Friday, 1 June 2012

The Things that Make a Difference!

Evidence and research suggests that big improvements are possible provided we focus vigorously on the things that make a difference.

I have worked for over thirty years trying to answer these challenges and those of us who have spent our lives at the front line know the real answers lie where they have always been...
  • strong, disciplined, focused and passionate leadership;
  • clear, shared vision, values and beliefs;
  • talented, energetic, enthusiastic and creative teaching teams;
  • empowered, trusted and disciplined colleagues;
  • brilliant teaching supported by strong assessment for learning;
  • stimulating, exciting and engaging curriculum pathways;
  • powerful, stimulating and interesting learning environments;
  • high self-esteem and high expectations of everyone;
  • strong, dynamic and meaningful coaching relationships;
  • high engagement and involvement of young people;
  • positive engagement and involvement of parents and carers.
We must also remember that there is also a strong relationship between well-being and child poverty and between well-being and inequality. All the research I have read suggests that poverty and parenting both matter and that the eradication of child poverty is a great cause which must remain a high priority. This isn't intended as an excuse because , Michael Gove and OFSTED are right, satisfactory will never be good enough and we must constantly strive for answers to the endemic underachievement and low expectations that have dogged our steps for so long. We need to build world class schools with world class standards. We need to be determined, persistent and focused even if it is hard.… whatever it takes!

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