Times Education Festival 2013 Day 1 by Cheryl Pennington

1- Sir Michael Wilshaw – Head of Ofsted

70% of all education institutions are good or better. Not good enough! Must improve, if you want to change something, you can’t help make enemies (Woodrow Wilson).

Good is minimum standard. Outstanding is aim.

Concentrate on leadership of teaching, lead teaching. Message to senior leaders and governors, good SMT are not business administrators or organisers.

When you recruit new teachers,ask these questions of them:

  • What is good teaching?
  • How do we improve and monitor it?
  • How do we provide professional development for teachers?

Focus on T&L has injected a sense of urgency on improvement
Autonomy only works with Accountability.
Literacy/numeracy key, focus on quality of vocational education, relentless need for higher standards in Voc standards for Pre and post 16 education.

Success has strong leadership and governance behind it. Leadership is crucial in improving standards and driving up success.

There are 2 types of leaders:

  • Cautious vs creative
  • Restless for change vs maintain status quo

Ofsted have been tough so far on the FE sector. FE sector is not focused on needs of individual students and needs of employers. Not enough students successful in STEM subjects .

Great leaders make the difference, who should be on a relentless quest for the good of students.

Considering introducing an additional inspection grade of outstanding plus (there’s the spaceship! YES!)


Students at independent schools are twice as likely to enter Russell Group Unis. Collaboration and spreading good practice is necessary between private and public sector.

2- Rachel De Souza- Turning Around Schools

1) 1st School Barnfield West Academy

Rachel De Souza – principal in 2005 of first Academy – Barnfield West Academy
Leadership story about turning around schools
Focus: every single child has access to the best education
16% GCSE A* to C in 2005
Behaviour, Achievement, Teaching and Learning. Can’t raise achievement without these at the heart of practice. 
Embracing Change is about identifying an issue, put in place an action, investigate the impact ( with a sense of urgency).
Be creative and innovative about staffing. Recruit people with great mindsets.

100 students all together- teaching maths 2 hours after school, taught them Saturdays and Sundays also.

Knew everything about the students and completely engaged with them.

Data was lifeblood of the school.

Creating a culture of success, competitions, and societies. 

Moved from 13% to 75% GCSE C in maths.

Belief that every teacher & every student can achieve remarkable success.

2nd) Ormiston Academy – Norfolk

Rachel then moved to principal of Ormiston Academy Trust in Norfolk.
Leading learning.
Leadership Challenge was to deal with capability and performance issues. 

Promoted middle leaders and invested in middle leaders.
Teaching was everything and there was a relentless focus on achievement.
The curriculum was changed to meet the needs of students.
Middle leaders focus on Teaching and Learning.
Belief that everyone can do it.
Amazing teaching and learning.

3- Charles Leadbeater- Technology: Past, Present, Future

Learning through technology,

1) Learning as collaborative activity
Vicky Colborh getting students into groups to help one another and regulate one another in South America.

2) Learning as a productive making activity
Martin Burt self financing farm school, one week working on the farm and one week learning in school, children employ the teachers, farm is a business.

3) Learning that integrates different kinds of knowledge.

4) Learning addresses and connects with the real world.

5) Learning that is meaningful and is motivating/
Future has to pull people into learning, not push them into learning.

Learning needs a common sense approach in order to be collaborative, productive, integrative, real and meaningful.

4- Dylan William @dylanwilliam– Leadership for Teacher Learning

Homework can be highly effective. Research tells you what has worked, not what will work.
Feedback requires a teacher knowing their students and the students trusting their teacher.
Teaching practice is complicated.

Teacher quality is key no matter what the class size. Research in California lowered students achievement because of poor quality teaching.
With a good teacher, students learn 50% more and with a ‘great’ teacher they learn at double (100%) the rate… irrespective of social background.

Raising the bar on teacher quals
You can’t tell how the teacher will perform until they are in with a class.

Danielson 1996, ingredients for good teaching

1) Planning & Preparation
2) Learning environment
3) Instruction (activities)
4) Professional development

Classroom observations are highly unreliable, observe 1 lesson, 30% reliability.
Teacher Value Added is a better measure

The only way you get better at something is through practice. Best and professional practitioners do 10000 hours practice. 

This practice should be deliberate. Great teachers practiced the things they find hard to do or do not do well.

Commitment to this kind of practice requires hard work. 
Getting on top of practice takes at least 1 year. The teachers who keep improving are those with a moral approach to keeping improving practice.

Teachers need to demonstrate a commitment to;
1) Improving their professional practice.
2) Focusing on the aspects of learning which make a difference.

Leaders support the professional practice of teachers

They minimise the things that interrupt learning.
They focus on student learning and teacher learning.
The number one thing on the calendar is giving teachers time for learning.
There is a relentless pressure on teachers to improve their practice.
Those who stay in teaching must be committed to their own learning and development of their practice.


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