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Discussions & Debates

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All articles are the original work of education practitioners, based on their own experience research and observation of practice.

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Ethical Behaviour in Education

Schools and school leaders face ethical dilemmas regularly, and there has been a growing movement to define what ethical behaviour looks like in schools and then commit to this as our way of working.  The Ethical Leadership Commission has produced the Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education, setting out the key commitments that define ethical educational leadership.

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Wild, Wild West – the development of Multi Academy Trusts

The way that the development of the Multi Academy Trust has transformed the educational landscape has been rapid and unpredictable. It has provided innovation and energy and led to notable successes, but it has also brought controversy as a result of actions that have thrown all MATs into disrepute. This article argues that MAT leaders have a duty to uphold the highest ethical standards if the sector is to thrive.

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Happy to help?

Schools are at the sharp end when it comes to dealing with vulnerable families and young people in crisis, with so many services stretched to breaking point. How has it come to this, and how can we mobilise all those people who want to help, but find barriers in their way? It’s time for some radical suggestions.

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Pupils’ Responses to Scientific Modelling Activities

Action Research into learning gains, modelling knowledge, and pupil opinion. A summary of an action research project investigating whether modelling activities improve pupils’ subject knowledge, scientific modelling knowledge, and their opinions on modelling activities. It uses pre and post test data and questionnaires, along with a focus group to investigate pupils’ understanding. An overview of research carried out for an MA dissertation submitted in May 2017.

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Wait for it... A Lesson Study into Whole Class Questioning

Questioning is one of the fundamental skills a teacher possesses. Whole class questioning is useful tool to assess learning and to challenge misconceptions. A Lesson Study model was used to plan – deliver – observe – reflect on strategies to make whole class questioning effective. An exit ticket was used to allow the pupils to feedback on the thinking time before answering questions and their confidence in answering questions.

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Thoughts about smartphones, social media and possible effects on young people

Recent publicity about the prevalence and impact of smartphones, and the potential damage caused by unmonitored use of social media, has raised the profile of this topic. In this article, Audrey discusses the research evidence in this area, alongside her own extensive experience, and gives some recommendations for building 'digital resilience'.

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Intelligent Accountability

We are living in an era of unprecedented accountability in public services, and nowhere is this more evident than in the field of education. Ofsted judgements, performance tables, parent view, social media - all place the performance of schools and school leaders under the microscope, and the consequences of perceived failure are increasingly high. We are seeing the impact of this clearly in raised stress levels, recruitment difficulties and very high rates of attrition for those in the most challenging roles. In this article, I examine the problem and suggestions ways that a system of high accountability does not have to take this toll on those who work in it.

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Curriculum Report

The curriculum is the framework on which sits everything we do in school. It combines everything that is planned and delivered in lessons with other learning opportunities in school. Through the curriculum we develop students’ knowledge, skills and understanding, ensure that we have a coherent structure, and prepare our students for their lives beyond school.

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