Diary of a Headteacher: Are we too focused on outcomes?

Are we, as schools and school leaders, too focused on outcomes – both in terms of examinations as well as the day-to-day challenges of leadership?

Over the past decade we have become increasingly obsessed with outcomes in education. At the business end of a young person’s compulsory education there are GCSEs and then A levels or their equivalent.

These outcomes open doors of opportunity for our students and as teachers and leaders we are charged with ensuring they achieve the highest grades possible.

I haven’t met many school leaders who have low aspirations or expectations of their students, but I have encountered leaders who have lost sight of why they joined the profession. Too easily have we been swept up into the lure of climbing onto the next rung of the performance tables ladder. Too frequently have we let the outcomes that non-educationalists have designed drive our behaviour. And for too long have we allowed our schools to become focused on numbers and percentages at the expense of human beings.

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