The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Professional development

Gareth D Morewood

A new professional pathway for SENCOs

Initial training and later professional development mean nothing if they don't reflect our needs. The modern SENCO is no exception. Earlier this week I explained why we need to rethink the role of SENCO . The post prompted much discussion about the SENCO’s significance, and how decisions on the...
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Gareth D Morewood

Time to rethink the 'effective SENCO'

Never has time been such a precious asset to the SENCO, whose professional status needs to be carefully reconsidered if they are expected to progress in the role. It has always been important for me to reflect on my own practice as SENCO and identify new opportunities to develop my skills. All...
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Ashmi Morjaria

From BAFTA to PGCE

People often ask me why I traded in a career of glitz and glam for the classroom. My answer is that it’s merely the best accident that ever happened to me. It feels like yesterday when I left a meeting at the BBC only to discover that the children’s department was to be relocated from London to...
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Joanne Miles

Lesson observations: quality assurance or quality improvement?

Rather than something staff repeatedly suffer through, a school’s observation cycle can be an invaluable professional learning tool – if you give them a say. Over the last few years, I have spent much time helping schools and colleges to re-think their use of lesson observations. Where observation...
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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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Elizabeth Holmes

The Standard for Professional Development: a timely reminder for all

The Standard for Professional Development is clear about the importance of effective training to effective teaching. What are its most important messages? The recent publication of the Standard for Professional Development offers us the impetus to focus on CPD with a fresh perspective and renewed...
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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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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...
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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...
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Gareth D Morewood

SENCo resolutions for 2016

Gareth D Morewood takes a look at what resolutions SENCos can set in order to achieve effective whole-school provision for SEND. Happy New Year! As we start 2016 I am reminded of one of the first articles I had published about the role of the SENCo . After achieving some decent down-time over the...
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