The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Lizzie Gait

Prior to working at Optimus Education, Lizzie qualified as a TEFL teacher and spent a very enjoyable year working as an English language teacher in a Camden language school. In 2011, she started at Optimus Education as Junior Conference Producer and produced a number of highly successful conferences in the areas of assessment, gifted and talented education, school business management and effective performance management.

Latest blog posts

Lizzie Gait

Risk assessment: ensuring staff and pupil safety

Lizzie Gait explores the key steps for carrying out a robust risk assessment to ensure staff and pupil safety, and full compliance with your obligations. Keeping up with the legal obligations of a school can be difficult for school business managers, especially since it doesn’t always fall under...
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Lizzie Gait

Prevent: understanding your duty

Providing staff training in line with the Prevent duty requirements is at the top of the agenda for many schools. Here are some key resources to help you remain compliant. Tackling extremism and radicalisation in schools is a huge and, importantly, unfamiliar challenge for schools. It’s been...
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Lizzie Gait

Professional development standards are coming! What's new?

The Teachers’ Professional Development Expert Group have issued a call for evidence to help inform the new standards. Lizzie Gait, training lead, interviewed panel member Hélène Galdin-O'Shea, to find out more. Why is it important that we develop the new professional development standards? Hélène...
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Lizzie Gait

The most efficient form of recruitment is retention

Here at Optimus HQ, we often end up having debates about education and this time we ended up on the topic of recruitment and retention. Training lead, Lizzie Gait, offers schools top tips for retaining staff. The figures around NQT retention are, in the words of Sir Michael Wilshaw, ‘a national...
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Lizzie Gait

How to engage staff in CPD

NTEN recently held a ‘How to engage staff in their CPD’ event at Blue Coat Academy, Nottingham. Lizzie Gait, training development lead, shares her thoughts and provides a brief summary of their latest research. As a CPD enthusiast, I found this be an incredibly useful event and was excited to be...
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Lizzie Gait

CPD in the news: Sutton Trust

Across the education sector, colleagues are calling for a greater focus on professional learning for teachers. Lizzie Gait, training development lead, looks at some of the key research and policy documents which are paving the way to improved professional development. In light of the government’s...
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Lizzie Gait

Supporting EAL pupils in the classroom

Classroom teachers face the growing challenge of catering for the needs of an ever more diverse school community. Lizzie Gait, training development lead at Optimus Education, offers tips for teaching pupils with English as an additional language. It was estimated that in 2014 1.1 million pupils...
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Lizzie Gait

Election 2015: education policies compared

It’s hard enough keeping track of the government’s shifting priorities around education, but with election fever in the air, it’s nearly impossible to know what to expect. Lizzie Gait, training development lead, shares a brief summary of each party's education policy. As a team, we at Optimus are...
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Lizzie Gait

What does quality CPD look like to you?

How can you ensure that CPD in your school consistently meets the highest standards? Our new Teacher Quality Mark can help you maintain training standards in your school. Exciting news from camp OE… Here at Optimus Education we have just launched our first online only course! Managing Self-Harm by...
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Lizzie Gait

Tackling staff underperformance: a necessary evil?

Effective support must be provided for colleagues who are underperforming, but in order to ensure improvements take place, high quality training to help those in charge of performance management and appraisal is crucial. Want expert advice from education lawyers on an employment issue? Come to...
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Lizzie Gait

Improving Initial Teacher Training: recommendations from the Carter review

The Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) was released last month, detailing Sir Andrew Carter’s recommendations for ITT moving forwards. To save you time, we’ve summarised the recommendations for you. We hope you find it useful! The aim of the Carter review was to: define effective ITT...
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Lizzie Gait

Twilight training – when is CPD most effective?

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending our Growing Excellence in Learning and Teaching conference to run a focus group with a selection of highly engaged leaders of teaching, learning and CPD from across the country. For me, the aim was to find out more about what schools view as effective CPD...
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Lizzie Gait

Maximising the value of your TAs

On the 16 th September, I was excited to attend our Optimising the Impact and Value of TAs conference – the first of its kind in over 3 years. The range of leading expert and experienced practitioner speakers promised an exciting day of good practice. The aim of the day was threefold: Clarify the...
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Lizzie Gait

ResearchED: a stimulating, if mind-boggling experience!

Optimus Education staff report from the 2014 ResearchED event, held on 6 September at Raine’s Foundation School Lizzie Gait reports: ‘A great line-up of speakers drew me to this year’s ResearchEd event. It was a fascinating insight into the views and ideas of those who are passionate about...
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Lizzie Gait

Adventure Learning at Netley Abbey Infant School

I recently had the good fortune to visit Headteacher Jon Le Fevre at Netley Abbey Infant School , a large infant school on the south coast of England – a long trip from our office in North London but well worth the journey! I love visiting schools in the primary phase as my overriding image of them...
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