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Long term memory and lessons learned

Instead therefore of having the kind of long-term plans we see in other jurisdictions around the world, our schools and colleges, their students and teachers are buffeted around in a whirlwind of constant reforms all too often characterized by an oppositional and often uninformed debate from which many teachers and school leaders all too easily feel disenfranchised. Reflecting on 40 years working in the British education system this was the reason behind the question mark in the title of my book ‘Lessons Learned?’ Our entire education system has been bedeviled by a lack of long-term memory for many years. The last year has been incredibly tough. I hope that the new one will give our profession the space and courage to do what they know is right.

My Ideal School

What would your ideal school look like?
In my ideal school, mistakes would also be part of the learning process – allowing children to be more independent in their thinking and learn for themselves. Education would be less didactic and controlling. Giving children more choice and autonomy leads to higher self-esteem and stronger intrinsic motivation. Pupils would be given a voice, encouraged to think for themselves, and offered opportunities to develop self-reliance.

Education in UK - An unfair start?

Rather than achieving a fair society, educational inequalities based on characteristics beyond children’s and parents’ control – and for the most part related strongly to the experience of child poverty – are rife. They are perpetuated by an educational system that does little to mitigate the unfair advantages available to better-off families. Urgent action is needed to ensure that all children and families have the resources they need to enjoy childhood and to develop towards a fulfilling adulthood.

Planning for recruitment.

For teachers looking for jobs, with everything in one place, they won’t have to update multiple recruitment agencies or job boards. They feel more valued and part of the team, as they will be employed directly by the school. Schools are more likely to turn temporary positions into permanent ones if they don’t have to pay fees. PlanStaffNow is a simple to use online platform that allows schools and education staff to connect with each other in a direct, cost-effective and transparent way. ‘As the new supply teacher framework demonstrates, the DfE recognises the role that recruitment consultancies play in accessing talent – and it’s about time that all individual school leaders do the same. Statements like “agencies are draining public money” just aren’t helpful.’

Question of Curriculum

“How we decide what to teach, when to teach it and why we teach it are some of the most fundamental questions we ask in our schools. However, in some instances, important questions about what to teach has taken a lowly position in educational discussions. Instead we focus on how to achieve outstanding Ofsteds and how to become outstanding teachers, which leads to an obsession with pedagogy at the expense of an in-depth discussion about what we teach. Instead of a focus on short-term lesson planning, we need to look at the long term, how we intend the powerful stories of our subject to unfold.”

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