When I started my first teaching post in 1995, I was bloody awful. I think I got the job in a rather challenging Birmingham School simply because I showed up. No one came to observe me until the January – when a nice Ofsted Inspector walked through the door and left giving me a “satisfactory” judgement. I was made up. Continue reading
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In September 2015, a Year 9 became unwell while playing football with his friends at lunchtime. As he walked to the staff on duty, he collapsed, unable to breathe. Staff at school battled to resuscitate him by performing CPR and attempting to administer his Ventolin inhaler. Then local GPs attended, then paramedics and finally the air ambulance. He was rushed to the local hospital and then to the Evelina in London. Sadly, his asthma attack was fatal. Continue reading
The New Year marks the completion of my second year as headteacher. The 700+ days in the post have passed in somewhat of a blur. I can confirm that it’s never been dull, predictable or lonely. Continue reading
Anyone who works in any type of school knows that December is awash with glitter, cotton wool and hyperactivity. The best we can do is try to contain it to a week, but the anticipation just seems to leak out of children and into everything they touch. And, of course, that’s exactly how it should be! So most of us give in from the magic date of December 1st, when the decorations are allowed to go up and we hit carols and silly hats in a big way.
Except in a Special Measures school. Maybe. Continue reading
Why do people become teachers? And then from that broader group of people, why do a smaller number want to be come headteachers? I suspect that if each was asked that simple question one of the more obvious responses, if not the most common one would be ‘to make a difference’. Of course that simple utterance can communicate a vast range of assumptions: what kind of difference do people mean? Leaving an imprint on someone can make a difference – but it’s not always for the best. Continue reading