The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Elizabeth Holmes

The SEND inquiry: getting it right for children, families and schools

It's been five years since the last biggest education reforms for young people with SEND were introduced, but how successful have these reforms been? Elizabeth Holmes looks at some of the findings and responses to the SEND inquiry report. In April 2018, the Education Committee launched their SEND...
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Liz Murray

Flexible working in action: developing the working relationship

In the second of her blog series, Liz Murray reveals how plans are already changing, and what the job share partners are doing to ensure a successful working relationship. As readers of my previous blog will know, I’m in a new job share arrangement as co-director of curriculum support (basically a...
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Fiona Carnie

How can schools respond to the climate crisis?

If schools don't show themselves to be responding to the climate emergency, many young people will see their education as irrelevant. Fiona Carnie looks at what schools can do to address this crisis. Fears about the climate crisis are bringing growing numbers of adults and children out on to the...
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Charlie Roden

Wellbeing podcast: teacher mental health

In the first episode of the Optimus wellbeing podcast, Charlie Roden explores the causes of poor teacher mental health, and what can be done to improve staff wellbeing. Concerns over teacher mental health are on the rise. The most recent Teacher Wellbeing Index found that over a third of education...
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Kelly Hannaghan

How deprivation affects outcomes in education – and what we can do about it

Like many school leaders, Kelly Hannaghan is seeing first-hand the effects of poverty on her school community. What can schools do to empower families and ensure children achieve their academic potential? The Child Poverty Act 2010 set targets for ending child poverty by 2020. However, child...
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Optimus Education

The long and winding road to a very special Ofsted: a view from the chalkface

A secret teacher describes their school’s journey from ‘outstanding’ to ‘special measures’ – and why the last judgement is everything the staff hoped for. Being placed in special measures by Ofsted can conjure up a whole host of emotions: frustration, anger, despair, fear and embarrassment to name...
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Sarah Soyei

Getting equality and diversity right in schools

A whole school approach to equality can increase attainment, improve behaviour and ensure that everyone feels safe and able to succeed. Sarah Soyei outlines four ways to make your school more inclusive. Senior leaders and teachers are under increasing pressure, with numerous demands on people’s...
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Charlie Roden

From special measures to outstanding: the power of an arts-based curriculum

When Naveed Idrees became headteacher at Feversham Primary Academy, pupils were disengaged and staff morale was low. Naveed explains how an arts-based curriculum has transformed his school. What state was your school in when you first became appointed as headteacher? When I became headteacher in...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Deep dives: what do they mean for schools?

Ofsted are now assessing a school's quality of education by carrying out 'deep dives' into subject areas. Elizabeth Holmes looks at what this means for schools, and what to expect during an inspection. Mention the 'deep dive' in certain education circles and there is likely to be a sharp intake of...
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John Dabell

How can governors help the wellbeing of school leaders?

John Dabell explores how support and challenge from governors can improve headteacher wellbeing and make the life of a leader easier. Headteachers and governors don’t have to get on like a house on fire, but it certainly helps if they have a professional and productive working relationship that is...
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