Welcome to the first of our new style newsletters. We hope to keep you informed of events regularly throughout the year as well as include reference to any particular articles or new books which we feel are of value.
Our newsletter coincides with the launch of our new website and contact details. As always we will endeavor to do all we can to support you in your work and welcome the opportunity to chat through any issues or thoughts you may have.
The start of a new year. Pupils with new uniforms and equipment arrive full of expectation and excitement. Teachers and other staff are prepared for the unexpected. Parents are somewhat relieved the summer break is over. Headteachers have one eye on the here and now and the other on possible future challenges that may come our way. A new Secretary of State for Education will want to make her mark on the Educational landscape and we wait to see what this will be. But the forecast is not necessarily gloomy.
Values and character
The recognition of the impacts of a ‘values lead curriculum’ has lead to the new Department for Education (DFE) initiative for “character” development. This partial “U” turn on academisation has meant that schools can be far more reflective on the decisions they take regarding their own futures.
In addition, it has been recognised that high quality Continuing Professional Development (CPD) can have a significant impact on teacher morale and retention. What could the impact of this be for schools faced with recruitment difficulties, budget uncertainties, accountabilities and an ever-increasing diverse pupil population? Working with schools across the country and internationally gives a real insight into just how different establishments are.
Good and great schools
If you were to try and identify the features of good and great schools, a common list of factors constantly shared with you at courses, conferences and in books and articles is strong leadership, focus on teaching and learning, effective assessment strategies and so on. What strikes me is how often the word “pride” is missed off the list. Yet when I visit schools that hold the above qualities, it is a sense of pride that is so obvious and apparent in everyone associated with the school. From the pupils and parents walking to school in the morning, through to the way the teachers talk about their work and the leaders talk about achievements.
Recruitment and retention
These are schools that clearly identify barriers that prevent academic progress, and barriers that prevent the school from encompassing what their mission statement, values and vision clearly state. Pride is found in the overcoming of these barriers and the belief that the school’s educational system and mission statement demonstrate an impact across all areas of the school’s operations. In return, high staff morale is upheld and it is easier to recruit and retain a good team- the staff are proud to belong to the school, and get the well-deserved respect from others both inside and outside education. Pride is found in the leadership of the school, who do not refer to the “I,” but always to the “We.” Pride is not jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fad, nor responding to the tyranny of the urgent- do the right things right, rather than just tick the box to say it’s done. Create new knowledge then share it with others, report it further afield and celebrate it.
As I myself move towards to the autumn term, I am excited at the possibility of moving house. I am already looking forward to sorting through my wardrobe, clearing the clutter I have accumulated during the last few years and rethinking how I want to organise my new house. Take time to look at your school in the same way. Rethink your organisation. Clarify beliefs and values. Evaluate how proud people feel to be associated with your school. Prioritise the right things, and reflect on what you need to focus on in the new academic year.
We’ve done a bit of self-evaluating ourselves
Yes, as a result of our own self-evaluation, we have rebranded and rethought how we work.
Have a browse of our new website, www.nickhind.co.uk. You will be able to access resources for future courses, book us for CPD events and find all of our contact details. Your enquiries are important to us- we aim to respond to all emails within 24 hours.
We are delighted to welcome two wonderful new members to our team. Rachel Hill is our new Operations Director and Jackie Howarth is our Educational Psychologist, who will be involved in our training courses.
We welcome enquiries from all sectors regarding training and on going support. If we can’t help you, we may know someone who can!
What’s New for next Term?
Having consulted with several groups of Schools, Nick launches SPECTRUM. This yearlong program for emerging and existing leaders centers on the principles and practice of great coaching. There are eight sessions, each one designed to support ongoing improvement work in the delegates’ own schools. They will explore how practice can be improved through collaborative and innovative thinking. New resources and activities support each session and can be built into a portfolio for the coaches to use in their own future professional careers.
Academy Support Program
Nick is pleased that for the third year running, he can continue to support Academies with their future development. We do not offer standard packages, but we are happy to meet with you to discuss your own specific requirements and needs. We offer a no fee consultation for this service. Just email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org or email Nick directly email@example.com and we will respond quickly to your enquiry.
Watch this space for some breaking news coming soon…
Developing a Character for Learning
Following the latest round of DFE awards to organisations that are exploring “Character Education”, this new course for 2016-2017 offers delegates the opportunity to explore ways in which to support its development. With one eye on the next framework for inspection, this promises to be a key growth area for schools. We shall be offering an introduction to character education in several areas nationwide, as well as taking up an offer to run this at an international conference.
If you want to find out how to host this at your school, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.
School based support
Nick and his team enjoy working with both individual and groups of schools. We are able to provide bespoke packages of support including Headteacher and Deputy consultations, individual staff training, coaching and mentoring, in addition to planning and delivering school based improvement days.
Getting to “Good”… Guaranteed
The number of schools we work with that are judged to be good or outstanding is a result of both our commitment and our quality of our work in helping with the improvement of schools. New for 2017 is the opportunity for a small number of schools to benefit from a comprehensive support program, guaranteed to ensure they are judged at least “good” by Ofsted at the time of their next inspection. Following a joint review alongside the SLT, a program of support will be agreed and costed. Contact us for further information about this program.