The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Elizabeth Holmes

'Alexa, teach me': the future of artificial intelligence in education

Elizabeth Holmes caught up with Miles Berry to discuss the benefits and ethical dilemmas of bringing AI into the classroom. The potential role of artificial intelligence (AI) is something of a new frontier for schools. But should we not be finding out as much as we can, so that we can maximise the...
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Marcus Wilton

'It's cool to have ADHD': Marcus' story

As a spectrum condition, ADHD affects everyone differently. 10-year-old Marcus Wilton's account brings the reality of living with the condition to life. Marcus and his grandmother at the ADHD Foundation conference, where Marcus was awarded a trophy for his contribution to raising public awareness...
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Gareth D Morewood

Mythbusting SEND: why the law still trumps all

Variability in local practice continues to cause upheaval for schools at the heart of the SEND system. Here are some of the misconceptions we need to address now. Previously I have written about how the law trumps all as far as SEND is concerned. As we near the end of the reforms implementation...
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John Dabell

5 education myths we need to dispel

Grand ideas can carry a lot of gravitas, but these five educational 'cure-alls' came without a pinch of salt. John Dabell explains why they were too good to be true. One of the most depressing things about attending CPD sessions is when the self-appointed gurus or odd-ball suppliers of Inset refer...
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Gareth D Morewood

A new professional pathway for SENCOs

Initial training and later professional development mean nothing if they don't reflect our needs. The modern SENCO is no exception. Earlier this week I explained why we need to rethink the role of SENCO . The post prompted much discussion about the SENCO’s significance, and how decisions on the...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Making the most of speech and language therapy

Speech and language skills are essential if pupils in Reception are to be expected to access the curriculum. I found out how one TA has helped improve her school's provision for SLCN. On Tuesday it was revealed that the government will not continue funding for The Communication Trust , a charity...
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John Viner

Smart watches: new tech needs new solutions

In face of a booming wearable technology market, it’s high time we find ways to incorporate rather than exclude these gadgets in schools. Analysts at Research and Markets, a market research organisation, have estimated that the wearable technology market will grow at a compound annual growth rate...
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Gareth D Morewood

Time to rethink the 'effective SENCO'

Never has time been such a precious asset to the SENCO, whose professional status needs to be carefully reconsidered if they are expected to progress in the role. It has always been important for me to reflect on my own practice as SENCO and identify new opportunities to develop my skills. All...
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Joanna Grace

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: in need of our understanding

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) may sound obscure, but misdiagnosis or misunderstanding in schools can have a lasting effect on young people who have the condition. It’s likely that your school supports young people with autism. It’s also likely that, if you were to have trouble supporting a...
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Caroline Collins

GDPR: how schools can prepare

Time is ticking, and in just a few months all organisations need to ensure they comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). What should you be doing to make sure your school is ready? In the first of three blog posts, I’m going to look at how your school can prepare. I first heard...
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