Blog


Support staff are in crisis

20 March 2019

Support staff are the glue that holds a school together and yet are facing over-work, under-pay and redundancies as government funding cuts bite, says Dr Mary Bousted


At the chalkface: Certainties are toxic

20 March 2019

At first I took them on. Have you even read it? Why should we do what God says? When is obedience a good idea? Certainties are toxic. Complexities aren’t. We need doubt, we need humour. You burn books and you will end up burning people.


Progress 8: Is it time to tinker?

13 March 2019

There has been some debate about the inherent unfairness of Progress 8 towards schools with higher proportions of disadvantaged and SEN pupils. Dr Lesley Duff looks at the evidence...


There are many ways to build character

13 March 2019

In proposing his Five Foundations for Building Character, the education secretary has set out his definition of character and resilience – but young people build these traits in many others ways that deserve recognition too, says Deborah Lawson


At the chalkface: Talking proper

13 March 2019

For girls it was marginally worse. Those with pushy parents went to something called a Lucy Clayton Finishing School. There they got finished. They practised enunciating “how now brown cow” with a telephone directory on their heads...



Diary of an NQT: The countdown to GCSEs

13 March 2019

With exams on the horizon, the pressure to run extra sessions and interventions is mounting, but our NQT diarist is making sure to protect her work/life balance


Why are teachers quitting?

6 March 2019

Workload has been identified as a key factor behind the retention crisis and why so many teachers choose to quit. But Dr Valerie Butcher asks whether it is also down to the type of work we’re asking teachers to do?


When priorities clash...

6 March 2019

Recent events show that sometimes what parents, children and schools want doesn’t always match up, a fact that presents a particular challenge for school leaders, according to Sarah Hannafin


Diary of an NQT: Back from the school trip

6 March 2019

Exhausted and facing a pile of marking to catch up on, our NQT diarist is back from her first ever residential trip – and doesn’t regret taking it on for a moment


At the chalkface: A funny tinge

6 March 2019

He cites such things as “meaningless words”, “verbal false limbs”, “dying metaphors”, “exhausted idioms” and the sheer “lying”, consciously or not, of so much political speech


Ofsted and your wellbeing

27 February 2019

Consultation over the draft Education Inspection Framework will close in five weeks’ time. Philippa Stobbs considers the potential within the proposals to foster better teacher and pupil wellbeing


Bullying: A new approach?

27 February 2019

Research shows us that fundamental changes are needed to how we approach anti-bullying work – both in national policy and practice on the ground, says Dr Elizabeth Nassem


At the chalkface: Strike!

27 February 2019

The Cuban Missile Crisis. October 1962. We protested and refused to kick off in case the world was blown to smithereens. It wasn’t. Our protest might have been decisive.




School accountability: The tide is slowly turning

6 February 2019

Proposed reforms from both Ofsted and the government seem to be positive steps forward against counter-productive, draconian and punitive school accountability, says Geoff Barton – yet the problems of Progress 8 remain...


At the chalkface: A Spell against Barbarism

6 February 2019

Like all grand daughters, she is raving genius. Like all four-year-olds she is a poet. It can’t be stopped. I hope it doesn’t get stopped when she starts school, that it’s not blocked by the dread syllabus...



Ofsted's reforms: Missing the point

30 January 2019

Ofsted has set out plans to rebalance school inspection, but is still failing to address the most crucial problem, says Dr Andrew Clapham


Teacher wellbeing: A shared definition

30 January 2019

Teachers are people, not just employees. Fail to consider the human and personal aspect, and any definition of staff wellbeing will fall short of the reality, says Julian Stanley



At the chalkface: How dare they…

30 January 2019

“I want everyone to see us as a force for improvement,” says Amanda Spielman. Hurrah! Though careful with the language, please, less of the “force”...



Achieving a ‘school-led’ system

28 January 2019

From curriculum approaches to collaborative networks, there are clear opportunities for schools to take back control despite the challenges we face. Ahead of the NAHT Secondary Conference, Robert Campbell considers the developing ‘school-led system'

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