Networks to success – the role of school improvement

That the role of school-to-school networks was such a big feature at Whole Education’s annual conference was not a surprise – they are after all a national network of over 200 schools recently identified in an Education Select Committee Report as a good example of school-to-school support.

Sharing London’s Success

Last week was a mammoth week of education events in London culminating on Friday evening with the presentation of Gold Club awards to London schools.

SEN - a shared responsibility

The coming months are key in the provision of services for children with Special Educational Needs and with disabilities.

The Children and Families Bill, which is widely recognised as the most significant reform to special education provision in the last 30 years, will move to Royal Assent.

The draft Code of Practice relates to Part 3 of the Children and Families Bill providing advice to schools on how to carry out a range of statutory duties to ensure the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are met.

SEN: A Changing World

SEN is changing and all of us in schools are trying to understand what the changes will mean in practice for the students in our schools from September 2014. As with so many changes, these have been rushed and there are no definitive answers as to how we should implement them. This of course is a mixed blessing.

As a profession, we often shout loudly from the rooftops that we want to be allowed to use our professional judgement and do what is best for the children in our care.

SEN: Looking to better futures

When I think about the children with SEN I have worked with and my fundamental beliefs about social inclusion and eradicating inequality on society, I wonder what the impact of the SEN reforms on futures will be.

I have for many years had this line of thought: 'What is the point in creating outstanding provision in schools if at the end of statutory schooling, young people 'fall off the cliff' and end up being socially isolated?’ Isn't what happens in their years as young adults, just as important as what happens in school?

SEN: Moving Beyond the Label

Are the knowledge and skills learners with SEN acquire through years of education enough to maximise on their potential? Do we really know their aspirational potential if we continue to define them through the parameters of their SEN labels?

With over 1.3 million learners identified with SEND, school leadership and teachers needs to be prepared with philosophies for optimal inclusion, pedagogy to drive aspirational expectations, and reflective thinking skills to view the individual behind the label.

New SEND reforms

As Teachers and Heads prepare for new term, a guidance has gone out to schools on the SEND reforms and what these might mean in practice.

View information for school leaders

View SEND school leaders presentation

 

“My dugout, my stadium and my people!” - Jose Mourinho 2013

Jose Mourinho summed it up wonderfully when he said, on returning back to manage Chelsea FC for the second time, “my dugout, my stadium and my people” because as the new headteacher walks into his/her office for first time it becomes their office, their school and their students. Everything that happens in the school will become the responsibility of the new Head from day one and no amount of training or support will ever prepare them for everything.

Outstanding teaching in times of change

The new OFSTED Framework and more focus on Early Years education, alongside the new SEN code of practice, have increased pressure further on schools, particularly at a primary level.

Embedding the New Curriculum, increased expectations at end of Key Stages and of course the whole issue of levelling have surely challenged even the most experienced staff in our schools.

“From basket case to somewhere completely different”

I suppose I should start by stating that three people have already challenged me on the session title for the London Leadership Convention on 12th November. I was always worried that “Maintaining and improving the %5 A*-C with English and Mathematics at above 60%” might sound a touch complacent…. believe me it is far from that!

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