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Showing posts from July, 2016

Let's fix this together: sharing practical wisdom in the ITT behaviour report

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The other day I was filming a behaviour management training video. Our cunning strategy was to use talented students on a BTEC drama course to help demonstrate the practical ways that students and teachers can interact. They were terrific, and one of them made a comment that cut to the heart of a problem we have in teaching. ‘But don’t you get this kind of stuff before you become a teacher?’ she said. And the honest answer I had to give was, ‘Er...sometimes. Some of it.’

The missing jigsaw piece

After many months of debate, interview, advice, consultation and collaboration, the report into behaviour management in ITT was launched. I’m so proud of the finished product. The working party were all agreed that we needed to write something succinct, practical and targeted at the needs of teachers at the beginning of their careers. There is still a disappointing deficit in behaviour management training in the UK (and abroad- I haven’t found any Shangri-Las in this sector). Too many teachers…

Long Live the Queen: why Spielman is the best choice for the next HMCI

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An advisory vote was taken recently where an expected outcome was surprisingly rejected. Not Brexit, but the Education Select Committee’s recent decision not to approve Amanda Spielman’s appointment as HMCI. I think that’s unfortunate, mainly because I think Spielman is exactly what the education sector needs right now.

Ofsted’s role with schools isn’t to tell teachers how to teach. That misapprehension has rightly been binned in the last 5 or 6 years. Indeed, one of the principal achievements of Wilshaw’s reign on the Iron Throne was to dislocate the infamous ‘preferred teaching style’ of Ofsted that was never formally enshrined but still existed in the gaps between statutes (which is why it took so long to identify and eradicate; it needed a campaign of whistle-blowing through the similarly informal forum of social media to expose it. No mechanism existed within its own structure to collate these concerns, much less address them.) There’s precedent for an HMCI not having taught in …

No hands up: remembering to count my blessings on the fingers you can

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They say you don’t miss what you have ’til it’s gone. Last Monday morning, I lost the use of my hands. The full Double-Skywalker. At 6am I woke with my organic alarm clock baby Benjamin, and could barely lift him from his crib. Over breakfast we competed for who dropped most porridge. By noon I couldn’t fasten a button; by two I wasn’t capable of turning a key or a driving wheel without every crumb of my concentration. By three I was in hospital undergoing tests, bloods, X-Rays and ECGs; I could touch my nose but not scratch it; I could walk a straight line but not draw one. By six I could no longer sign my name, and when they released me at seven I only made it back in the car by treating my hands as spades rather than a prehensile Swiss Army knife.
Before that I’d gone far enough up the tree to meet the NHS end-of-level boss consultant, who puzzled over my symptoms before ordering a MRI. When I asked what diagnoses they were considering, they didn’t sugar coat it.  ‘MS, possibly; or m…