Tuesday, 18 December 2007

At the end of my 100th term in this crazy profession of ours, I wanted to give you some reflections and stimulate some thinking over Christmas...

My manifesto is as follows...
  • Our job is, and always has been, "Educating the Whole Child".
  • Brilliant schools don't work without brilliant teachers and brilliant headteachers
  • Skilled and talented teachers and headteachers will not keep teaching when their work life has been radically undermined and undervalued.
  • Talented new teachers will not rush to work in schools that are more like factories than learning organisations.
  • We need to create strong and popular local schools at the heart of their communities.
  • Basic literacy and numeracy, while important, are not the answer to building world class schools.
  • All our children need access to the arts, to music and to develop their personal and social skills.
  • Play and creativity are at the very heart of what we do.
  • Children do not learn best when limited to a narrow range of educational experiences taught in highly standardised ways.
  • If you test just two aspects of learning, inevitably the rest will get neglected.
  • Tests are not rich and accurate indicators of student performance.
  • Tests don't provide data to guide better teaching and learning.
  • Annual testing does not turn children into better readers, better writers and better mathematicians.
  • Schools will not get better results simply because they have business partners.
  • Shame, fear and humiliation are ineffective motivators for teachers, headteachers and colleagues in authorities.
  • Elevated levels of threat and risk create unhealthy environments for learning and teaching.
  • Corporate style competition is an unhealthy and ineffective model for a learning organization.
  • Imposed top down solutions don't release the magic and in the long term will be a complete waste of money.
  • People should only give advice if they are prepared to roll their sleeves up and do it themselves.
  • Parents, carers and families are partners in this endeavour and share responsibility for their children's performance.
  • Increased poverty, mobility and worklessness impact greatly on children's performance.
  • You can't push down on one aspect of a complex system without taking responsibility for other aspects of the system.
Let me know what you think.

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