Staying true to you values and beliefs can be the key to a successful career…
Congratulations – you haven’t got the job!
No matter how many times I do it, sitting down to make the phone calls at the end of a long day of interviews is never a task I look forward to. I normally make one very pleasant call, passing on the good news to the successful candidate, before I turn to the four…Keep reading
Race and Identity – a personal and painful journey
This blog is a personal account of my engagement with the issue of race and identity, both individually and in my role as the CEO of a small Multi-Academy Trust. I’ve hesitated for a long time before writing it – in fact it’s taken over a year to pluck up the courage to do it.…Keep reading
Values in Action – where rhetoric meets reality
In this blog I share my experience of being a parent to the wonderful, indefatigable Molly. We have read through it together, and she is happy for me to share it with you. Values are important. Not just in an abstract, theoretical way, but in driving the decisions we make on a daily basis. No…Keep reading
What goes up, must stay up – the delusion of social mobility
There are some things that are so obviously a good thing that it would be perverse to argue otherwise – motherhood, apple pie, long walks on the beach, an end to world hunger, social mobility – what’s not to like? Well, at the risk of appearing perverse, I’m begging to differ. Not about apple pie…Keep reading
The Best of Times, the Worst of Times – Finding Hope (quite literally) in despair.
When approaching 50,000 people have died in our country as a result of coronavirus, finding the positives can seem almost irrelevant. I am sure that among my abiding memories of this time will be schools closed, empty streets, bare supermarket shelves, and care home workers and NHS staff in flimsy and inadequate PPE, exhausted and…Keep reading
I’ve finally found out what ‘British Values’ are
Since Michael Gove introduced the concept of ‘British Values’ in June 2014, in the light of the Trojan Horse scandal, it’s always been a contentious concept in our schools – why do values have to have a nationality? Is it the duty of schools to define the values of their communities? Was this a kind…Keep reading
Whisper it – I’m carrying on inspecting.
Like a lot of people who’ve been around the education system for a while, my relationship with Ofsted is complicated. I’ve been in schools on the receiving end of inspection many times (at least 10 as a Head or MAT leader), I’ve advised and supported dozens of schools as they have gone through the process,…Keep reading
Reasons to be Cheerful – Why I’m feeling optimistic about teaching in the 2020s
OK, it’s the holidays and the start of a brand new decade, I’m well-fed, well-rested and feeling fairly relaxed. I’m at that point where I can now contemplate the new term with a sense of relative calm and positivity. It may be that everything I write here is written under an illusory fog of goodwill…Keep reading
Stop! Collaborate and listen…
As someone who leads a small Multi-Academy Trust, I am acutely aware of the range of views about the MAT sector that exist within colleagues and the wider public. If scale of impact is the measure, then MATs have been a huge success. Many can point to their achievements in turning around historic poor performance,…Keep reading
It’s probably not sensible to get too exercised about policy announcements from government ministers at the moment. Given the likely longevity of the current government, it feels akin to rearranging the ornaments on the mantelpiece while fleeing a burning house. However, the recent announcement from Damien Hinds that a ‘character panel’ has been appointed to…Keep reading
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