The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

School communications

Matthew Burgess

What does Brexit mean for international students?

As the UK prepares to leave the EU and Brexit negotiations continue, Matthew Burgess looks at the impact on international students. Brexit is likely to have multiple effects on those parts of the UK's education sector that welcome students from beyond these shores. What are these effects and why do...
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Lisa Griffin

MATs Summit 2017: four phases of school improvement

‘School improvement is strongest when schools work together.' Lisa Griffin reports back from the first day of our multi-academy trust event. Sir David Carter sets out his vision for the future of school improvement School improvement was the theme of the day as the third annual MATs Summit kicked...
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Karen Burns

Let’s stay together – in a MAT

Personalising the art of retention is key to keeping staff. Karen Burns describes why multi-academy trusts provide more options to aid the retention of talent. Overwhelmingly the biggest contributor to staff retention is the feel and experience of working in a school on a day to day basis. It can...
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Lisa Griffin

Nearing the summit: Laura McInerney on the MATs landscape

Chair of our annual Multi-Academy Trusts Summit and Schools Week editor Laura McInerney talks about the forthcoming event. This is your third year chairing the MATs Summit. What keeps you coming back? Laura: It’s one of the only events that bring CEOs of multi-academy trusts together to think about...
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Elizabeth Holmes

NEU horizons for ATL and NUT

The amalgamation of two national education unions is a rallying cry for those looking to get their voices heard. It couldn't have come at a better time, argues Elizabeth Holmes. In March, members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT), two of the...
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Justin Smith

Into the mix: why do schools need to market themselves?

The mere mention of marketing can arouse cynicism in schools, but perhaps it's time to think differently. ‘It’s all a bit fluffy isn’t it, that marketing lark. Airy fairy stuff, and to be honest I don’t have time for it.’ So said a delegate before walking into my ‘marketing for schools’ workshop a...
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John Viner

Still marching in: the continuing growth of faith schools

In today’s pluralistic society, what role should religious education play? John Viner thinks that looking backward may help us look ahead. Since its earliest days, the provision of education in England and Wales has been a strange partnership between church and state, between the religious and the...
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Denise Inwood

Teaching schools must work together, but they need a helping hand

Six years on from the introduction of teaching schools, there’s a challenge to be faced: the absence of any coordinated school-to-school support. Teaching schools were first introduced in 2011 to facilitate systemic change in teacher training. Since then, it has become evident that the support they...
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John Viner

Term-time holidays: the verdict is in

The Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Jon Platt case highlights again the importance of dealing with term-time holidays - though we're yet to hear the last of this legal tussle. I have previously examined the debate surrounding term-time absences. In this update, I consider what happened in...
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Alex Masters

Let’s end the fear around academisation

SBMs up and down the country are full of trepidation about their school’s impending academisation. We need to see this as an opportunity, rather than threat. ‘When nothing is sure, everything is possible.’ It’s fair to say that the education system is always in a state of flux and, given the fact...
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