I switched the radio on the other day and heard a woman talking about her autism. It transpired that she was only recently understanding that she was autistic, and was now a passionate advocate for the role of autistic people in public life. She has become tremendously successful (in career terms), a member of the… Read More Wonderful Difference
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
‘To grow is to change, and to change often is to become more perfect.’ (Cardinal John Henry Newman) Since the pupils have all returned on 8th March, to be brutally honest, I’ve been pretty overwhelmed by the task ahead. To be in education during the 2020s means facing challenges both immediate and intense, but also… Read More Radical Change
6. Catch Up (Again). One of the features of this crisis has been a feeling of deja-vu. Was it May or June last year when we heard the painful cries of public figures who were just so, SO worried about the gloomy future for our children? Well, it felt that the whole of last week… Read More Lockdown 3.0: Catch Up (Again).
5. It’s Reading, Stupid! The week began with one of the brightest moonlit skies I can remember (was it like this before 2020? Did we ever notice them then?) and, as I do every day, I prayed for my family and my Dad in particular. A new month; renewed optimism. At school on Monday, the… Read More Lockdown 3.0: It’s Reading, Stupid!
4. Remote Control. And so this harsh month of January has finally concluded. Without question, I found this last week the most difficult. All those memories of Lockdown 1.0 – the clapping, the cooperation, the care and love, the birdsong and the zoomsong – all dissolving in uncertainty, worry, recriminations and loneliness. Certainly, from Monday… Read More Lockdown 3.0: Remote Control
3. Food, Glorious Food. Monday morning was the big launch of our ‘Food4All’ initiative. The team at Homebaked had worked all day Sunday to get everything ready (respect), and it was an emotional moment seeing the school minibuses setting off, laden with fresh, nourishing food. They came back at lunchtime with mostly positive stories of… Read More Lockdown 3.0. Food, Glorious Food.
2. The Joy of Communication The two core threads of the week were free school meals and autism. The first became national news by the middle of the week, the second is barely mentioned. Do people realise special schools are fully open? Both the ‘school-that-didn’t-really-close’, and the remote learning ‘school’ settle down on Monday. We… Read More Lockdown 3.0: The Joy of Communication
In, Out, Shake It All About. An astonishing week. Whilst it does not compare with the traumas endured by doctors and nurses in overrun hospitals, it is fair to say that those of us in education have lived several weeks in one. The whole of Sunday was spent preparing for a full opening on Monday.… Read More Lockdown 3.0: In, Out, Shake It All About
By way of suggesting some wishes, aspirations or otherwise for 2021, I thought I’d pick out some of the themes of the hundred or so blogs on this site. The majority were written before the pandemic. Reading back through them, some of these themes are even more urgent in my mind, given the danger of… Read More New Year, Old Themes.
The responsibilities taken on by schools are, to use a familiar adverb, rising exponentially. The pandemic might just be exposing how much society relies on them, particularly those serving our youngest children. Ever the optimist, I just wonder whether the penny is dropping. It’s true, as my colleague @OldPrimaryHead said in a recent blog, that… Read More The Penny Drops
Some things naturally come together to form a narrative. It happened this week. I began the week in a bad way. Like many school staff, I was just weary, physically and mentally. Half-term was arriving just in time. I was angry and knackered. The starting point. Secondly, we had scheduled Monday as a staffing day,… Read More Work and the Common Good