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
When I think of my experience of learning French at school, I have particular memories and a general feeling of negativity. I remember one French teacher more than others: her high pitched voice, her tendency to become irritated easily, her inability to look you in the eye. She was one of those people who closes … Continue reading Making a good impression
The Wrong Trousers - Train Chase (Aardman Animations) The image of Gromit frantically laying the tracks to stop the train on which he rides from derailing keeps popping into my mind this week. When the latest DfE guidance dropped into my inbox at about 4pm on Wednesday informing me of what was required for schools … Continue reading The Tracks of my Tiers
The researchED Guide to Leadership hits the shelves this month and I am delighted to have contributed the closing chapter titled 'Surviving and Thriving in Uncertainty'. My contribution is essentially about the complexity of schools and why leaders benefit from acknowledging this complexity. This blog post is written to accompany the chapter, partly to explain … Continue reading The Complex Question of Leadership
Like most headteachers, I suspect, anxiety is a feature of my daily existence. I don't like to say I 'suffer' from it, because I don't see myself as subject to it. I prefer to acknowledge my anxiety and believe that I can act upon it, not it upon me. This is already sounding more 'new … Continue reading Stepping outside of the now
In one of the best moments in TV history (in my opinion), the greatest Doctor in the Doctor Who franchise, Tom Baker (also just my opinion), appears as an elderly curator of a museum. This brief scene toward the end of the epic Day of the Doctor episode depicts a moving and poignant encounter where … Continue reading The Curator
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.Douglas Adams In The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the supercomputer Deep Thought is built to find the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe and Everything. Over 7 million years later it generates the answer: 42. However, … Continue reading If the answer is curriculum, what was the question?
"...the language used to describe servant leadership and the implied values within the approach make challenging the theory tantamount to heresy." (Minnis & Callahan, 2010) Never one to avoid controversy, I find myself mildly irritated once again by the tendency of some to endorse any superficially appealing leadership notion because it sounds worthy. I really … Continue reading Servant Leadership: truthfulness and usefulness
There are many claims about what schools should be and how they can be improved. Most are well intentioned, if not always well informed. As a school leader, I find myself swimming in a sea of 'oughts', and drowning in intuitively appealing claims and counter-claims. Where is the life jacket? In Seymour B. Sarason's seminal … Continue reading The Untestable Abstractions of School Improvement