Getting to good is hard work, I’m in schools every day and I see that first hand. However becoming outstanding can be a bit of a mystery. I know heads who can walk into a requires improvement school (or worse) and turn it around to be good; some specialise in this. But getting to outstanding […]

What a great piece of research! One that may well put a cat amongst the pigeons. If you haven’t read it please do, it’s not long and is fascinating. Here is a quick summary and some thoughts. First up: The research was based on 411, secondary, academy heads. They found 5 kinds of leaders: […]

So you’re having a difficult conversation and they start to cry. What do you do? I get asked this a lot, because it happens quite often. When someone cries in a difficult conversation it’s awkward and in my experience most of us are unsure what to do and most of us feel guilty because we […]

I get asked this a lot. How soon should I have the conversation: too quickly seems like I’m nit-picking, too long and it can seem to late. What time of day? What day of the week? And more. And it’s tricky because we do want to pick our moment as best we can but this […]

Looking for a great book to read as a leader for read a book day? I thought I’d share some of my favourites: Good to Great, by Jim Collins – one of the best leadership books (but might be hard to read in a day) Legacy – 15 lessons in leadership by James Kerr – […]

I’ve had the chance to analyse the results of Ofsted’s 2015/2016 Inspections and here are the results: How do those outstanding heads do it?  We’d like to share… Every year we host our Moving to Outstanding Conference where we get a group of recently outstanding heads together to share their best practice and we’re making […]

Playtime is a whole 20% of the school day, which is one whole day of the week, and as a teacher I know the difference a good play or lunch time makes to my next lesson! And this is why I love OPAL – committed to making playtimes outstanding.  The fact that they work in […]

I believe a vision is a necessary courtesy of leadership. If I want you to follow me then really I need to tell you where we’re going. If I don’t then would you follow me? Probably not, and if you did you wouldn’t be able to contribute as much as you could because you wouldn’t […]

As a coach I’m a fan of clarity and one of the ways this can be created is by projecting yourself into the future and taking a good look around. I’m fortunate to coach many heads and school leaders and sometimes I ask them to write the Ofsted report they would like. This can be […]