Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Monday, 29 June 2015
Employers continue to argue that 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. In recent years we have made considerable progress in raising standards and in improving the educational attainment of our children and young people, but the pace of change remains insufficient and the focus on skills has been limited.
Saturday, 27 June 2015
Why is there is so much negativity, criticism and unpleasantness around. Education, schools, teachers and colleagues, some working in some of the most challenging contexts, are constantly criticised in the media, by OFSTED and by the DfE. We need to change the culture surrounding education and learning to create a more positive, reflective and supportive framework and critically we all need a rule book to help us live our lives. Interestingly, I re-read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” recently. It’s a great book, first published in 1937, and things don’t get any clearer than this:
Friday, 26 June 2015
This review by the early Intervention Foundation looks at the evidence of links between social and emotional skills in children and how they fare as adults. It find that there are many programmes across the UK that have set out to improve social and emotional skills; we also find that some of them have rigorous evidence to prove their effectiveness, and that many do not.
Thursday, 25 June 2015
Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Whether it is care for the elderly, unemployment in young people, concerns about special educational needs and inclusion or the underachievement of looked after children; hard times and tough issues require bold, big and brilliant solutions... anything to shake things upand challenge the status quo. It's interesting that in so many places, people create hugely complex problems so that anyone looking to change things is discouraged by the enormity of the challenges they might face. I am always reminded of the line about how you might eat an elephant... one bite at a time! The real challenge we face is to break problems down into manageable bite-size chunks.
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
It's a struggle to recruit and retain leaders in many organisations and the lack of leadership skills means that we are finding it harder and harder to fill headships. The challenge of course is that leadership demands a very different set of skills to management so the really strong and highly effective managers don't have the skills needed to lead, shape and drive culture and practice.
Monday, 22 June 2015
In the previous paper, 'What Doesn’t Work in Education: The Politics of Distraction', John Hattie argued that the aim of schooling is for every student to gain at least a year’s worth of learning for a year’s input. He further argued that many policy-makers and systems are persistently drawn to the wrong kind of education interventions – distractions that do not help us realise this ambitious aim. Hattie argues here that we need instead is a defensible and compelling narrative that leads to long-term, coherent and focused system-wide attention on student learning. He calls this territory ‘the politics of collaborative expertise’. Its premise is that there is differential expertise across our schooling system and that there can be wide variation within schools. At the same time, there is a remarkable spread of expertise that can be identified, nurtured, esteemed and brought together to reduce this variance. The aim of this paper is to begin describing what a model of collaborative expertise would look like and what we need to get done to make it a reality.
Friday, 19 June 2015
Thursday, 18 June 2015
It's strange how every great organisation, every great school and every great teacher asks themselves constantly...we all want answers to these questions...
- Is what we are doing working?
- Are we making a real difference?
- What else can we do?
- What could we do differently?
- What can we learn from other people?
- What can we learn from other places?
Sunday, 14 June 2015
Saturday, 13 June 2015
Friday, 12 June 2015
Thursday, 11 June 2015
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
Monday, 8 June 2015
Sunday, 7 June 2015
Friday, 5 June 2015
Thursday, 4 June 2015
It is increasingly obvious that the current OFSTED inspection approach is toxic and not fit for purpose. I have argued for a long time that we need learning leadership, beautiful systems and intelligent accountability and, in this DEMOS report, James Park argues that we need a new model of accountability which would allow all children to achieve their potential, while ensuring the quality of education in schools is of a high standard.
Wednesday, 3 June 2015
The danger, for schools in a simplistic and graded world where OFSTED rules, is that the model doesn't even come close to capturing the dynamic, organic and complex reality of any school and that there simply aren't the people talking about school improvement and developing and sharing a coherent vision for learning!
Tuesday, 2 June 2015
I visited the Sheffield University Technical College again yesterday afternoon. I was there, with my colleague Mike Garnock-Jones, to meet Nick Crew, Principal, and Brigidin Crowther, Assistant Principal, and talk to them about how the UTC might get involved in the Cutlers' "Better Learners, Better Workers' programme.
I visited Westfield Sports College in Sheffield again yesterday morning to see Andy Ireland, the headteacher, and Gary Simmons, the deputy head teacher to talk about the progress they were making and how we could continue to develop the Cutlers' 'Better Learners, Better Workers' programme.