I’ve heard many an Ofsted inspection story, some heartwarming and just how you would want an inspection to be (regardless of the judgement) because they are developmental and supportive, whilst giving an honest summary of the school. And the horror stories that make you sink! One thing that I do notice is how much schools […]

1. Do I want to be ‘Outstanding’? This can get lost in an intelligent conversation about the framework, Ofsted. What does ‘Outstanding’ mean anyway?  Forget that. Exchange ‘Outstanding’ for ‘the school you dream of creating’, with or without inspectors. Is that something you really want and are willing to learn and stretch yourself and your […]

I’ve met a lot of Outstanding Heads and walked into a lot of Outstanding schools. And I hear a lot of ‘myths’ about what it is to be Outstanding. Here are seven I come across regularly: 1. They only teach a narrow curriculum. Even before the new Ofsted framework put a focus on a broad […]

There are 5 difficult conversations I come across ALL the time in schools. They are relatively simple to resolve. But most have been going on for a long time: Lateness. Not marking books to the minimum standard. Caretakers not doing everything they need to, as quickly as they need to. Unwelcoming receptionist. The teacher who […]

I know that hearing the ‘O’ word can sometimes send shivers down your spine and send you into a thought process of ‘What will they think of us’, but here at Heads Up we encourage schools and Headteachers to think in another way. A great restaurant who consistently deliver high quality plates of food from […]

I call moments where your culture can really be seen ‘cultural touch points’, and many of these happen naturally during the course of the year:

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it’s a great time to show people you care and reinforce the kind of school you are. In fact, the New Year is also a good time to do any of these too. Here are 5 quick Christmas culture wins – pick the ones that feel true to you […]

Who likes conflict? Pretty much no-one!  (Including me!) So it’s no surprise that a lot of us will avoid having a difficult conversation. However, there might well come a time when we realise we have to have a difficult conversation and, at that point, we often regret not having it sooner; after all, it’s very […]

Making excuses for why you don’t need to have the conversation. Almost everyone avoids difficult conversations and, when you do have these conversations, it would be normal for you to not look forward to them. There are several reasons for this:  We don’t want to upset the other person or be upset ourselves (which is […]