A Murmuration of Boids: It’s Complex (1)

November 27, 2016


I’ve always had a fascination for murmurations.  Even though the English teacher in me loves the collective noun, it’s the visuals that do it for me.  The semi-simultaneous arcing and wheeling that is reminiscent of a shoal of fish.  The “now you see me, now you don’t” as the group moves from showing us a […]

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Ain’t no fun (for anyone) in being a sh1t funnel

August 27, 2016


I can’t quite remember the first time I heard the phrases “sh1t umbrella” and “sh1t funnel” but I’ll never forget the distinction between these two fabulous metaphors and the absolute necessity that school leaders work their hardest to always be the former and never be the latter.  It’s hard because, as I’ve found in the […]

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Guerilla Recruitment & Beating the System

June 4, 2016


Back in 2011 the BBC News website reported that schools were spending an astonishing £293 million on supply staff. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12558798 By 2015 that figure, as reported by the same news agency, had risen from the astonishing to the mind-boggling, with costs being reported as £733 million. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-34647833 I have no doubt about the fact that by […]

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The White Paper: Not the Right Paper. Chapter 3: Nonsensical Ideas

March 23, 2016


Taking my lead from the DfE’s White Paper, ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’ (EEE), I have written this blogpost in three chapters. The first was all about the ‘big ideas’ in the White Paper. The second was all about what I considered to be the ‘important ideas‘. In this final chapter I want to explain why I […]

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The White Paper: Not the Right Paper. Chapter 2: Interesting Ideas

March 22, 2016


Yesterday I wrote the first chapter of my response to the DfE’s White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere (EEE). In it I outlined my thoughts about the ‘big ideas’, as I saw them, in the document. In this chapter I want to focus on the ‘interesting ideas’ before, in the next and final chapter, putting the […]

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The White Paper: Not the Right Paper – Chapter 1: Big Ideas

March 21, 2016


It has taken me four days to get through the DfE’s White Paper, ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’. And when I say four days, I actually mean many, many hours. Far too many for a 128-page document. The last thing I read before it was Zola’s Thérèse Raquin and that took me less time despite weighing in […]

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Undergirding and ESP

January 30, 2016


About three years ago, in the middle of an SLT meeting, I used the word ‘undergird’ to describe how we needed to support staff. As is their wont, a couple of my colleagues reached for their smartphone to google (other search engines can be used) to check whether or not I had coined yet another […]