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

Professional development

Jack Procter-Blain

Providing trainee teachers with meaningful SEND training

Initial teacher training should prepare trainees to work effectively with every pupil in their classroom, including those with SEND. Ever since the Carter review of initial teacher training in 2015, which reminded us that 'good teaching for SEND is good teaching for all children', practitioners and...
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Marta Pelejero

From thinking all was impossible to becoming a TA (and now teacher!)

Volunteering as a teaching assistant at Priestnall School gave Marta Pelejero precious insight into the fundamentals of teaching. She describes her journey so far. How many people know their vocation? How many know what they really want to do with their life? In this constantly changing world it is...
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Tom Fay

Teachers: do you have the X factor?

What does it take to be a great teacher? Tom Fay asked pupils to name their desired traits, and shares the responses. Everyone remembers a great teacher they once had. You may not remember exactly what they said or did, but you will certainly remember how they made you feel. Their impact can last a...
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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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John Viner

The coming of age of the school business manager

John Viner returns to the starting blocks with a focus on what has happened in the increasingly professional world of SBMs. The professionalism of the school business manager (SBM), with its high expectations and high accountability is in significant contrast to its amateur beginnings and it may be...
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Helen Morgan

What can we learn from working in an international context?

Helen Morgan explains the benefits of working abroad and what she has gained from it. Working in an international context is fascinating on a number of different levels. From an educational perspective, it provides a fantastic opportunity to learn about the similarities and differences between the...
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John Dabell

10 resolutions for new teachers

Feeling frazzled after your first term? Begin afresh by resolving to improve your practice without taking on too much. With the first term under your belt, you are probably feeling pretty chuffed with yourself – and rightfully so. You earned your Christmas break and hopefully you’ve spent some...
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John Dabell

Teachers, here are your professional promises for the new year

A new term can mean a new you if you keep to these pledges for self-improvement throughout the year and beyond. That’s another term done and dusted and here we are in a new year already. Where does the time go and when is it half term? When you have been teaching for a few years, it’s easy to slip...
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Verity Jones

Reducing the distance: are MOOCs the future of CPD?

Out with the old, in with the digital? Verity Jones explains why online platforms for professional learning have become so popular. Schools have to set a limit for the professional development of their staff. Even where they have joined forces to offer Inset days, twilights and the odd TeachMeet-...
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Sue Birchall

A day in the life of a SBM

I recently left my job as the financial controller of a multi-academy trust and returned to a more ‘traditional’ school business manager role. Or you could say I rejoined the circus. If I look up to the ceiling in my office, all I can see are a series of spinning plates that I – the school's top-...
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