The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

CPD

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,...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
Owen Carter

Putting CPD at the heart of school success: case study

We spoke to Healing School in Grimsby about how it’s redesigning its professional development programme to help all teachers continually improve. Almost every teacher in the world wants to improve. But the demands of the job, time pressure and mental fatigue means that reflection time often gets...
Read more...
Alex Masters

SBMs: Why 2016 could be your most significant year

The school business management profession is a varied and challenging one but a new set of professional standards will set the SBM role on a path to dramatic growth. Stephen Morales, NASBM CEO, discusses the future of professional development for SBMs in his interview with Alex Masters. Someone...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

Getting to the heart of professional learning and literacy

‘New teachers are starting a journey, not being prepared, glazed and kiln baked by CPD to be career ready.’ Diane Leedham , English, Literacy and EAL teacher and advisor, and all-round voice of sense and reason on edu-twitter, has clear ideas about helping children to learn and thrive. I caught up...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

A toolkit for teachers for supporting mental health

Natasha Devon explains how schools can best equip teachers for the rigours of supporting young people who are suffering. In part one of this conversation we explored the prevalence of mental health distress in children and young people and how the teaching profession may respond to that. What might...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

Using a range of activities to make CPD count

Do you tweet? Are you involved in peer networking? Are you a member of a working group? Do you include these activities under the broad definition of CPD? And indeed, should you? What does – and what does not – constitute CPD (continuing professional development)? At a time when grass roots...
Read more...