A bit of a lazy post this one, so please forgive me. Feel free to walk away now. However, in the highly likely event that you have not read a single post of mine throughout the year, you may wish to read on.
What follows is a handy pocket-sized summary of my top 10 posts throughout the 2014-15 academic year. To add a bit of tension I’ve ranked them below in order of ‘popularity’, with the least popular one first. I understand entirely therefore if you want to skip straight to the end.
- A formula for success
In which I introduced readers to C = v2+s+d+r+2p which I recklessly claimed to be the formula for effective change. To labour the point, I referred to a previous post on the importance of having a compelling vision. It’s also the only time I’m likely to name check the SAS in a blog post.
- Do the right thing
This was my first post of the academic year and sadly largely overlooked. I reflected on the challenge that lay ahead when taking on our first sponsored special measures school. I referred to the importance of leadership and quoted John Maxwell: “The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects the wind to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”
- The imitation game; tackling social mobility
This was my first attempt at reviewing a recently published government report. It will probably be my last. Tackling social mobility has been a passion of mine for a while now and I tried to reconcile the findings of the report (called Cracking the Code) with my own practice.
- How social enterprise can spice up your school
This post got the most retweets on Twitter most likely because the blog referred to an article about the school in the Guardian. It was a great piece (the article and not the post) that does justice to the crucial role social enterprise can make in schools.
- Making the pupil premium count
I am quietly confident that this post will continue to climb the top 10 as it’s still out there, being my most recent post. I reflect on my session speaking at the Sunday Times Festival of Education and suggest five ways to spend your pupil premium wisely.
- The importance of having a good door monitor
In which I get a little bit political and express concern at the announcement to send in so-called Super Heads to turn round failing schools. It was written post-general election and was a reflection on Nicky Morgan’s first major announcement.
- The most bonkers thing you’ve heard in a while
Probably the most cathartic and enjoyable post to write just because of the sheer daftness of the situation we found ourselves in. It still rankles now. Not surprisingly, Twitter seemed to enjoy it.
- Cutting out the middleman
Despite having just finished the two-day Ofsted selection process to move across to a central contract, I tried to do myself out of a job by suggesting we for cut Ofsted out altogether. I make the case that peer review is the way ahead, in conjunction with a lighter touch inspection regime.
- Why we are not on-track with assessment without levels
This is perhaps the one post, that had I written today as opposed to back then in December (a lifetime away in education), I’d have written it differently. At times aloof and slightly overcautious I put forward a view that I suggest represented an undersurge of opinion. I have no idea if ‘undersurge’ is actually a real word, but it feels right to use it to describe the views at the time.
- Why we need to slow things down
I am as surprised as you are that this post made it to number one. I suspect it was because it opened with reference to fine dining and Michelin Star restaurants. I am grateful to those of you that hung in there and made it to the end. If you did, you would have learned about the three things that I believe schools need to do to reclaim the moral purpose of education.
So there we are. The top ten. Granted, I only posted ten throughout the year so hardly difficult to make the cut. I am reminded of a quote by Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) when he was talking about PowerPoint slides: ‘They are a bit like children. No matter how ugly they are, you’ll think they’re beautiful if they’re yours’. Blog posts are no different.