What should we consider to be legitimate professional knowledge, and who gets to decide? These are the questions raised by a stimulating paper released by the Confederation of School Trusts this week titled 'Communities of Improvement: School Trusts as fields of practice'. To my mind, the paper is a must read for anyone interested in … Continue reading Curating the canon
What seems normal now may one day appear peculiar. And many contemporary oddities will become the norm. Yet in the moment we are not very good at predicting which will be which. Education, and schools in particular, suffer this mallady. For example, about 70 years ago it was generally accepted that there was a natural … Continue reading Standards deviation
For those who choose to spend time thinking about education, not just doing it, they will immediately stumble across a question: what should I spend time thinking about? This question is taxing me of late for a number of reasons. I have recently finished writing a book. The process of writing requires that you think … Continue reading Which disciplines offer most to education knowledge-building?
For the last 18 months, I have been co-authoring a book with Becky Allen and Ben White. It is called The Next Big Thing in School Improvement. The book is about the perpetual novelty that we experience in education. In the run up to publication, we will be publishing a series of blog posts which … Continue reading Are you ready for the Next Big Thing?
Knowsley is a local authority area to the East of Liverpool. It is a geographically fragmented borough, comprising swathes of countryside, the two old Lancashire towns of Preston and Whiston, and several areas of unattached housing. It is one of the most deprived parts of the country. Around 20% of working-age people in Knowsley receive … Continue reading Stuck schools
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?
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
This weekend, we are reminded that the past is a stern but benevolent tutor. On a bright, calm Friday in May, we remembered the tragedy of conflict and paused to show our gratitude for 75 years of peace between old enemies, now friends. Remembering, we hope, will help us avoid the mistakes of the past. … Continue reading The Dark Art of Policy Assimilation
27 months have passed and the phone is due to ring. I wasn't quite waiting by the phone at one o'clock on Wednesday, but I marked the passing of this moment in my mind. When no-one called, I knew we were home and dry for half term. I didn't want the call, but in another … Continue reading Waiting for Ogod