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

School communications

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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John Viner

Turning 'problem parents' into partners

Hard to reach or scared to come in? John Viner shares how we can reach out to so-called 'problem parents' to better support our pupils. I am a slow learner. It took me over twenty years of headship before I really understood that even the most challenging parents are as much partners in their...
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John Viner

Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best: what impact could Brexit have on schools?

No one knows what a disorderly Brexit could mean for education, but we need to be prepared. How should schools respond to the potential disruption which may follow? The local authority officer looked across the room. “We are,” he said, “preparing for the worst, but rather hoping it won’t be as bad...
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Julia Watson

Dealing with challenging parents

How can teachers deal with parental behaviour they find challenging? Julia Watson shares three common scenarios and how to overcome them. Working in partnership with parents is the ideal for every teacher. When it works well, the tag-team of parent and teacher can be transformative for the welfare...
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Laura McInerney

Learning from each other: lessons from the MATs Summit

Chair of our annual Multi-Academy Trusts Summit Laura McInerney looks back at her experience of the event and shares some memorable moments. An irritating truth of teaching is that no matter how long you spend planning for pupils to learn some big, important concept, events will always overtake...
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Jenn Alexander

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest app of them all?

Apps can be the perfect platform to keep parents in the fold. Jenn Alexander explains how schools can embrace this technology and streamline their communication. Studies have shown that the more engaged the parent, the better the student performs. From a safeguarding perspective, reaching parents...
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Damian Moore

'One happy family': sharing an emotional vocabulary

At the Holy Family School, designated provision for ASC gives parents and students alike the opportunity to talk emotions. The one group of parents that are likely to visit their children’s secondary school as much as they did their primary are the parents of pupils with SEND. This is the case at...
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Matthew Burgess

What does Brexit mean for international students?

As the UK prepares to leave the EU and Brexit negotiations continue, Matthew Burgess looks at the impact on international students. Brexit is likely to have multiple effects on those parts of the UK's education sector that welcome students from beyond these shores. What are these effects and why do...
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Lisa Griffin

MATs Summit 2017: four phases of school improvement

‘School improvement is strongest when schools work together.' Lisa Griffin reports back from the first day of our multi-academy trust event. Sir David Carter sets out his vision for the future of school improvement School improvement was the theme of the day as the third annual MATs Summit kicked...
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Karen Burns

Let’s stay together – in a MAT

Personalising the art of retention is key to keeping staff. Karen Burns describes why multi-academy trusts provide more options to aid the retention of talent. Overwhelmingly the biggest contributor to staff retention is the feel and experience of working in a school on a day to day basis. It can...
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