Past Pupils

This weekend, I attended the funeral of Christopher, whose life ended in a car accident a few weeks ago. He was 20 years old. He was also a past pupil. I should admit to a little bit of poetic licence here, in that, strictly speaking, Christopher started school the term after I left as headteacher.… Read More Past Pupils


OK, I resigned from Ofsted well over a year ago, so the current, prolonged criticism doesn’t surprise me one bit. It is an organisation that has been struggling for years, with a very high turnover of staff. If you want to read my resignation letter from February 2021, it’s at the end of this blog.… Read More Ofsted

The Year Ahead

As we begin 2023, here are my top 5 areas for urgent attention. I apologise to secondary/FE colleagues as I’m sure there are pressing issues in your phases too, but I’m going with those where I feel most at home. If we are to reduce inequalities, we need fundamental change in the value we give… Read More The Year Ahead

Drop In

Last week, I heard a curious story. One which, I believe, is absolutely true. What I was told is I think symptomatic of the current dysfunction in education. The tale revolves around a well-respected Maths teacher who has been at his current school for some time. He knows his students well, and they obviously like… Read More Drop In

Risky Business

Headteachers know about risk assessments. Our ‘elf and safety culture dates back decades, but certainly ratcheted up around the time I became a headteacher in 2002. Tragic incidents, particularly the Dunblane atrocity, led to fences, keypads, lanyards, buzzers and lockdown drills (no, lockdown meant something different then).  On balance, this was undoubtedly a good thing,… Read More Risky Business

Bursting Bubbles

I will be delighted never to hear the word ‘bubble’ again. Its ubiquitous use in education will be forever associated with hordes of bemused children disappearing back home, or battle-weary parents faced with yet more shifting of plans. As for staff, I’m not sure they can face any more of the increasingly futile attempts to… Read More Bursting Bubbles