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The Spring Newsletter 2019

A very warm welcome to the Spring Newsletter…
where we are taking a look at leadership, and the new Ofsted curriculum requirements.

New this year, we have launched ‘Monday Motivation’ on Instagram, where you can be uplifted with some inspirational thoughts to keep your spirits high.

You are not alone…

No matter what we try and do, the responsibility for leading others is immense. It demands not only a strength of character, but also great insight & outsight. The fact of the matter is that at times all leaders struggle to show outward facing optimism, when inwardly they are struggling with degrees of uncertainty and pressure.

A leader’s needs…

It is little wonder therefore that most leaders outside the Education Sector appreciate the importance of a personal coach. At a recent leadership convention I attended, this was cited as one of the top five needs for a Leader. Can you guess the others? Answers at the bottom of this newsletter!

“Leadership is a fine thing, but it has its penalties. And the greatest penalty of all is loneliness.”Ernest Shakleton

More and more Head teachers are recognising the value of having a personal coach and how it enhances their effectiveness in the workplace, and indeed, their life effectiveness.

Whilst it doesn’t totally solve the Shackleton’s “loneliness penalty,” it can really help clarify direction, challenge thinking, and provide a level of support that helps one find innovative solutions to complex issues.

My work with a number of schools in this capacity evidences the impact here, with many going on to gain national recognition for their practice, including nominations for the most creative school of the year, primary school of the year and Headteacher of the year.

Of course outcomes are not all about awards, but rather it is about the difference we can make each day for each and every person in our schools. If you want to discuss coaching for you and your SLT, then please contact me,

Well it’s good to see that Ofsted has at last given the Curriculum the gravitas it deserves. We cannot let go of the fact that the Curriculum is the reason why we have schools. Without the Curriculum schools just wouldn’t exist.

The question is and always will be the same – how good is your curriculum and what might we do to make it even better? Don’t be phased by “knowledge driven”, because if we were not teaching knowledge, there would be no progress. Neither be phased with new terminology around the “three I’s”, or the “two C’s”.

The 3 x I’s

  • Intention
  • Implement
  • Impact

The 2 x C’s

  • Composites
  • Components

See this as an opportunity to reflect on your curriculum and consider how well it would stand up to rigorous external scrutiny. Make sure that you have the evidence to-hand that allows you to articulate why your curriculum offer is what it is, the quality of the curriculum in action, and the impact it has on pupils and teachers (I would also put parents and prospective employers in this one).

Can you evidence how pupils are developing a deep learning in all subjects? What might this evidence look like?

Are you Ofsted ready?

I have put together a day program to support headteachers and their SLT in ensuring that the curriculum gets the best judgement at the time of inspection. This day includes;

  • Formulating a curriculum aim statement
  • Understanding the new Ofsted judgement relating to Curriculum
  • Evaluating all stages of planning for coherence, composites & components
  • Discussion with SLT and subject leads with regard to being knowledge led
  • How well learning is deepened
  • Exploring mastery in the curriculum
  • SET’s (Subject evidence trails)
  • Delivering an interactive staff meeting to inspire and motivate your staff
  • Support with action planning
  • Update SEF

It’s a full day that will leave schools feeling empowered and refreshed. Days for this are limited so just email me to say you are interested and I will contact you with further details.

The pace of change is schools continues to be franetic. It doesn’t matter if you are in a MAT, a stand alone academy, federation or LA, everyone needs help and support from time-to-time. Sometimes just impartial advice or a friendly chat can have huge impact. There is no charge for friendly support. Just call or email me and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

And finally… I wrote my car. My fault entirely but no injury sustained, other than a massive dent to my pride as well as my Car! It was snowing and dark and I was in the forest, but I can’t use that as an excuse. The car I hit was also badly damaged. A guy got out shaking his head in disbelief, looking around as if to say, “Where the … did you come from?”

I’m not sure that’s what he said because he was from Portugal and spoke no English and I could only match him with my total lack of Portuguese. So there, on a winter’s night, together we dealt with the complexities of pickup trucks, police, insurance, getting home, keeping warm, no phone signal and no coats or jackets, using only hand signals and drawings on the back of School Improvement Plan that I had been given earlier on.

So as I sit here writing this, I reflect on my learning which is…

Tomorrow is another day and if today was bad it increases the chances of a better one to follow. People are inherently good and in times of crisis pull together rather than apart. Never underestimate the importance of being creative in difficult situations and never loose sight of the fact that people will forget what you say but never forget how you make them feel. Life is never straight forward but as a great friend said to me, you can choose how you will be remembered. Make your choice wisely.

Looking forward to catching up soon.


Answers – Top 5 Leadership Tips:

  1. Get a coach
  2. Formally remind yourself and your team of your purpose at least every 6 months and review if necessary
  3. Re read your application letter for the job you now do It serves to remind you of why you were appointed and how far you have come
  4. Seek advice from young people. Ask the youngest member of staff on your team to help with your thinking and watch them grow
  5. Do more of what you love to do because the chances are that is what you are good