The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Sophie Chalmers

'I have a voice – hear me': Jonathan's story

Sophie Chalmers talks to Jonathan Bryan about Teach Us Too, his campaign to give all non-verbal children the right to an education. Jonathan Bryan, pictured with his mother Chantal, speaks eloquently and with passion about the plight of children labelled with PMLD Twelve-year-old Jonathan Bryan,...
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Lisa Griffin

‘Wellbeing at the heart of our school’

We visited Lessness Heath Primary School to congratulate them on their wellbeing provision and present them with the Wellbeing Award for Schools. Sunshine and blue skies set the scene for a day of celebration at Lessness Heath Primary School . The school is the first to achieve the Wellbeing Award...
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Gareth D Morewood

National SEND inquiry: current challenges and possible solutions

Writing a submission to the government's SEND inquiry provided an opportunity to reflect on the challenges in the current system, and offer some suggestions for change. In a previous post I explained why the Education Committee’s inquiry into support for children and young people with SEND is a...
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Julie Moktadir

Tier 5 sponsorship and independent schools: what to know

With recent difficulties in Tier 5 sponsorship for independent schools, Stone King lawyer Julie Moktadir explains what schools need to consider when applying for a visa. Independent schools often sponsor individuals from outside the EEA to enhance the educational experience of their students. As...
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David Weston

4 ways for MATs to become employers of choice

David Weston describes key ways MATs can become employers of choice where talented individuals want to stay and develop. In a time of significant challenges for recruitment and retention, MATs are under pressure to stand out as great employers. CEOs and executive headteachers are increasingly...
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Gareth D Morewood

The power of FestABLE: three stories

A personal highlight of the recent FestABLE were the inspirational stories of young people and their families. Gareth D Morewood shares a few shining examples. Last Saturday I was fortunate to have been asked to attend the inaugural FestABLE event at National Star College in Cheltenham. The event...
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Dai Durbridge

GDPR and your FAQs

From encrypting emails to gaining consent, we asked Browne Jacobson lawyer Dai Durbridge some common questions. 1. Encryption and password protection: what’s the difference and do we need to do it? Encryption – also known as end-to-end encryption – protects the email while it is passing from your...
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John Viner

Dinners, winners and losers

The introduction of new criteria for free school meals eligibility has put some children's entitlement in doubt. John Viner summarises the change and its likely implications. With the roll-out of Universal Credit, parents claiming the credit had expected that they would also be entitled to claim...
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John Dabell

Teachers can make their mark with written feedback

Effective feedback lies at the heart of the learning process. John Dabell explains why written feedback should be no exception. Marking has been demonised. It has been hijacked by the marking martyrs who rage against the machine. They hate marking and pour scorn on it at every available opportunity...
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Webinar
Dai Durbridge

Understanding the key changes to KCSIE

Dai Durbridge outlines some of the main changes to the safeguarding statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education and explains how schools can begin to prepare. Download the presentation slides Download the podcast In this 20-minute webinar, we will: outline the top 10 changes to the...
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