What are your hopes for 2017 in education?

If 2016 has taught us one thing, it's that you can't predict anything. But what's a new year without a sprinkle of hope, a pinch of enthusiasm and a dash of resolution?

We asked professionals from across the teaching world to share their hopes and wishes for education in 2017 with us. Check out their thoughts below and don't forget to tweet us yours @EdCentral.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

Diversity will have its day

"I think (and hope) that in 2017 our recognition of the need for greater diversity in school leadership will continue to grow.

Initiatives like #WomenEd and #BAMEEd will raise awareness of potential leaders who will be strong and committed. Ensuring that we have a robust pipeline of capable leaders in schools – through middle and senior leadership, to headship, executive headship and leaders of chains and multi-academy trusts (MATs) – is vital if we are to support students and staff to achieve all they can in the future."

Jill Berry is a former headteacher who has worked as an associate for the National College for Teaching and Leadership, carried out a range of educational consultancy work and completed a part-time doctorate in education. You can follow her on Twitter @jillberry102

Educational psychology will go mainstream

"My hope for 2017 is that researchers can better communicate their findings so that teachers and senior leaders can develop a deeper understanding of the psychology of learning. This will hopefully lead to more widespread knowledge about how best to improve memory, motivation and resilience, as well as the vital role that schools can play in improving mental wellbeing."

Bradley Busch is a registered psychologist and director at InnerDrive. You can follow Inner Drive on Twitter @Inner_Drive

Unqualified teachers will become outstanding practitioners

"I think there will be an increase in schools employing unqualified teachers in 2017, as a result of the recruitment shortfall and teachers leaving the profession.

"Although many see this as a negative development, I hope it can be turned into a positive by innovative and forward-looking school leaders. As long as schools offer robust training, mentoring and peer-to-peer support for unqualified teachers, they can be nurtured into outstanding practitioners. And once they satisfy the entry requirements, unqualified staff can work with training providers via the salaried School Direct route to QTS or go through the increasingly popular assessment-only route."

Andrew Jones is assistant headteacher at The Reach Free School in
Hertfordshire

The government will focus on people, not data 

"I hope that the government will finally recognise and begin to address the two most serious issues presently affecting the teaching profession – workload and recruitment, with the former directly affecting the latter. Currently, the profession is haemorrhaging staff at both ends of the career spectrum and workload is still increasing. This negative direction of travel is unsustainable. "Unlike other areas of the public sector, a profound improvement in education could be achieved quickly and cheaply with a focus on people rather than data, inspiration rather than fear and individuality rather than conformity."

John Socha is a primary school educator in Yorkshire and the creator of loveteachingltd.co.uk

Grassroots support for leaders

"2017 will bring a host of development opportunities for women leaders due to exciting collaboration between @WomenEd and Department for Education-funded regional networks and leadership diversity programmes across the country.

"@WomenEd is a grassroots organisation supporting women leaders to choose their next career step. I hope this helps school leaders with ongoing recruitment issues.

"This must also be the year that schools draw on research into effective professional learning and development and its impact to support and retain the staff we have."

Vivienne Porritt is the director for school partnerships at the Institute for Education and a national leader of #WomenEd. You can follow her on Twitter @LCLL_director

Languages will lead understanding

"I hope that in 2017 the number of those taking languages
for GCSE and A-level will increase.

"Following a year of terrorist attacks and Brexit, I hope young people will realise the importance of learning languages as the key to better communication and understanding between nations.

"I hope teachers will embrace the new A-levels and GCSEs, and see that by raising the bar and teaching more interesting content, pupil motivation in languages will increase.

"I also hope that school leadership teams will start to trust their teachers and let them take ownership of their teaching."

Sara Davidson is head of languages at Oundle School and chair of the Independent Schools' Modern Languages Association. You can follow her on Twitter @frau98 and @ismla_uk

A year of best practice

"In 2017, I hope more school leaders will embrace educational research and encourage all their staff to regularly reflect on their teaching practice. Children deserve to be taught by teachers who are constantly questioning, refining and improving their practice in the classroom.

"This could be done by building research into staff development programmes or providing funding for staff to complete master's degrees.The more leaders who realise the power that research can have, the better."

Caiti Walter is a geography teacher and head of year at a comprehensive co-educational secondary school in Cambridge. You can follow her on Twitter @cwaltergeog

Robust school governance will be more important than ever

"2017 will see governance take an even bigger share of the limelight. As more schools become academies with increased autonomy, and more MATs emerge, the pressure on trustees and local governors to provide robust and professional oversight will grow.

"This, along with continued uncertainty over budgets and school structures, means that governors will need more skill and flexibility in navigating their role to do the very best for their schools – with appropriate and accessible training as a must."

John Davies is a senior researcher specialising in school governance at The Key. You can follow The Key on Twitter @TheKeySupport

A new 'Maker Movement' in classrooms

"2017 is going to be the year of the Maker, where the 'maker movement' starts to take hold in classrooms. Using technology to solve real life challenges, and getting students to mix digital and practical skills together to make, hack and design. Sharing skills with all generations old and young in spaces that foster old and new skills."

James Hannam is a self-confessed geek, obsessive maker and teacher of over 10 years. He specialises in product design and computing through community maker spaces. He is a qualified Apple and Google trainer, as well as a DfE Specialist Schools advisor. You can follow him on Twitter @iamJamesHannam.


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