Friday, 24 June 2016
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Remember friends, faith and family matter most. There will always be time for the small stuff. Take care of the things that really matter first. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand...
Thursday, 23 June 2016
I was at the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce today working with Tina Slater, Business and Education Manager. We were working together develop a pilot programme which would link together the Doncaster Skills Academy with the Cutlers' 'Better Learners, Better Workers: Made in Doncaster' programme. Exciting times... watch this space!
I was in Barnsley again today working with Kelly Drury, who is managing the Cutlers' 'Better Learners, Better Workers: Made in Barnsley' programmer for the Barnsley Healthcare Federation. Kelly is the Training & Professional Development Manager for the Barnsley Healthcare Federation and it has been a real privilege working with her as we put the programme in place for students from Horizon Community College, Holy Trinity Catholic and Church of England School and The Dearne ALC. Kelly is a passionate Barnsley FC supporter and her enthusiasm and energy are contagious and the young people who get selected for this pilot programme are going to be very lucky!!
Tuesday, 21 June 2016
"The arts are a central part of the human experience and young people cannot participate or understand our history without engaging in the arts..."
There are so many of us who passionately believe that every child matters, and that those who are the hardest to reach and the hardest to teach matter more. Increasingly experience tells us that for young people generally, and for those harder to reach young people, the arts matter...
Monday, 20 June 2016
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
How do we create great schools for every child, every young person and every community? Personally, I passionately believe that the answers lie in developing collaborative and creative learning organisations built on beautiful systems, deep research, intelligent accountability and the importance of discipline and character.
Monday, 13 June 2016
At the end if yet another couple of weeks working with some great young people and their teachers in Sheffield and Barnsley, I am confused that people keep telling us that our education system in Yorkshire and the Humber is performing so poorly when compared to the best in the UK or the best in Europe let alone the best in the world.
Saturday, 11 June 2016
It has been another busy few weeks working on strategies and data, analysis and intelligence and case studies. Another week where people focus on the wrong things... like uniform, instruction, structures and management as the keys to success and fail to recognise the importance of feedback, challenge and hands-on experience of the world of work.
Friday, 10 June 2016
Working with colleagues in Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield this week has reaffirmed my belief in people; their energy, passion, enthusiasm and commitment. It also made me realise how destructive the current accountability system is and the desperate need to develop learning leadership, beautiful systems and intelligent accountability as the drivers for change across the country.
Thursday, 9 June 2016
Lots to do but I was at Horizon Community College again this morning with the steering group who are working together to shape and steer the 'Better Learners, Better Workers: Made in Barnsley' programme. The programme is being led by Kelly Drury, Training & Professional Development Manager at Barnsley Healthcare Federation, who is being supported by Paul Bibby.
Wednesday, 8 June 2016
Tuesday, 7 June 2016
Working with young people makes you realise that we are living in digital times and that change is happening at an exponential rate. What is encouraging is meeting and working with the young people on the 'Made in Sheffield' and 'Made in Barnsley' programmes at Bradfield, Firth Park, Handsworth Grange, Outwood Academy City, Stockbridge, Westfield, Horizon, Holy Trinity and The Dearne. I have met so many young people who are creative, imaginative and passionate. They want to develop their understanding of the world of work; finding out about engineering, construction and healthcare and developing the skills that matter; the skills that will give them the edge.
Monday, 6 June 2016
Tim Brighouse and I talked today about Sir Alec Clegg and the sad focus today on management rather than leadership. I found this after dinner speech which captures a little bit of what made him so extraordinary as a leader and wouldn't it be simply wonderful to have a Secretary of State for Education who focused on these four points:
- what are the qualities which great teachers have in common;
- 'What do we do that those who come after us will think odd or absurd?';
- the wisdom of some of our distinguished forbears;
- the division that exists between the education of the mind and the education of the spirit.
Sunday, 5 June 2016
Friday, 3 June 2016
Thursday, 2 June 2016
It's a sad reflection on these fragmented times that the leaders, across the educational landscape, aren't all pulling in the same direction. Of course, I know that in today's crazy pressured world, school leaders are juggling multiple agendas and managing tight deadlines and there is barely time to talk, much less agree about a common purpose. It's challenging enough just keeping up with today's demands from governors, DfE and OFSTED!
Looking around at the fragmented organisation, the lack of leadership, coherence and purpose all I see is that there's a distinct lack of shared purpose and vision. Leaders are pulling in different directions and individuals are reluctant to share their successes and concerns. Understandably then, leaders feel alone in their efforts to get things done and team members are frustrated about the decision-making process.
Wednesday, 1 June 2016
Our systems and mechanisms must foster on impact and outcomes and nurture trust, autonomy and accountability: between teachers and students, between teachers and headteachers, between educators and employers, between educators and politicians, and between educators, parents and the wider community.
We must build beautiful systems, processes and procedures to support our culture and our work.
Budgets are being squeezed again and schools are facing huge challenges. A colleague asked me today, how do you measure the cost of a teacher or teaching assistant against the cost of putting a targeted group of young people on the Cutlers' 'Better Learners, Better Workers' programme.