The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

CPD

Nickii Messer

SBMs: what do you mean 'it’s difficult'?

School business management is no picnic, but what do we mean when we dismiss a challenge as 'difficult'? I’m constantly wrestling with how school business managers can best equip themselves for the challenges ahead. We know that: budgets will continue to be squeezed maintained schools face...
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Alex Masters

Are you feeling underappreciated? This needs to stop!

Many SBMs have positive relations with their heads. However, others continue to suffer misunderstanding and disrespect. ‘I love my head!’ one SBM told me. ‘He’s at the forefront of education but still cares about every child and every member of staff. A rare breed.’ ‘Mine is amazing!’ another...
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Owen Carter

Quiz: how much do you really know about CPD?

Think you know your stuff about professional development? Can you tell your Hattie from your has-beens? Take the quiz to find out! Developing teachers is one of the most important ways to make an impact on pupils. But getting it right is hard! We're way less effective at developing teachers than we...
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Nickii Messer

Driving change and getting staff on board

One of the most certain things in schools is that nothing remains certain for long! Ensure you are communicating change clearly and effectively. Change happens all the time, and business managers and leaders constantly have to manage not only the change, but the people who are (or think they will...
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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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Gareth D Morewood

New school staff induction: don’t forget SEND!

As with any new job an appropriate induction is vital, especially so in schools, and it is important that SEND features prominently. Everyone is nervous starting a new job, at whatever level that is. Knowing where to get a brew, ensuring IT access is facilitated, getting appropriate ID badges,...
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Sue Birchall

SBMs, don't look back in anger

From budgets and academisation to the NASBM professional standards, here’s what we can learn from the last twelve months but also what we can expect looking forward. As we broke up for the summer the announcement that the government was to honour the promise of a national funding formula (NFF) came...
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Liz Worthen

Developing sustained, effective middle leadership: keys to success

With middle leaders as the vital cogs in the wheel of school improvement, how can we best enable them to operate smoothly and effectively? ‘There was a common thread in schools that struggled over many years of persistent weaknesses in middle leadership.’ (Ofsted annual report 2014/15) ‘It’s not...
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Owen Carter

Visible leadership for better learning

How well do you know your school, and how well do your staff know you? Here's why schools need visible leaders. Are you a leader wanting to improve outcomes in your school? Well, a good bet would be focusing on teacher learning. Viviane Robinson led an analysis of 30 research studies on the...
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Steve Baker

Become an assertive teacher in 10 easy steps

What can you do to present yourself as an authority figure whilst being fair and self-evaluating? Steve Baker offers a checklist to help you become an assertive teacher 1. Does the school ethos support staff to intervene assertively? Many schools put up bright posters in their hallways with words...
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