The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

John Viner

Keeping children even safer

With an updated Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance now in force, John Viner summarises what has changed and how schools need to respond. I usually try to kick off a new academic year with a quick review of what’s gone on and going on in the political world of education but, this year, it...
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Diane Leedham

Ethical assessment and tracking for EAL learners

Diane Leedham argues why data should be the servant and not the master when it comes to championing the needs of EAL learners. After months of uncertainty and behind the scenes speculation about the position for EAL and BAME learners in the 2018/19 school census return, the DfE finally released the...
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Gareth D Morewood

An inclusive approach in every aspect of school life

Gareth D Morewood describes how a whole-school approach can inform true values for inclusive schools. I am fortunate enough to have provided external training and support to SEND colleagues, schools, parent carer groups and local authorities. One topic that appears ever more frequently in the...
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Julia Watson

7 ways to succeed as a school leader

Looking to refresh or improve your leadership skills this term? Julia Watson explains how you can raise the bar. The amount expected of a school leader has never been greater, with inordinate demands on time and resources distracting from the essence of the role. So how can you get off to a flying...
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Fiona Carnie

Building partnerships with parents

Parent engagement expert Fiona Carnie from Parentkind offers strategies to engage and work effectively with parents. It’s well known that parental engagement has a significant impact on a child’s education, not just academically but emotionally and in terms of building confidence too. So, how can...
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Gareth D Morewood

How to strengthen your SENCO-governor relationship

To the SENCO, a SEND governor can provide supportive accountability and critical friendship. Here are some ways to make this relationship count. Last week I emphasised that the start of the new term is the perfect time for SENCOs to plan strategically for effective SEND provision. But a SENCO is...
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Dr Karamat Iqbal

Community in the school and school in the community

The transformative power of school-community relationships is plain to see. Karamat Iqbal explains what schools can gain from strengthening their local ties. If we look closely enough at our communities, we discover that many of them are rich in different types of capital and assets which, when...
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Gareth D Morewood

A new school year, a fresh approach to SEND?

Opportunities to improve practice and share ideas can benefit new and experienced SENCOs alike. Gareth D Morewood shares some simple advice to kick-start the new term. The beginning of a new academic year is a great time to consider how we can all become the strategic SENCOs we aspire to be. This...
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Simon Scarborough

5 ways to make inclusive PE work

Adapting the curriculum is only the start in making PE more inclusive. Simon Scarborough offers a few tips. One of the greatest barriers I have faced when promoting inclusive PE practice is the misconception held by some, that making PE more inclusive somehow makes it impossible to stretch and...
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John Viner

Where do new teachers come from?

Looking for fresh talent, or a pathway to a new career? John Viner outlines some of the many different routes into teaching. As a teacher trainer, it always astonishes me that, of the (usually) young men and women who we send out into schools with a shiny new QTS, so many leave the profession after...
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