Leadership Issues

This category contains 126 posts

The people who’ve influenced me in 2015

In my day-to-day working life, there are several key people who I look to for solutions, for inspiration and for wisdom.  I’m lucky that my immediate team now comprises people who I respect enormously; people who will tell me what they think and offer alternatives; people whose perspectives matter to me a great deal.  There … Continue reading

Part 2: Bridging the Disadvantage Chasm.

  In my last post I tried to illustrate the chasm that separates our most advantaged from our most disadvantaged students; students in the same community, side by side in the classroom, yet living worlds apart.  Every day brings reminders of that chasm in one form or another.  The question is – what can we … Continue reading

The disadvantage ‘gap’ is a chasm. Part 1.

In the 18 months that I’ve been working at Highbury Grove, I’ve learned a great deal about the complexity of the community that my school serves.  As the acting Designated Child Protection Officer for the last few weeks, I’ve learned even more.  The scale on the axis of advantage and disadvantage is extraordinary with consequences for … Continue reading

Leading Learning: Thinking BIG and small. #SSATNC15

At the SSAT National Conference this week, the theme of my keynote talk was my sense that, in education, we sometimes go wrong because we don’t think about problems on a scale that is big enough or small enough.  We’re often not ambitious enough for what could be achieved on a large scale and, at the … Continue reading

Course Correction. The leadership path is never straight.

Nothing goes according to plan.  That’s my experience of education.  From the scale of my lessons to long-term whole-school initiatives, nothing ever seems to work out in the way that I imagine.   I now see that as not only normal and inevitable, but a healthy, intrinsic part of the process.  There’s a business management book … Continue reading

The delusional voodoo of grading lessons has got to stop.

Last week I tweeted this message, along with a link to my Lesson Observations Unchained post from last year. I received several replies from people in schools across the country where grading lessons is still very much alive and kicking. One person suggested that their lessons are given sub-grades: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 etc.  Think about … Continue reading

My Observation Checklist.

Ok.  The title is misleading.  On purpose. I’ve been observing the newly appointed staff at Highbury Grove over the last few weeks which has been a real pleasure.  For the first time, we’re now using the Bluesky website to write all of our lesson observation reports; this links to our Professional Review documentation, handily keeping … Continue reading

Finding Balance: Joy and Optimism amid the Imperfections of Reality.

During half-term, our son was so overwhelmed by the list of things to do in Dubrovnik he started to complain. How are we going to fit it all in? We should have planned a longer trip! We told him to be grateful; to think of his glass half full and not half empty.  His reply … Continue reading

A Headteacher’s Week at HGS

Following a format I’ve used before, here is a run-down of a reasonably typical week in my life at Head at Highbury Grove.  I’ve chosen this one because it has a bit of everything in it to give a feel for the range of the activities I have in my diary.  Every week is different … Continue reading

Towards Impeccable Behaviour: Phase 2.

It’s now exactly a year since we launched our original Behaviour for Learning System. I described the principles and the details of the system in these posts:  Towards Impeccable Behaviour. Together  and Towards Impeccable Behaviour. Ready for Launch.  A year on, after another round of reviews and consultations, we’re about to re-launch the system with … Continue reading


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