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

Professional development

Liz Murray

Effective remote CPD: principles, planning and lessons learned

A wealth of free opportunities can result in overwhelm. Liz Murray shares how a return to principles has enabled effective CPD planning for her team. At the time of writing we are seven weeks into school disruption due to the coronavirus lockdown. Like most school leaders, my first priority was to...
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Amy Lalla

Lockdown learning: have you considered an apprenticeship?

Guest blogger Amy Lalla highlights the value of ‘educate while you isolate’: could this be your opportunity to embark on a course which will enhance your career? Who would have thought at the start of the academic year that we would be here? Collectively we have never experienced such a change and...
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Nicola Harvey

Is teaching your true calling?

Wondering about leaving teaching and transitioning to another role in education? Nicola Harvey shares ways to create change. Teachers play a key role in shaping the lives of the future generation. They make a difference far beyond exam results, attendance records and school league tables. And often...
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Kelly Hannaghan

The power of networking: what are the benefits for leaders in education?

School leaders around the country are trying to juggle the demands of their role alongside finding opportunities to protect their self-care and promote pupil outcomes. Could networking be the key to success? Kelly Hannaghan shares her experiences. It’s one of the biggest buzzwords in education:...
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John Viner

The sums don't add up: recruitment, funding and teacher quality

A new academic year looms, and school leaders will again be trying to balance the books while hunting for high quality teaching staff. What can schools do to meet the recruitment challenge? John Viner shares options for 'growing your own'. It cannot have been the best news to welcome the newly...
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Gareth D Morewood

International perspectives and broadening horizons

Gareth D Morewood reflects on his latest international conferences, sharing lessons from the inspirational contacts he has made during the last few weeks. I have been very fortunate over the last few years, not only to gain some amazing insights and experiences in UK schools and settings but also...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Providing trainee teachers with meaningful SEND training

Initial teacher training should prepare trainees to work effectively with every pupil in their classroom, including those with SEND. Ever since the Carter review of initial teacher training in 2015, which reminded us that 'good teaching for SEND is good teaching for all children', practitioners and...
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Marta Pelejero

From thinking all was impossible to becoming a TA (and now teacher!)

Volunteering as a teaching assistant at Priestnall School gave Marta Pelejero precious insight into the fundamentals of teaching. She describes her journey so far. How many people know their vocation? How many know what they really want to do with their life? In this constantly changing world it is...
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Tom Fay

Teachers: do you have the X factor?

What does it take to be a great teacher? Tom Fay asked pupils to name their desired traits, and shares the responses. Everyone remembers a great teacher they once had. You may not remember exactly what they said or did, but you will certainly remember how they made you feel. Their impact can last a...
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David Weston

4 ways for MATs to become employers of choice

David Weston describes key ways MATs can become employers of choice where talented individuals want to stay and develop. In a time of significant challenges for recruitment and retention, MATs are under pressure to stand out as great employers. CEOs and executive headteachers are increasingly...
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