Wise Leadership in Frenetic Times

Put simply, there has never been a year like it!  Over the past nine months school teachers and leaders have been experiencing discontinuous change like never before.  Keeping schools open for key workers and then all pupils amidst a pandemic; creating new structures and systems around bubbles; online, blended and face to face learning (sometimes simultaneously) and forming an integral part of the national track and trace system.  There was no leadership module, in any of the national professional qualifications, on “Leading through a Pandemic” and no-one with experience to call on.

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The School-led System in Good Heart

Previous Minister for Schools, David Laws once said “often I would ask which organisation was responsible for resolving a particular problem in education, only to be told: ‘Don’t worry, Minister – it’s no longer the DfE. That is now a responsibility of the School-Led System. They will be delivering it.”

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A-Level by Algorithm or Why One Size Does Not Fit All

We all knew that A Levels had not been sat.  We knew that there would be an assessment system based upon an algorithm utilising past performance and a rating system.  At Barnhill middle and senior leaders assiduously poured over sophisticated assessment systems, investigated quality of books, moderated their conclusions in departments and with Senior Management and finally agonised over rank order of the students.  What we were not aware of was just how blunt an instrument this algorithm would turn out to be. Continue reading

A New Howl (for Allen Ginsberg)

At the end of a year that has been like no other, we thought the final blog of the year should be something different. The piece below was penned by Rob Campbell, one of the group who helped establish Headteachers’ Roundtable in 2012, for you to read, enjoy and reflect upon. It is an ode to all of you whose commitment to their schools, pupils, staff & communities has been unwavering in the most challenging of times. It comes with our thanks.

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Ofsted’s Trust Problem

Ofsted’s recent announcement that it will start visiting schools and colleges has been met with incredulity by the profession.  The inspectorate yet again seems out of touch with the current reality.  So deep is the mistrust that exists, in many parts of the profession, Ofsted has felt the need to emphasise that they will have “collaborative conversations, without passing judgement … and provide constructive challenge”.  Possibly, suggesting a contrast with what usually happens during an inspection?

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