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Creating a better school

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by tonymillar, May 28, 2011.

  1. tonymillar

    tonymillar New commenter

    The sustainability agenda has got to be a great starting point as it is a fairly new speciality so could also bring major career benefits in the future.
    You could break it down into bite sized pieces as it is a big subject to take on.
    Initially you could focus on either the financial or educational benefits and then develop it from there.
    There is plenty of information available and several support networks, so you could pick up knowledge as you go on. Sustainability will soon be topical in every school, particularly with the introduction of the Carbon Reduction Commitment, so it will always be relevant.
    If you are interested in following this route let me know, I always have a few ideas.
  2. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    You are working backwards here.
    In order to improve a school, the first step is to identify what needs improving ... not to suddenly develop an interest in sustainability, or to inflict something on your staff & children because it worked for someone you met on TES.
    In all of your school data and self-evaluation, you *must* be able to find something which needs improving. Quite definitely the project will ask you to outline your rationale for choosing this area, and has been set to help you learn about the school improvement process, which always starts with identifying areas for development.
    If all else fails, why not sit down with your staff or pupils or send a parents' questionnaire and ask them what needs improving?
    The answer to your question won't be found on here: it is completely unique to your school.
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    littlerussell is, as so often, completely correct. I'd expect any intending senior leader to identify a problem or issue in her/his own school - asking for ideas on here demonstrates a lack of understanding of how to improve schools.
  4. tonymillar

    tonymillar New commenter

    JC. I think you are making great use of the forum.
    You have embraced an opportunity to bring something new to the school and I am sure that the head already has a grip on solving day to day improvement issues.
    An innovative approach to bringing something new to the school will naturally provide benefits to staff and pupils alike and by selecting a topic that YOU are interested in, your enthusiasm will influence positive change.
    Don't be put off by negativity, there are plenty of people to on the forum to help and support.
    Innovative heads will be the heads of the future!
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    WHO has been negative? As you are not a headteacher, I'd say the two posters who ARE might have a bit more useful advice to someone looking to develop a project useful for leadership ambitions.
    Selling your sustainability stuff is spamming, you do realise?
    Experienced heads giving sound advice trumps one-trick pony with stuff to sell, I'd say.
  6. tonymillar

    tonymillar New commenter

    Providing teachers with advice as they move to integrate sustainability in their schools is essential and support from professionals on this forum is a great way to share knowledge. Having worked with and presented to many school leaders, I have some understanding of the practical issues that heads face. Having also spent time with leaders in the field of integrating sustainability from organisations like OFSTED and the DfE, it is clear that the subject of ESD will soon become a far bigger part of day to day teaching
    'Sustainability stuff' provides at meaty topic and I hope that school leaders (and future school leaders) embrace the opportunity to further knowledge and let this 'pony' provide free and impartial support whenever I can.[​IMG]
  7. I AM a head and it seems that tonymiller is the only one that has provided any real input in response to jcgolfr's post. Maybe I don't understand what spamming is..... anyone who can provide us with information is ok with me!
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    He's in the sustainability business and using this (and other) Tes forum to try to promote it. He wasn't doing the OP any favours by trying to direct him towards sustainability.
    The OP needs to look at the school's improvement plan, performance data and other documents that will provide him/her with pointers as to what the school actually needs. It may be (for example) that standards of boys' writing is stuck in the doldrums and needs a fresh look; or it may be that observations demonstrate a lack of pace and challenge in one particular subject area (or more than one).
  9. frymeariver

    frymeariver New commenter

    Given that you have no idea how sustainable the OP's school
    environment is your suggestion does seem to come from either a lack of
    understanding of how school improvment, rather than estates improvement,
    actually works or a desire to push a single agenda.
    Jc golfr
    You should listen to what the headteachers posting on here can tell you about how the school improvement cycle works.
    For what it's worth, my view is that you should identify from your school's self evaluation what needs to improve, work with colleagues to create a shared vision of what you would like things to be like, plan what activity you intend to undertake to get there, and a timetable for its implementation, and then work to monitor that activity and evaluate its effectiveness. Then you start again.
    Taking a real issue, probably achievement related, and improving it will mean that when you are in an interview for a senior leadership position and are asked to demonstrate that you can walk the walk, not just talk the talk, you will actually have a real example of doing so. Giving other people extra work to do on your pet issue is not the same thing.
    As both heads on here have made clear, all of this activity starts and stays in your school not ours! Looking
    for ideas about how to change is one thing but only you can know the

  10. Middlemarch, I havent noticed any business promotion. The sustainability thread looked to me more an idea than guidance.
    I am glad that some support has now started to come in for Jc Golfrs original post
  11. Answering the original post:
    How about an action research approach? Perhaps raise a question and follow it up. Maybe look at parental involvement and find out if hard to reach groups are catered for and feel included. You could look at many community themes. My deputy recently had a hunch about dads not being as involved as they might be and so he set about finding out if this was true. Led him into many interesting and useful enquiries.

    Sounds interesting. Let us know how you get on.
  12. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    At least he doesn't ask himself a leading question about how to track data and then use a different username to answer it like a certain company on here seems to do!
  13. tonymillar

    tonymillar New commenter

    So that we do not detract further from the original post by discussing the way the forum is being used, I would like to invite those who are interested to a discussion I started a few weeks ago about using social media in a professional environment. (apologies for the first post which is full of unwanted coding)

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