One of the more pleasurable elements of my job is my role as a strategic board member (and chair) of a regional Arts Council Bridge Organisation. Based at the mac (formerly the Midlands Arts Centre) in Birmingham, Arts Connect is responsible for the delivery of the arts and culture offer across the region.
It’s been well over a year since I hung up my Ofsted badge. I still miss being an inspector though because it was something I think I was good at, that I enjoyed doing and that to a certain extent was something we all needed.
In my previous post I shared with you my concerns around the tensions that exist between writing a self-evaluation summary (SES) for Ofsted and writing one for yourself that focuses on school improvement.
School self-evaluation is a strange beast. There’s no requirement for schools to present it in a particular format and approaches vary up and down the country. How you go about the process is a matter for you and your governors to decide. So long as you know your school, and how it needs to improve, all will be good.
As we settle down to a new term and get to that point when we finally remember how the job’s meant to be done, it all comes down to two things: Rigour and Vigour.
It can’t have escaped your notice that I have written a book. I have flaunted and foisted it shamelessly on Twitter to all and sundry who happened to stumble across my timeline. I make no apologies for that, for I am sure that you too will do the same if you were in my position. It can’t have escaped your notice that I have written a book. I have flaunted and foisted it shamelessly on Twitter to all and sundry who happened to stumble across my timeline.
Two legends at the top of their game left us last week and I can’t help feeling that I am in some very small way to blame. I’ve seldom written about them before but both of them appear in my new book and now they are no longer with us. I am beginning to wonder then if the book in question, The Art of Standing Out, is cursed.
During the past few months I’ve been writing a book. It has been the most cathartic, scary and all-consuming experience of my life. I’ve cherished and savoured every minute of it. When I finally submitted the manuscript, I did so with great reluctance, as if I was cutting loose one of my own children.
At some point during the last few years I’ve become a system leader. I’m not quite sure how this happened or whether I ever made a conscious decision to become one, but apparently I am. I’m not even entirely sure what I do differently now as a system leader that I didn’t do before.
A draft extract from my new book, The Art of Standing Out, on the challenges headteachers face when leading complex teams:
Earlier this week I wrote a piece for the Guardian with the headline ‘A message to the new chief inspector of schools: on your first day, scrap your job’. You can find the digital version here.
Have you ever experienced what it feels like when you get several hundred like-minded people together and lock them in a room for the day to see where the magic can take you? And that during that day you get to dream about ‘what if…?’ and get to ask really powerful questions like ‘why can’t our schools be like Disneyland?’