System Change

This category contains 29 posts

Our responsibility for inclusion as a community of schools.

“If they don’t like it, they can go somewhere else. Parents have a choice.” I’ve read about Headteachers who say this.  I’ve even used a similar phrase for dramatic effect with my students – if you want to belong to this community to have to follow our rules; if you don’t you’ll have to go somewhere … Continue reading

Research Literacy: Literacy Research

This post contains the key ideas and materials from my presentation at ResearchEd 2015.   It seems to me that a high proportion of discussion about research in education doesn’t actually make reference to specific research evidence or trials.  I’ve decided that every time I give a talk at ResearchEd, I will look at the … Continue reading

RSA Occupy The Curriculum: The Case for a National Baccalaureate

From 2 mins 30, here is my talk at the RSA’s Occupy the Curriculum event. The rationale for the National Baccalaureate for England. Huge thanks to Joe Hallgarten for inviting me and to my fellow panelists for a great discussion. Related links: The National Baccalaureate Convention  The English Baccalaureate: Coming Soon!    If you would … Continue reading

School Improvement vs Educational Politics

Everyone who works in the school system wants the best for the children – let’s start with that assumption.  Politicians do too; it’s just that their instinct to ‘do something’ can be woefully misjudged.  Here are some thoughts. A fundamental paradox in the school improvement process is that deep-rooted change that constitutes bona fide transformation … Continue reading

Progress 8: Looks like Data Garbage to me.

(UPDATES – see DataLab posts via link at the bottom for an interesting challenge, my response to it, and other bits of analysis..) I’ve been looking into the detail of Progress 8, following the DFE guidance that was published in March. Is it just me or is this a massive pile of data garbage? A … Continue reading

Launching the College of Teaching: Vision vs Inertia

Pre-amble:  Change vs Inertia I’ve often argued that it is far, far easier to campaign against something that you don’t like compared to campaigning for something that you want to happen.  There are countless examples in education at school level and national policy level.   One of my leadership mantras is that in order to challenge … Continue reading

Our A* Victory vs Pearson. David 1: Goliath 0

Yesterday we heard the news that we had finally won our case with Pearson/Edexcel about an A* grade in Art GCSE.  Despite several negative responses to appeals and complaints, spurred on by the candidate’s parents, we persevered and ultimately won the case. It was just one grade, but it mattered to the student and her … Continue reading

The English National Baccalaureate. Coming Soon! Updated.

(Updated 8th Jan below) After a couple of years working on this, it seems that we may be in a position to launch a genuine National Baccalaureate for England in the near future.  2015 could be the year.   In November we hosted the National Baccalaureate Summit at my school, bringing all the key players … Continue reading

OfSTED Outstanding? Just gimme some truth.

I’m sick and tired of hearing things From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics All I want is the truth Just gimme some truth I’ve had enough of reading things By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians All I want is the truth Just gimme some truth I’m sick to death of seeing things From tight-lipped, condescending, mamas little … Continue reading

RSA Essays: Licensed to Create? Incentives for improving teacher quality.

Today, the RSA has published a collection of 10 essays on the theme of improving teacher quality and the concept of licensing.  This has been, in part, stimulated by Tristram Hunt’s policy proposals.   I was delighted to have been invited to contribute an essay and I have included mine in full below.  Interestingly, the … Continue reading


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