Rethinking the foundation subjects

The persistent challenges of curriculum design, assessment rationale and the complexity of school life continue to make the job both challenging and rewarding. Michael Tidd’s post then prompted me to clarify some thoughts on the foundation subjects. My experience of the foundation subjects in a number of schools both lead and observed is that... Continue Reading →

SEFs and improvement plans | Thinking before templates

Twenty school leaders in a room with their SEF and development plan will probably yield twenty different approaches and twenty different proformas. And rightly so because each school has a unique combination of its context and the Headteacher's mental model of school improvement. One size certainly does not fit all. School self evaluation and strategic... Continue Reading →

A mastery approach | Drivers and barriers

Every child can learn well. School systems and collective beliefs enable or hinder children’s learning on a continuum and our role is to keep nudging systems and beliefs in the right direction. And this is important to remember. We can’t simply flick a switch and and expect overnight improvements. It takes time. So where do... Continue Reading →


What started as a blog post about impact is now a book, thanks to Bloomsbury! #ImpactBook has been kindly reviewed by John Tomsett, Mary Myatt and Michael Tidd. Nick Hart's focus upon the golden thread from leadership behaviours through to pupils' learning makes Impact the best school leadership book I have read for a very... Continue Reading →

Leadership handbook 3.0

Viviane Robinson suggests three capabilities for leading school improvement: This has been transformative for me as a leader, particularly the first capability - using knowledge. It was, and still is, liberating to conceive of school leadership in this way because it gives me something concrete that I can get better at. Trying to be more... Continue Reading →

Team meetings | A driver of school improvement

For those fortunate enough to work in a year group or department with multiple colleagues, the opportunities for collaboration - working together on common problems to achieve common goals - are brilliant. A combination of sharing workload and having plenty of developmental conversations make being a part of a team incredibly important. But every team... Continue Reading →

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