As the anniversary of the UK's first 'lockdown' passes, many are trying to make sense of the events of the past year. For those working in schools, this period has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride. The blogs which have emerged describe the numerous 'stages' of school functioning and how it has felt to progress … Continue reading Sense and Sense Ability
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows A paracosm is a detailed imaginary world, often formed in childhood, which blends the real world with imaginary places, characters, and events. Children may develop a … Continue reading The Imagined School
If we look at the history of educational reform - whether it be the introduction of a universal right to education, the dismantling of the tripartite system, or the attempt to sideline local authority control - we may view it as being driven by radical ideas and powerful interest groups, or as a consequence of … Continue reading Is the education system about to reform?
From where does a school's persona arise? And what role does the headteacher play in creating this persona? There has been much written and said about school culture - what we mean by the term, how it comes about. In this post I would like to highlight a systems perspective on this matter. Discussions around … Continue reading Culture and Context
Perhaps nothing has provoked teachers more than the phrase 'schools are closed' over the last year. This is mainly because of the lazy journalistic slur that teachers are getting paid for doing nothing at home. Whilst schools are definitely 'open' to at least some pupils, teachers will be keen to point out that those at … Continue reading When is a school not a school?
I was reminded today of my tendency to become over excited about a really cool piece of technology. My geekiness is hidden behind a thin veil, and today that veil was lifted to reveal my bridal glow. The technology in question (and I should warn you it really isn't exciting to any normal human) is … Continue reading Kicking the solution habit
One of the most pertinent questions this week in education is who is best able to judge standards of remote teaching. The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, thinks it is parents and Ofsted. At least I assume that is his belief as he has encouraged parents to complain to Ofsted if their school is not delivering … Continue reading Not remotely impressed
When I am asked (with two working days' notice) to implement a large-scale medical testing operation despite having no relevant experience or qualifications, my first thought is not 'where do we start?' or 'how can this be achieved?', but 'is this really a good idea?'. Clearly I don't have the can-do attitude, or whatever leadership … Continue reading Lateral Flow Tests in Schools
This isn't a post about Brexit... but it starts there. As we lurch towards the distinct possibility of a no-deal, you would be right to be concerned about what happens next. Whichever side of the debate you are on, no-one should be taking this possibility lightly. It is a problem we should all care about … Continue reading Who tells your story?
In the early 1970s, the psychophysicist Howard Moskowitz proved that there was no such thing as the perfect Pepsi. He had been asked by the company to establish the optimum amount of the sweetener to include in their new diet drink. They knew that this magic amount was somewhere between 8% and 12%, and they … Continue reading Perhaps the best solutions are not where everyone is looking