What do leaders need? And what do they need most?

What do leaders need? And what do they need most?

Susan Young outlines 23 characteristics of outstanding leaders and leadership teams

Susan Young looks at what makes an outstanding school leader.

17 July 2017/Number of views (1069)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Learning to research: good for teachers, parents and children

Learning to research: good for teachers, parents and children

Susan Young shines a spotlight on the benefits of evidence-informed teaching

Susan Young talks to Early Years teacher, Jane Flood about becoming part of a Research Learning Community.

13 July 2017/Number of views (1146)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun

James Ashmore on why middle leaders need to remain optimistic

James Ashmore writes on the importance of staying optimistic as a middle leader.

03 July 2017/Number of views (1109)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
PE and Sport for achievement

PE and Sport for achievement

Guest Blogger Dominic Judge Asks: how can PE and Sport contribute to whole school well-being and performance?

How can school leaders use PE, physical activity and sport to tackle issues of childhood obesity and mental well-being and to drive whole school performance?

20 June 2017/Number of views (887)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
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Exploring the reality of support and provision for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs

Exploring the reality of support and provision for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs

Jean Gross explores the current provision and support for children with SLCN

Jean Gross outlines the provision and support for children with SLCN.

16 June 2017/Number of views (1382)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Social mobility and attainment – what can Middle Leaders do?

Social mobility and attainment – what can Middle Leaders do?

What teachers and schools can do to help

In the UK today, there are areas where a staggering one in six children are currently living in poverty (Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission).

05 June 2017/Number of views (1703)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Using speakers to inspire young people

Using speakers to inspire young people

How one charity brings high profile speakers into schools

 The charity, Speakers for Schools, gives access to top quality speakers for free

22 May 2017/Number of views (2093)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
What impact could coaching have in your school?

What impact could coaching have in your school?

Lara Ginn, an NAHT Edge Advisory Council member, explores the benefits of setting up a coaching team.

Within a school context it is essential to ensure a level of consistency; a common approach to coaching sessions is important.

09 May 2017/Number of views (2408)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Getting started with video CPD (Part 2)

Getting started with video CPD (Part 2)

Developing a supportive culture and establishing a solid programme.

Exploring video CPD: developing a supportive culture and establishing a solid programme. 

20 April 2017/Number of views (2685)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Getting started with video CPD (Part 1)

Getting started with video CPD (Part 1)

Exploring video CPD and practical strategies for getting started.

Christophe Mullings, Head of Education at IRIS Connect, explores video CPD and practical strategies for getting started.

19 April 2017/Number of views (2675)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Recognising leaders who’ve made a difference

Recognising leaders who’ve made a difference

The BELMAS Reflective Practice Award for innovation and critical reflection in education is now open for entries.

The BELMAS Reflective Practice Award for innovation and critical reflection in education is now open for entries

 

17 March 2017/Number of views (3844)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Chasing happiness

Chasing happiness

Guest blogger James Ashmore asks: As a middle leader, what else could you do to raise your team’s happiness quotient?

Guest blogger James Ashmore asks: As a middle leader, what could you do to raise your team’s happiness quotient? 

06 February 2017/Number of views (2507)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
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Making a difference for autistic girls and women

Making a difference for autistic girls and women

Broadcaster and campaigner Carrie Grant asks how girls with autism can find their voice, and are we truly listening?

How does an autistic person get heard and understood? How do they find their voice? How do we hear their voice? And are we giving space to hear the autistic voice?

30 January 2017/Number of views (3601)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Managing your time

Managing your time

Guest blogger James Ashmore looks at the conflict between a middle leader's personal and professional life

You may feel that your work/life balance is seriously out of kilter and that moving into middle leadership has done nothing to redress this, in fact it’s made it worse.

06 December 2016/Number of views (3723)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Recruitment, retention and middle leaders

Recruitment, retention and middle leaders

Why are schools finding that there is a shortage of middle leaders?

In the short term a dedicated middle leader can make sacrifices, willing to take on more because they are not only ambitious for themselves but committed to high quality education for pupils within their school. But is this sustainable asks Lara Ginn? 

21 November 2016/Number of views (4269)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Teacher Workload: The Elephant in the Room?

Teacher Workload: The Elephant in the Room?

A personal perspective from Lara Ginn

Teacher workload is among one of the greatest issues schools face nowadays. Over recent years this has become a source of wide scale discussion within the profession and in the media. The government has, through recent independent reviews, endeavoured to identify some of the primary factors causing the heavy workload faced by teaching staff and means by which all stakeholders can redress this.

16 November 2016/Number of views (3970)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
“Death neither obeys the school timetable nor appears on it… It enters the classroom without knocking”

“Death neither obeys the school timetable nor appears on it… It enters the classroom without knocking”

Supporting bereavement

By the age of 16 at least one child in every classroom (1 in 29) will have experienced the death of a parent or sibling (Penny & Stubbs, 2015).

08 November 2016/Number of views (3373)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
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Securing and growing great practice in your team

Securing and growing great practice in your team

Top tips for growing great practice

Middle leaders are increasingly recognised for their pivotal role in developing the quality of practice. So how is this being achieved, and how can you plan for this?

24 October 2016/Number of views (3077)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
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Running Successful Meetings

Running Successful Meetings

Five top tips

Running successful meetings is an often overlooked skill but one that will almost certainly be required of you as a middle leader. The times you have together with your team can be critical to your success and so it is vitally important that they go well. 

18 October 2016/Number of views (4670)/Comments (0)/
Categories: StaffBlogs
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Girls and Autism: Flying Under the Radar (nasen 2016)

Girls and Autism: Flying Under the Radar (nasen 2016)

If you were asked to describe a typical student with autism, what would you say?

It is becoming more and more widely understood that there may well be as many girls and women with autism as there are boys and men, but their needs are not always being identified.

04 October 2016/Number of views (3762)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
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Opinion from NAHT Edge bloggers


The year ahead

 

As every teacher will tell you, the start of a new school year brings with it a tangible sense of new beginnings. There is the new class of children to get to know, new staff to work with, new parents to meet and sometimes even a new classroom to decorate! Uniforms are at their brightest, shoes at their shiniest and pencil cases brim with new stationery accumulated over the holidays (including those annoyingly oversized novelty pencils which no child can write with no matter how much they protest!)

This year the sense of a fresh start reaches far beyond the classroom, corridor and school gates. Following the fall-out of the Brexit vote in June, this September we return with a new Prime Minster and a new Secretary of State for Education.

2016/17 promises to be another busy and potentially eventful year, so what might be some of the key issues dominating the education headlines?

Assessment

Assessment dominated much of all of our thinking in 2016 and will almost certainly continue to do so this year as well. The government has confirmed that the much maligned interim frameworks for Key Stage One and Key Stage Two will be used again this year. We have made it clear that we cannot accept a repeat of last year’s chaos and, at the very least, we will expect to see changes made to mitigate some of the worst aspects of the current system. In the longer-term we will continue to call on the government to commit to a comprehensive review of primary assessment so that we get to a system that works for children, teachers, parents and schools.

Assessment will feature prominently in our secondary members’ thinking too. Not only will they be getting to grips with the new type of Key Stage 2 data that they are inheriting but they are also continuing to deal with the impact of on-going GCSE and A Level reform. Next summer will see the first cohort of pupils being awarded the new 1-9 grades in English and Maths and, for many teachers, September sees the introduction of new specifications in their subjects.  

New Chief Inspector for Schools

In January we will see Amanda Spielman take up post as Ofsted’s new Chief Inspector. It will be very interesting to watch the impact this has on the future direction of the inspectorate. At the very least I think we could expect to see a change in tone and communication. Spielman is clearly a very different character to the current incumbent and I think we can expect far less of the controversial headline grabbing speeches that we became used to under Sir Michael Wilshaw. There are also early indications that she might be willing to consult with the profession on some quite significant changes in how Ofsted inspects and reports including the potential scrapping of the Outstanding grade.

Academisation

Whilst the government has now abandoned initial plans to force all schools to become academies by 2022, it is fair to say that we can expect to see the number of academies continuing to grow at a national level. In many cases, this will be because schools have taken that decision for themselves as they feel it is in their best interests. However, there will still be those who come under pressure to convert against their will and we will continue to strongly support the right of school leaders and governors to make such decisions based on what is right for their schools. We will need to watch very closely how this develops, particularly in terms of the definition of ‘unviable’ Local Authorities which would potentially see groups of schools coming under pressure to convert.

Grammar School Debate

As I’m sure you won’t have missed over the summer, it would seem that the grammar school debate is now well on truly back on the table. Whilst early signs are that we are unlikely to see a large-scale return to the establishment of grammar schools nationwide, there do appear to be some rumblings from the government that they could be looking to reintroduce some form of academic selection in certain areas.  Currently there is an awful lot of speculation and guesswork taking place but we should start to get a clearer picture later in the autumn term. Either way, I think it is fair to say that the issue could continue to fill column inches for some time to come.

Year 7 Resits

In the autumn we are also expecting a formal consultation to be announced regarding the possible introduction of year 7 resits for the 2017/18 academic year. The real question will be whether or not they manage to find a single person who actually thinks that this is a good idea! As a profession, we will need to make our case very strongly as to why this is such a deeply flawed plan.

And that’s not all..

These are just a few of the topics that we might expect to see dominate the education headlines this year. Of course, there will be plenty of other issues occupying our members’ minds including the increase in free childcare hours in the Early Years, the continued impact of SEND reforms and a whole raft of subject specific developments including the additional funding for schools to trial the Shanghai approach to maths teaching. We will ensure that we keep you informed and updated on all of these developments.

Reasons to be cheerful…

Whilst it is easy to feel a little gloomy or overwhelmed by some of the external pressures currently facing schools, we must not lose sight of what makes teaching and leading in schools such a fantastic and rewarding job.

Just as in previous years, this year you will be given an amazing opportunity to shape the lives of the young people that you work with. You will become one of the most important and significant influences on their lives for the next twelve months. You will help the children in your class understand entirely new concepts and ideas, you will unlock previously locked doors and help them navigate all sorts of unpredictable emotional ups and downs. You will not always see your impact immediately but never underestimate it.

The pupils you work with will have little regard for the politics of education and, for a large proportion of the time, nor should you. The classroom itself can be a great escape from all the external ‘noise’ as you fully commit to making the most of every minute with the children you teach. With all the pressures surrounding data, accountability and workloads it can feel a challenge to not get bogged down by it all but this year why not a make a simple resolution to allow yourself to really enjoy those moments when you are with the children and doing what you entered the profession to do in the first place.




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