When OFSTED (Mike Cladingbowl) and Andrew Old came to my governors meeting

To put this in context, I had a governors meeting and decided to invite some people to talk to my governing body around a theme. I asked a few people and if I was being honest I didn’t hold out much hope. Why on earth would anybody give up the time?
What happened genuinely surprised me, some – understandably said no due to prior engagements etc but some said yes.
David Didau (Who ultimately couldn’t make it because he was travelling)
Dr Sandra Leaton Gray who couldn’t make it as she was teaching.
But Mike Cladingbowl and Andrew Old said yes. Both generously gave over an hour and a half of their time and both were passionate advocates of a profession which I hold very dear.
There were some key messages from Mike which started with the question for Governors “What sort of school do we want?” – in terms of checking whether this was so, he asked us to consider it from a child perspective and to ask the question “Is there a child who isn’t doing as well as they could be?” and what can we, as a school, do to change that outcome?
Mike comes across as a passionate educator who happens to be an inspector.
Andrew discussed fluency of knowledge – he illustrated this point by giving the example of asking children to take a 6 pint jug and share it equally amongst 3 glasses, he made the point that children find this easier than if the question was presented as a decimal and questioned why?
So, would I recommend inviting external speakers into a governors meeting? Yes!
Would I use Skype again? Yes.
We were able to have a highly personalised presentation by two thought provoking presenters – it shows how far we have come when geography is no longer a barrier and people with national influence are prepared to give of their time freely to speak a school Governing Body.


Why a teacher is not like a car – a guide for the faint hearted politician

An MOT is a good idea for a motor vehicle- they work in isolation if the lights fail than other road users have a problem.
Without giving it a lot of thought the same could be said of a teacher – couldn’t it? Teachers work in a classroom and by and large it is them and their class. If a teacher is unable to maintain behaviour it surely must be the teacher’s fault?
This is vote winning politics – but is it? Anybody who has taught for any amount of time knows that discipline is complex thing – @oldandrewuk wrote a series of posts on this subject – it is more than any one teacher, it is the ethos and systems of the school which support colleagues.
I am genuinely baffled as to what an MOT might look like – or achieve.
All teachers are part of regular appraisal etc – what does this policy add? To the profession very little – but it will most likely divert much needed funding into an additional layer of bureaucracy if the early days of threshold are an indicator.


Neo traditionalism and the Sutton Report: the pedagogy of the matrix

Education: the sacred and the profane

There is, in truth, only so many hours in a day. And there are those who exploit that fact. They feel that it is important that their ideas prevail often for perceived noble reasons; the ideas are important to advance an ideology that is genuinely for the common good.

They exploit the time issue to good effect by simply re-iterating the same thing over and over again.  Eventually the discursive space of eduBlogging is filled with “re-iteration” of the same point to such an extent that others start to repeat it verbatim. It becomes a social fact . Any attempt to engage with the ideology in debate is met with the kind of hyperbole that makes most people not want to bother.

I was pondering this when reading Harry Webb’s latest blog . I’m a regular reader of Harry’s BLOG and generally speaking they are well written well researched and…

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