Liz Worthen

Liz Worthen taught English at a London comprehensive school before getting engaged in the world of CPD through roles at London Gifted & Talented and Teachers TV. Now head of content at Optimus Education, Liz oversees the development of resources for our Knowledge Centre and In-House Training members.

Latest blog posts

Liz Worthen

Leadership shorts: holding honest conversations as an executive headteacher

Letting go of the 'super exec head' armour can seem like a path to crisis. In this podcast, we consider how executive heads can empower others while maintaining ultimate accountability. In this conversation with Viv Grant, executive coach and director of Integrity Coaching, we explore the...
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Liz Worthen

‘Because you care, you can pull it off’: Lord Blunkett at the MATs Summit 2016

Grammar schools, career pathways, dealing with controversy and creating change: David Blunkett reflects on the current landscape for leaders in education. One of the highlights of the Optimus Education MATs Summit was hearing Lord Blunkett in conversation with Laura McInerney , editor of Schools...
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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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Liz Worthen

From differentiation tips to mastery: the changing world of gifted and talented

Liz Worthen takes a reflective look back at what’s changed (and what hasn’t) in regards to stretch and challenge for more able pupils. When the gifted and talented initiative launched , back in the heady new Labour days of 1999, our first (and ongoing challenge) was the name itself: what did it...
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Liz Worthen

Collaboration for professional development: what makes it work?

Collaboration sounds great, but how do you make it work in practice? Some thorny questions and success stories from a teaching schools workshop session. Collaboration was a key theme running through the programme of the Optimus Education Teaching Schools Summit . There was talk about collaboration...
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Liz Worthen

The stretch zone is for grownups too

Good leaders find the stretch points for their team and empower them to take action. Proofing the entirety of our primary and secondary Insight magazine is a somewhat arduous task. However, it does give me the opportunity to fully appreciate (and actually read!) the resources which the Optimus team...
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Liz Worthen

Achieving value for money: a team approach

Is your school budget spent wisely? Staff training is key to creating a value for money culture. As a school business manager, how many times have you tried to explain value for money to the budget holders on your staff? Are you one of the lucky ones with a financially-literate governing body, or...
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Liz Worthen

Creating a buzz around CPD

Thursday afternoons at Bluecoats Academy in Nottingham are CPD time. Official teaching finishes early and staff all engage in CPD activities (while pupils benefit from extra-curricular activities, coaching and specialist teaching). Lisa Harrison, Assistant Principal in charge of CPD, told us about...
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