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


You’ve got so much choice! Whether a parent, a pupil or a teacher, we’re continually told that choice is good, and that a deregulated system allows us greater choice. More competition, more choice, a rising tide lifts all boats etc etc. But, what if your choices lead to perverse incentives? What if the choices available… Read More SATS and SEND