Archive for the Educational Leadership Category

Schooling Scotland

Schooling Scotland

Danny Murphy was headteacher in Crieff High, Lornshill High and McLaren Academy. He was crucial in establishing the Scottish Qualification for Headship and has written thoughtfully but incisively on Scottish educational dilemmas. His new work, Schooling Scotland (Argyll Publishing) is the latest in the Postcards from Scotland […]

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Snake oil and ladders

Snake oil and ladders

The assumption is often made that good schools always have good leaders and poor leaders always create poor schools. A recent seminar in Glasgow addressed the issue, asking what leadership is and how we can ensure good leadership. Former headteacher Danny Murphy insisted that leadership had been […]

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Are you on your staff’s side?

Are you on your staff’s side?

“At a time of great transition in our profession, many teachers appear to be at their breaking point. In my home state, a teacher recently published a letter to the editor of our largest newspaper, explaining why she is thinking of quitting her job. How can leaders […]

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A bureaucracy working group?!

A bureaucracy working group?!

Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) was initially welcomed by countless teachers. It has increasingly been mired in disputes. Workload and resource issues have particularly enraged teachers, who are reeling from reduced funding, new examinations, faculty systems and the abandonment of traditional subject departments. Against this background the […]

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Educationalists in the trenches are overruled by PR-led general staff

Educationalists in the trenches are overruled by PR-led general staff

In recent years, school trips to Auschwitz and the battlefields of the 1914-18 War have become common. They provide an unrivalled opportunity for young people to understand the march of history far more tangibly manner than text books or teacher-talk. They offer a unique perspective on the […]

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A licence to teach

It’s again time for Scottish educationalists to peep over the Border, this time at Tristram Hunt and Anthony Seldon. Teachers should be licensed and could be sacked if they fail tough professional checks, asserted Hunt, Labour’s Westminster education spokesperson. “Just like lawyers and doctors they should have […]

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Listen and learn

More than 160 school students, teachers and education professionals attended a recent Scottish conference on Student Voice. Insightful young people outlined the relationships, teaching styles, technology and aspirational culture for which they hoped. Teachers and professionals contributed but also listened and learned. Listening to ‘student voice’ is […]

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No more heroes

A recent report from the US (Miami Herald, December 29, 2013) reminded us of inspiring teachers. Miami maths teacher, Teresita Lemus, was recently named one of 10 Nobel Educators of the Year by the National Society of High School Scholars. “I’m not teaching them calculus, I’m teaching […]

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Over-egging the custard

Over-egging the custard

Language changes. That is usually a good thing but not always. A wise educational veteran, speaking to me of interviews for teaching posts, recently illustrated that. “What is your vision for the school/your department/your subject?” is now a standard interview question. “When I first came into teaching 40 […]

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Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

We need to keep our eyes on educational developments in England, to watch, analyse and learn. In April the Governors of Pimlico Primary, a newly established ‘free school’ in Westminster, appointed a new headteacher.  Annaliese Briggs was appointed as the head while still studying for her postgraduate […]

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