DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: SCHOOL LEADER

Both as a teacher, and then as a school leader, at the beginning of each new year I used to identify what I would be trying to achieve over the course of the year to come. In both roles, my focus was always around how I would be working to improve my understanding and my practice so that I was better able to meet the holistic needs of all my learners.

GCSEPod is now used in one in every four UK secondary schools and has quickly become the digital education content of choice for hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the UK and beyond. However, what might come as somewhat more of a surprise is that thousands of teachers are now also using the digital content and learning platform as a valuable teaching and assessment tool. ASCL general secretary Geoff Barton believes that the resource could go a long way to declutter their busy workloads this school year.


What’s the #1 annual publication in education? We may be biased, but for us it’s the Innovate My School Guide 2017/18. The third edition of this inspirational periodical sees 40 top educators tackle 10 of the most exciting areas in the sector, ranging from The Hottest Edtech Trends, to Assessing Assessment, to a Countdown to 2018/19. The IMS Guide is free to read on our website, and will throughout the year be distributed in print at selected education events across the UK and around the world. 

I wholeheartedly agree with her majesty’s chief inspector of schools. That’s a sentence I never believed I would write. When, however, Amanda Spielman expressed the view that Primary schools who scrap most of the curriculum in Year 6 to focus just on English and maths could be accused of “putting the interests of schools ahead of the interests of the children in them”, it is difficult to see how any education professional could disagree.

Since taking on a head of department role four years ago I have had the same flashback every time I sit down at my desk on the first morning back. I was up on the bleak wilds of Dartmoor in October with the daylight fading and rain coming down fast and furious. I wasn’t sure where I was or where I was going. Panic rose in my throat. I was lost.

I took control of my CPD a few years ago by joining Twitter, attending, then presenting at #teachmeets. This led to me organising some grassroots events, starting to blog and co-founding #womened. Following the success of #womened I have supported the launch of #BAMEed, #LGBTed and #DisabilityEd. Each of these events develop my understanding and appreciation for the teaching community.

As a school leader it is inevitable that you will be required to implement change. There are a range of possibilities for the change; the mundane to the kind of change that keeps you up for endless nights plotting, planning and organising. The big question is, how do you keep it balanced?

Here are 13 quick follows for school leaders, chosen from a range of fields and offering a variety of different benefits. This is a non-definitive list, so remember to add you own suggestions below!

1. Tell us about how you got into teaching.

To be honest, it’s the vocation I always wanted to follow. I loved teaching and learning right from being a leader at my local church youth group as a teenager. After completing my degree and PGCE, I went straight into the classroom and have never looked back. I’ve met other fantastic teachers who have joined teaching after several career changes so there are plenty of routes in! I think the key to remaining fired up is to evolve your role in different schools. It will keep you fresh and motivated. Over the years I’ve been an assistant head of year, outdoor education and expedition coordinator, departmental and faculty leader, and now senior leader. All have had their unique rewards and challenges.

1. Tell us about how you got into teaching.

I was a solicitor for nine years, and when the property market crashed in 2008 I was sadly made redundant. I took another job up in London as a compliance manager and it was during this time that I realised that it was time to accept that my first career was over. I had always wanted to be a teacher whilst at school, but somehow in the course of my studies had side-tracked into Law. There was suddenly a window of opportunity to re-train, and I took it with both hands. I found an amazing school who were willing to accept me into their fold and, as they say, the rest is history. I found the most amazing job in the world. I trained through the Graduate Teacher Programme. Practical and hands on, the GTP enabled me to immediately to experience teaching and school life and I loved it. Somehow, through the twists and turns of life, I'd found my home.

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