The last two days I have been in Manchester for the SSAT Annual Conference. This is a celebration of many of the good things in school leadership. The delegates here are anything but average in their approach to education. The conference started with Michael Fullan and Andy Hargreaves talking about their new book: Professional Capital. In this increasingly secular age, where many head teachers are probably agnostics, it was interesting to hear Andy Hargreaves take the example of the parable of the master that leaves his servants a sum of money to use wisely in his absence and finds that two have invested while the third had just kept the money safe by burying the cash in the ground. The message of invest for progress was an interesting one.
At the same conference I participated in a panel debate about preparing teachers, and led a workshop on professional development. The following ten phrases are the ones that provided me with a framework for discussion in the workshop.
Hire exceptional people: add value.
Seek heroines and heroes: not villains and scapegoats.
Dump portmanteau careers: welcome career changers
Look for leaders of every age.
Education is a business not a market.
Sell the brand
Engage the family
Cash balances don’t educate children.
Quality assurance before quality control.
know the facts: tell the truth.
I had a good example of the last one of these while I was composing this post. I received an email that a Minister had confirmed the over allocation of ITT places was 9% this year. The fact is true, but disguises the more important information that the over allocation was in the order of 18% for secondary places, but only 6% in the primary sector.
Many of the other statements can generate discussion and some have already been aired in posts on this site. Hopefully, the remained will feature at some time in the future.