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Keep up to date with the latest developments in education in schools. Not only the facts, but how schools are responding to them.


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Why we love, but leave, teaching

11 Oct 2016
As the Education Policy Institute produces (yet another) report about how hard teachers work, we thought we'd share the thoughts of two ex-primary teachers.

TES new part-time jobs hub

01 Jul 2016
The TES has launched a part-time jobs hub, supporting the initiative with some of their own research findings, which show that 77% of teachers who have left the profession would consider returning to teaching, but only for part-time or job share roles.

Choosing heads

12 Feb 2016
During the process of recruiting a new headteacher, I heard about a new service (offered by a very experienced organisation) that I liked the sound of as it’s actually tailored to the National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers.
A primary school had used a three part process – a first round interview and exercises, followed by an assessment with Mercuri Urval (the organisation in question), which used psychometric and cognitive tools to inform a one-to-one, one hour interview with each of the shortlisted candidates, conducted by a MU consultant. There then followed a final panel interview and presentation. The process took three days, but the governors were only required for two of them, but the main advantage was that the leadership skills identified were those related to the new standards. I also liked the idea that candidates had a written report to use for future development needs.

Which subjects are worth most?

09 Feb 2016
Number alert: this quick study can barely be called research, more of a report on an exercise in satisfying my curiosity: the sample size is small, so don’t read too much into it. However, the numbers I’ve used are those where there is a clear difference in the sample of 215 jobs analysed.
I was wondering how much heads of department are paid: do some subjects receive bigger incentives than others? I imagined that heads of English, maths and science would command bigger salaries than other subjects because they have big teams. I also wondered whether heads of maths were being offered more than English just now, because they are in such short supply.

How to appoint a new headteacher (and how not to)

08 Feb 2016
These last few weeks, I’ve been leading a team of governors to appoint a new head to our 11-18, very successful comprehensive - and it’s not something I would relish doing again. Here then are some of the reasons that it occurs to me that cause the problems...

The impact of teacher shortages

01 Sep 2015
According to this week's Observer, reporting UCAS teacher training applications, there are too few trainee teachers being recruited. They report, courtesy of TeachVac, shortfalls against targets in D&T, maths, RE, music, geography, art and English. But this is worse than even the Observer's grim picture suggests: we need to be recruiting more teachers to cope with increasing numbers, but are recruiting fewer than last year in several subjects. A comparison of August applications via UCAS data show the following reductions in applications to teach compared to August 2014:

Free goodies on their way to schools

21 May 2015
Lots of lovely free teaching resources are on their way to new teachers this week, as our Gear for the Year programme rolls out across the country, putting bags of them into the hands of primary PGCE students as they complete their training and move on to their first teaching posts.

Success and failure

01 May 2015
Teaching interviews are unusual becuase interviewees are usually told at the the end of the process whether they have been given the job or not. You could find yourself waiting with the other candidates, after everyone else has gone home, to be told which of you has been given it. Alternatively, the school may send you home and call you later, so make sure you will be available by phone.

Typical first teaching post interview questions

27 Apr 2015
Interviewers won’t try to catch you out but you might get questions that you just did not expect. If that is the case then take a pause and think on your feet. In all likelihood the last question you will get is: Are you still a candidate for the job? The answer to this is definitely yes—be decisive—unless the answer is no in which case say no. If you feel deep down that the school is not for you then withdraw.

The main teaching interview

27 Apr 2015
This normally takes place after lunch. Usually the headteacher will be present along with a governor, the head of department or key stage and maybe another member of the Senior Leadership Team. You will probably be invited in alphabetical order and the interview will last for about 40 minutes.
This is where the decision really gets made. You will probably be nervous - the interview panel will expect you to be: indeed they will be suspicious if not!
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