You’re the sum of the 5 schools you hang out with…

Welcome back! Summer term here we go!

You might have heard the saying: you’re the sum of the 5 people you hang out with the most.


I think the same is true of schools:


You’re the sum of the 5 schools you hang out with the most. 

So who are you hanging out with?


But if you were to walk into any 5 schools, these are the odds of what kind of school you’ll be walking into:

3 will be ‘good’.

1 will be ‘requires improvement’.

1 will be ‘inadequate’ or ‘outstanding’ – and there’s more chance it’ll be inadequate.


There’s something to be learned from every school.

And Ofsted grades are a point in time.


BUT, if you were to pick 5 schools to walk into you’d pick 5 brilliant ones, wouldn’t you?


However, how do you find them? And do you have time to find and visit them? Probably not.


So let me help you.

Every year we bring together 5 recently outstanding headteachers and ask them to share their best practice.

I’ve met these heads.

I’ve seen the quality of their education.

Because I’m always searching for excellence in education.

Trust me, you want to hear from them.

And you can at Moving to Outstanding 2023: Best practice from recently outstanding headteachers (Thurs 24th November 2023).


This is our 1 year flagship conference that I’m going to be loud and proud with you about because I know how good it is, and how valuable it is to hear from these amazing heads.


They’re recently outstanding.

Some, twice over.


We’re still finding more speakers because we’re always looking for the most recent and best examples.


The conference is online, and 1 ticket pays for you and your SLT to attend.

Just £350+VAT for all of you.


And if you’re worried about cover, I get it, that’s one of the reasons we make recordings of the talks available to you afterwards. Which means you can also share the ideas with your team.


And if you’re thinking ‘But I don’t like online training’ brace yourself for a bit of rant by me…because:

  • Good training is good training, online or offline (and I’ve seen soooo much boring training in person! Haven’t you?). We’ve run this day for over a decade and we’ve got feedback of 9+/10 since we moved it online.
  • Online means your whole SLT can come, in person means you need to pay for 6 tickets (£2,100+VAT) and then you need to pay for your travel costs as well.
  • Online also means you can be in school, and still attend (because you’re probably not going to take your whole SLT out for the day).
  • Online and even the metaverse is the reality your pupils will face, so we need to embrace it where it gives us advantages, which is what we’ve done with Moving to Outstanding 2023.
  • You can’t get release your whole for SLT? That’s ok, you’ll get the videos of the talks, you can plan to watch them over a period of time and discuss the take-aways – and you will have pages of great ideas! When do you and your SLT get this level of leadership input?
  • And if you love this way of training then a few top tips get the most out of it:
    • Go off site if you can. A neighbouring school’s meeting room, a nice pub (with a good lunch) – it’ll be cheaper than the train fares!
    • As many heads have said to me: it was brilliant to spend a day with my SLT discussing leadership, getting so many great ideas. When did you last get to do that?


I’ll confess, this is a bit of a pushy email by me.


Because I walk into outstanding and good schools all the time.

I see the difference between them.

I see how much we can learn from each other.

And I’ve picked a great set of heads to speak to you again this year, to make this as easy as possible.

Will you come and learn from them? I really hope so. Because we’re trying to do the same thing: create the very best education for our children.


Moving to Outstanding 2023: Best practice from recently outstanding headteachers