Category: Headteachers

Schools as places of the ‘now’ … and of the community

What a wonderful pleasure it was last week to speak at the Independent Schools of the Year Award 2020, to announce the finalists, and then to introduce my fellow judges as they revealed the winners! It was a really joyful occasion – all online of course, but with exploding stars and thunderous applause. A really …

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Safeguarding is for Life, not just for Children … why all company directors should be trained in safeguarding

I slipped up in a recent interview with Robin Fletcher, CEO of the Boarding Schools’ Association, when I was quizzing him about the work of SACPA, the Safeguarding and Child Protection Association, which is part of the BSA Group. I linked ‘safeguarding’ and ‘children’ in a question, and he quite rightly picked me up on …

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Leadership coaching: a message for school boards

School leadership is incredibly complex at the best of times; Covid-19 has upped the stakes a hundred-fold, though. If I had had a stress-o-meter to use on many of the leaders I have spoken to over the past 2 weeks, in different parts of the world, it would have shown readings off the chart – …

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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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