Wednesday, 16 April 2014


I have been arguing for a very long time that we must create great schools at the heart of every community, so that everyone can have what people have told me is simply a dream; great outcomes for every child and young person...

I know a lot of people tell me that it is impossible but I really believe that it is possible to create a GREAT SCHOOL FOR EVERYONE! But not, as those who are passionate about Academies or Free Schools would have us believe, through takeovers and the slow demise of unpopular and unloved schools.
We have to improve and develop every school and people have consistently proved it is possible… in London, in Leeds, in Nottingham, in Sheffield and in Guernsey. You can build brilliant provision through a systematic process of change driven by a relentless and uncompromising belief in people; the teams in our schools, the parents and carers they serve and the young people who lie at the end of the golden threads that connect to everything we do. This agenda isn't simply about reaching the so called 'gifted and talented' or the 'academic' but also reaching the hardest to reach and the hardest to teach. This agenda is about educational excellence and if we get it right we will achieve our dream; a great school at the heart of every community!

How do we create great schools for every child and every community? We need:
  • a clear and shared vision, values and beliefs;
  • strong, disciplined, focused and passionate leadership;
  • empowered, talented, trusted and disciplined colleagues;
  • energetic, enthusiastic and creative teamwork;
  • brilliant teaching supported by strong assessment for learning;
  • effective use of homework and project based-learning to extend and enrich learning;
  • high engagement and involvement of young people;
  • high self-esteem and high expectations of everyone;
  • powerful learning at the heart of everything;
  • more time and the use of Summer and Easter schools to extend and enrich opportunities for learning;
  • peer tutoring alongside early intervention and one to one tuition;
  • strong, dynamic and meaningful coaching and mentoring relationships;
  • positive engagement and involvement of parents and carers;
  • powerful and constructive feedback to learners and teachers;
  • powerful, stimulating and interesting learning environments;
  • the effective use of technology and on-line learning;
  • stimulating, exciting and engaging curriculum pathways that connect to the world of work and further and higher education.

Please let me know if you think I have missed anything out!

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