The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Professional development

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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Elizabeth Holmes

Teachers: does your professional learning have purpose?

To guarantee the 'C' in CPD, teachers should always be asking questions of the research they carry out or the training they receive. Karl Bentley is a senior lecturer and programme director for PGCE 7-14 at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent. After a career in power and control engineering...
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Nickii Messer

School business management or leadership – does it matter?

Does a move from school business management to school business leadership mean that some skills are being downgraded, or no longer seen as useful? Having been a committed supporter of the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) for many years, I still remember the (many)...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Spotlight on Northern Rocks

Although only in its fourth year, Northern Rocks is firmly established in the academic calendar as a powerhouse of pedagogical thinking. I spoke to its co-founder ahead of this year's conference. Drawing together teachers and others working in the field of education, Northern Rocks offers a forum...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Finders, keepers: improve wellbeing to retain the best staff

The recruitment and retention of staff can be testing at the best of times. Time spent finding and hiring the best person for the job is wasted if the job doesn't entice them to stay in the role. Discussions around staff retention usually follow the premise that keeping staff is good. This isn’t...
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Optimus Education

Prospects acquires Optimus Education

Prospects, the market-leading education, employment and skills company, is to acquire Optimus Education. Prospects, who entered the educational resources, school improvement and awards sector more than 15 years ago takes ownership of Optimus Education from 1 November 2016. Optimus Education was...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Mantle of the Expert – making learning meaningful and engaging

A Beginner’s Guide to Mantle of the Expert is an intriguing pedagogy with the potential to transform primary education and children’s experience of learning. I caught up with the author, Tim Taylor. Please explain your part in the development of Mantle of the Expert Tim: Mantle of the Expert is an...
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Alex Masters

Tick-tock! Time is not on your side

Sadly, The Rolling Stones song ‘Time is on my side’ rarely applies in day-to-day life. Get time on your side using these strategies to help you prioritise, delegate and learn to say 'No'! ‘I just need more time!’ has to be the most common refrain from people I meet in the education sector. And who...
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Kate Herbert-Smith

Teachers as researchers: 6 ways to encourage action research

Kate Herbert-Smith of IRIS Connect outlines how to encourage an action research culture to make a meaningful impact on pupil outcomes Teacher research is a powerful tool for professional learning. It has the potential to enhance and improve teaching and learning as well as increase teachers’...
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