment IS FOR Learning!

"The big mistake that Paul Black and I made was calling this stuff 'assessment'. 
Because when you use the word assessment, people think about tests and exams. 
For me, Assessment for Learning is all about better teaching."
Dylan Wiliam

"We have every reason to look forward into the future with hope and excitement. 
Fear nothing and no one. Work honestly. Be good, be happy. 
And remember that each of you is unique, your soul your own, 
irreplaceable, and individual in the miracle of your mortal frame." 
Pearl S. Buck (Walsh): 1892-1973; Nobel Prize laureate

Monday, 16 July 2012


I wish that you could create great schools simply by changing the name, the governance and the leadership team.


"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty and to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; ... this is to have succeeded."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, 14 July 2012


I went to two friends ruby (40th) wedding anniversary this afternoon and it reminded me that  when it comes down to what really matters, faith, family and friends make life worth living!


"Good friends are like stars.
You can't always see them 
but they are always there."

Friday, 13 July 2012

BRILLIANT: Hovingham Primary School and Mathletics!

I visited one of my favourite schools again this afternoon to see Janet Spence, Headteacher, Jane Fisher, Assistant Headteacher, their team, some amazingly talented children and many of their parents and carers. I was at Hovingham Primary School, which serves the Chapeltown and Harehills communities in Leeds for their latest 'Mathletics Celebration'.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Re-engineering and Re-imagining the Curriculum!

We can only realise and release the potential of our children and young people if they are better prepared for life and work in the twenty first century.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


We need to help our children and young people develop grit and to help them understand that passion, persistence and hard work towards a goal is the most reliable route to success in life!


In this strange Summer weather where it seems to be raining all the time and facing a landscape of serious financial problems, more and more reports of international unrest, local authority services increasingly under pressure, schools facing increasing challenge and academisation and with OFSTED raising the bar, we all need to develop character, resilience and grit. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Great Schools for Everyone!

I was listening to Niall Ferguson's final ‪Reith‬ Lecture ‘Civil and Uncivil Societies’ which involved an attack on the standards, the quality of teaching and the outcomes we achieve in state schools. 

Extending the Cutlers’ “Made in Sheffield” Project to the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

I spent the morning at Forge Valley Community School in Sheffield with colleagues from Firth Park Community College, Forge Valley Community School, Meadowhead School and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


If we are really serious about changing the culture and creating a culture of excellence we must incentivise and reward co-operation, teamwork, collaboration, networking and partnering. Here are five steps that help to release the magic!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Developing a System of Great Schools in England!

I read 'The Missing Middle: The Case for School Commissioners. Developing a System of Great Schools in England' over the weekend. This interesting and thought-provoking RSA report explains that "international evidence suggests that the impact of individual policies aimed at improving school and student performance are more effective if they are coordinated and steered at a sub-regional level."

Friday, 6 July 2012


I received this message following the post 'Culture Really Matters' which reminded me about the challenges we faced when Education Leeds was established...
"The culture of an organisation is so important. How do you move on from saying the words to actually making the cultural change? We have some brilliant organisational development plans, briefing sessions for staff. However, the actual day to day reality is wide of the mark!"

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Cutlers' "Made in Sheffield" Project

I was at Sheffield's Bannerdale Centre again this morning to update the secondary headteachers about the progress we have made with the Cutlers' "Made in Sheffield" Project I am working on.

'Be The Best You Can Be!'

I discovered this brilliant programme and the stars just sold it to me! 21st Century Legacy was founded by Dr David Hemery CBE, Olympic Gold Medallist and former World Record Holder, to help deliver a bid promise that the London 2012 Olympic Games would be an inspiration to the youth of Britain and the rest of the world. The 'Be the Best you can Be!' Programme enables young people to discover the unique potential within themselves and inspires, engages and empowers them to pursue and fulfil their dreams.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." W. B. Yeats

If you read the McKinsey Report, analyse the PISA data and listen to people like Ken Robinson it is increasingly obvious that, while recognising what has been achieved over the last ten years, we are still not doing enough to ignite and inspire our children to become brilliant little learners.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Ontario Skills Passport!

The Ontario Skills Passport was developed after conversations with employers and identifies the essential skills that enable people to perform tasks required by their occupation and other activities in their daily life. Importantly, these skills provide people with a foundation for learning other skills, and enhance their ability to adapt to change.

Extending the Cutlers’ “Made in Sheffield” Project to the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

I started the day at Meadowhead School and Languages College in Sheffield with colleagues from Firth Park Community College, Forge Valley Community School, Meadowhead School and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

Monday, 2 July 2012

A Passionate Enterprise!

Education is a passionate enterprise built on the interaction between human beings: teachers, students and parents.

Sunday, 1 July 2012


So many people tell me that they find it hard to manage the stress and the pressure and ask how I manage to stay so cheerful, so positive and so enthusiastic. It's easy if you know how and if you have the right attitude and the right tools and strategies to manage the XXXX...