With the aim for the UAE to be #1 in the Global Innovation Index by the year 2021, it is hardly surprising that there is a heavy focus on innovation as part of the nation’s school inspection framework. However, as with most buzzwords, the term “innovation” has become somewhat debased. Even among experts the term is fiercely debated. This ambiguity leaves the average teacher with a quandary: they are being expected to increase the level of innovation in their practice, as well as helping foster innovation amongst their students, all the while being unclear of exactly what they are working towards.
As more teachers have been leaving the workforce before retirement than ever, school leaders are currently facing a difficult time when it comes to filling up vacancies. In September, the National Audit Office (NAO) released a new report which highlighted that 67% of school leaders identify workload as an important barrier to teacher retention. A Department for Education survey found that middle leaders and classroom teachers work on average 54.4 hours per week, including on the weekend.
This article will look at my transition from UK Secondary SLT to becoming an international school educator. Having spent over 10 years working in UK education, with a wide experience-base of whole school, pastoral and SLT responsibilities in different school contexts, as well as two concurrent school governor roles, the following outline pattern may paint a familiar picture to many other senior educators out there:
Leadership – an interesting word with many connotations. Throughout my teaching career, I have experienced a range of leadership styles. Holistic. Volatile. Aggressive. Manipulative. The one thing they all had in common was the fact they were not role models. They didn’t inspire any interest for me to become, or in fact, believe I could be a leader. I didn’t fit the mould:
This article is based on a presentation given at Teaching and learning Leeds (#TLLeeds) held at GSAL (The Grammar School at Leeds) on Saturday 2nd July 2016. Collaboration was the central theme of the conference.
“Great schools rarely go it alone. The most successful schools are not isolated and separate from their local community and other schools but actively encourage and embrace interaction with others. This approach has led to complementary benefits.” (Buck, 2016)