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Students need to understand stop and search laws

A few weeks ago a school leader told me about an incident where several students from their school were stopped and searched. It wasn’t just a gentle stop and search, the students, who were 16 and 17 years of age, were forced to the ground and handcuffed. For obvious reasons I can’t go into any…

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Let’s not cram black history into one month of the year

It’s hard to believe the month of October is almost here, which means Christmas is just around the corner. Apologies if that’s woken some of you out of a sweet reverie, but we can’t hide from the truth. October doesn’t just herald the countdown to Christmas, in the UK October has also been classified a…

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Not every young person has had a good summer

At the start of each academic year, educators can often be heard asking their students the following question: ‘so, what did you get up to over the summer?’ Some students will respond with enthusiasm, telling you all about the places they’ve visited, the different family members and friends they met up with and the various…

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Black boys and banter: Don’t get it twisted!

I asked a group of my daughter’s friends (all in their mid twenties) to tell me what they wish their white teachers knew about them as a black student. The responses were interesting. A couple of responses I’ve written about in previous posts, but there were two in particular that caught my attention: “All my…

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A letter to new headteachers

Dear New Headteacher, With only a couple of weeks to go until the start of the new academic year, I thought I’d take the time to write you a few lines. Now, please don’t expect a Ted Talk on how as a headteacher you have the capacity to be a champion for a generation, or…

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Why you don’t ask to touch a black person’s afro

Let me start by saying that this is not a lesson on the history of afro hair. For that I would recommend you start your learning journey by visiting the Mamasia website. This post is about the importance of recognising social boundaries, individuality, and exercising general respect and common sense. At the start of each…

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When students kiss their teeth, it’s not the same as swearing

All schools have behaviour policies, some of which are more detailed than others. These policies cover everything from personal responsibility and uniform to the expectations of how students should wear their hair. Anyone who has been following the news of late will know how much of a contentious issue the latter has been when it…

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On the subject of black students and their names

As a teacher, one of the very first things you will do when you get your new class is take the register. This seemingly simple act can send shivers down the spine of the most confident educator. Over the course of a year, a primary school teacher has to get to know at least 30…

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My role as an LSA inspired me to become a teacher

I haven’t always worked in education. My first career was in retail and the roles I had varied from working in a local pharmacy, to managing a book shop.  My last role in retail was as a training manager for Tesco. But when my career hit a wall – I wanted to become a personnel…

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Covid changes staff want to keep

I recently put forward the following question on Twitter: What’s the one change your school has made since Covid began that you think should continue in September? Two days after putting the Tweet out I had received almost 300 comments; it was clearly a topic a lot of people had a view on. To save…

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chairs on table

A letter to Early Career Teachers

Dear Early Career Teacher, Congratulations! By virtue of the fact that you’ve acquired this new, if somewhat weird, title it means you’ve had your portfolio of evidence signed off by your mentor and are on your way to starting your first teaching post. No doubt you’ve been congratulated by family, friends and the trainee teachers…

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5 websites you should subscribe to (one of them may surprise you!)

One of the most important things about being in education is keeping up to date with what’s new in the world of education. One way of doing this is to trawl through the thousands of posts that are sent via Twitter every day. The other way is to subscribe to some of the websites that…

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5 tips to get you ready for a career move

It’s that time of year when all across Twitter teachers are celebrating getting their ‘dream’ jobs; you have NQTs who have secured their first teaching posts and experienced teacher who have landed that great promotion. It can sometimes leave you wondering whether it’s time you thought about moving onwards or upwards. If that’s you, here…

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A little ‘thank you’ goes a long way

When I went for the interview for my deputy headteacher role back in 2014, something that was said by the HLTA who was ferrying the candidates around stuck in my mind. She was telling me about some of the changes that had been made by the new co-headteachers who had recently taken over the leadership…

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What you do on the way up counts

When I trained to become a teacher I didn’t have a particular career path in mind. I never had any great ambition to be a leader and especially didn’t have any plans to become a headteacher – it wasn’t even in the equation a month before I decided to apply for my current role. All…

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Application for senior leadership roles – survey results

In April 2021 I carried out a survey to develop a better awareness of the success rate of teachers who have applied for senior leadership roles. The aim was to find out whether the level of support that was made available to candidates enabled them to be more successful at securing a leadership role. This…

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6 things to consider when writing your supporting statement

A well thought-out supporting statement can get you off the starting blocks of the application process. If you really want the role you’re applying for, you have to make sure your statement stands out for all the right reasons and enables you to secure an interview. Based on my experience of reading hundreds of supporting…

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Stop comparing yourself to other educators on Twitter

With over 330 milillon users, Twitter is a great platform for those in education. If you’re a teacher whether new or experienced, it’s a useful tool for sharing planning ideas, classroom resources, getting tips on behaviour management, or simply receiving words of encouragement when you’ve had ‘one of those days’. If you’re in leadership it’s…

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