Category: Headteachers

Poo in the playground …

Visiting one of my favourite state schools in Edinburgh on Thursday, I came into the school reception to find the Headteacher rushing out past me. ‘With you in a minute!’, she gasped energetically, with only a hint of a sigh in her voice, ‘I’ve been told there is a poo in the playground …’. I …

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Helping school leaders find the right fit in their next role

Whatever we can do to support school leaders, we should. School leaders make a significant and positive difference in schools – just ask Professor John Hattie – and a poor fit (even of a highly skilled and highly experienced leader who is just in a place which needs something different) is enormously costly, both financially …

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Recruiting great teachers: the role of ambitious school leaders

Sir Michael Wilshaw is rarely uncontroversial, and at times his talk on teacher recruitment at the Wellington College Festival of Education, true to form, ruffled more than a few feathers. However, it was hard to argue with his key message, namely that we need to recruit more great teachers, and we need to think creatively …

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Understanding the quiet children: a book review

I was recently sent for review an advance copy of a new book on introverted children, Quiet Kids, by Christine Fonseca, and I found it a fascinating read. Written by an introverted adult, with a self-confessed “need for silence”, Quiet Kids gives an insight into the world of introversion which is experienced by approximately a …

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What Every Parent Should Know About School: Book Review

The author of this new book, Michael Reist, has spent his working life in education – in schools for 30 years and then, for the last 10 years, in tutoring children one-to-one. There is no doubt that he is passionate about the subject of schools and their failings, and while the book reads in parts …

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Countering bullying on and off Twitter: why learning how to behave well is an essential part of education

A Twitterstorm has been in full flow this past week or so, reacting to revelations that Caroline Criado-Perez has been subjected to appalling threats of rape and violence through the medium of Twitter. Ms Criado-Perez led a successful three month campaign to bring a female face – that of Jane Austen – to the new …

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Parents and schools: a partnership from birth

I recently read Paul Tough’s excellent book, ‘Whatever It Takes’, the story of Geoffrey Canada, the pioneering Harlem principal who created the Harlem Children’s Zone, which has revolutionised the life chances of thousands of some of New York’s poorest and most disadvantaged children. It is an absolutely fascinating – and inspiring – read, which demonstrates …

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Stop telling girls untruths about Maths

Many international brows are beaten on a regular basis about why girls do not seem to choose to study Mathematics with the same enthusiasm or to the same level as boys, and the most recent manifestation of this was on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald. A recent Australian study has shown that …

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Raising Girls: why schools and parents make a perfect combination

Steve Biddulph’s latest book, Raising Girls, caused a bit of a stir when it was published earlier this month, and with reason: it is a very sensible addition to the literature on how girls grow up, and parents of girls should find it of genuine interest. Pressures on girls in our society are enormous – …

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Dalton style

I have just been re-reading Helen Parkhurst’s excellent book ‘Education on the Dalton Plan’, and I thoroughly recommend it to discerning educators and those interested in how children learn in schools. Written and published in 1922, it contains an exposition, analysis and case studies of the progressive educational approach – the Dalton Plan – which …

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