‘My students don’t care that I am a woman teaching a ‘male’ subject – I wish other people would follow their example’

I recently taught a PSHE lesson to a year 8 group on the assumptions we make about people. I started with the word "Australian" – students said common judgements were that they would say "g'day", wear cork hats, like beer, wear shorts, have barbecues all the time and be good at rugby. Then we moved on to "American" – apparently they like burgers, a...
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‘We’ve cut everything’: governors discuss the school funding crisis

​Ever-decreasing budgets, a new national funding formula (NFF) and reports of headteachers asking parents to plug holes in finances – schools in the UK are feeling the pinch. This leaves many governors with the difficult task of trying to raise standards while having no option but to make cuts. We spoke to three governors to get a fr...
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Joining a multi-academy trust: a governor’s view

My school is an outstanding secondary located in London and was one of the first schools to convert to academy status – and we have recently joined a multi-academy trust (MAT). As a governing board, we were quite aware of what is happening nationally; collaboration is top of the agenda now, and there are benefits that come from working with other s...
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Take it from an IT manager, schools are being flogged tech that they don't need

I get an average of 15 people a week phoning me up to sell me something. I'm an IT manager, so in many ways it is no surprise: from salespeople and trainers, to course organisers and seminar sellers – you name it, they have something my school couldn't function without. They often use underhand tactics to get through reception, my favourites being:...
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A practical approach to tackling pupil absences

Talking at a number of conferences recently I've suggested that we've got to stop reinventing the wheel and use research wisely. Research provides signposts towards what might work for us, based on what has worked elsewhere and to what extent. The following suggestion, improving attendance by using simple letters home with key information,&nbs...
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