This year, the annual SSAT national conference has a timely and uplifting theme: Pure imagination. Taking place over two days at the ICC in Birmingham, I was delighted to be invited to kick off the conference with a nine-minute talk. This is what I said:
As birthdays go, it was probably no different to the previous few. It began at sunrise with a mug of muddy coffee or beef tea, perhaps even a biscuit. The day would be spent in the company of friends, many of whom he’d gotten to know exceptionally well. And then of course, there were the war horses, all of whom were under his guard as a soldier serving in the Army Veterinary Corps. (74th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery, ‘B’ Battery, to be precise.)
Today is a sad day. One of our children will get told this afternoon by a social worker that she’s being moved away to a new foster carer.
Following the publication of the recent Public Accounts Committee findings, Amanda Spielman finds she suddenly has an awful lot to do. And it might just sting.
If the World Cup is not your thing, then look away now. But if you have a passing interest in leadership and how the manager of England can teach us a thing or two about the art, then read on.
Being a leader can sometimes be a lonely job. When you think about it though, it really ought not to be. Nobody leads in isolation, on their own or in a team of one. We all operate within the world of leadership teams, governing bodies, sub-committees and the like.
Much has been written about how crucial the first 100 days are for a leader in a new organisation. The temptation is to assume that if you haven’t made your mark by then, chances are you’ve blown it.
I am writing this in an Apple conference room in Cupertino, California as I await a transfer to San Jose airport. The past four days have been exhilarating to say the least. I’d even be so bold as to say it’s been the best PLD experience I’ve ever had.
It can’t have escaped your notice that earlier this week it was World Storytelling Day. As a leader, the only story you need to be telling is the one about you – who you are, what you stand for and why your school is the best party in town.
There will come a time when we’ll all look back and ask ourselves, how on earth did we allow it to go on for so long? Ofsted have been around now for over a quarter of a century and still the debate rages on about their role.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Sir Francis Bacon may well have been on to something here. In the late sixteenth century he inadvertently defined what the three key qualities of a really good leader are.
As critical as I am of the inspection process in England, I am entirely at ease with the fact that inspection is here to stay. Indeed, I’d be concerned if it were ever abolished. An independent inspectorate is essential if we are to continue to have faith in our education system.