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
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?
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?
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
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
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
A graveyard at night. Mist... the blanket that comforts those resting below. The camera closes in on one grave stone in particular. It stands slightly apart and askew. An ominous minor key lets us know that something is about to happen. And it does. A hand shoots free of the earth, reaching for the dark … Continue reading Zombie Interventions
Sometimes, expressing what you believe to be true to someone who holds an entirely different mental model for the territory in question is... frustrating. You want to say 'But I don't think it works like that', but the matter in hand is so dependent on your personal perspective that it would be necessary to explore … Continue reading GCSEs and Leaky Buckets
What should it be? A expensive summer school which the wrong children will turn up to? Longer school days? Forcing teachers to give up their weekends and holidays to teach catch-up? These ideas are all being proposed in some form or other by people with a very narrow and simplistic view of what schools do. … Continue reading School recovery: a working definition