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 performance and accountability

Adam Smith

Smells like team spirit

Does your classroom benefit from strong pupil centred team spirit? Adam Smith describes how to evaluate and review the impact of teamwork. In schools we all talk about having a positive ethos or a collaborative culture where we are singing from the same hymn sheet, on the same page, and all the...
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Rob Morrissey

New headteachers: 10 things not to do!

Starting a new headship position this term? Rob Morrissey lists some things to avoid and describes what to focus on for a successful start. Without wishing to decry programmes such as the NPQH there is nothing which quite prepares you for being in the chair (as I call it) or headship. That said I...
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Luke Ramsden

Looking ahead to changes in the ISI inspection framework

What can independent schools expect from the proposed changes? Luke Ramsden discusses. It is very likely that the vast majority of the proposed new framework will come in for September 2023, not least because some of the elements are already in place, and other changes are in line with the new...
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Olivia Dickinson

What to consider when writing a school uniform policy

Cost, pupil voice and branded items: what should be included in a policy on school uniform? Olivia Dickinson discusses. School uniform is often in the news, whether it’s about how the cost is prohibitive for many families , that girls are petitioning to wear trousers , that boys have worn skirts to...
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Elizabeth Holmes

After Covid-19 – is there a catch in catching up?

Elizabeth Holmes explores debates around catching up, funding, and the potential for education recovery. One thing that we can (probably) all agree on is that the picture of teaching and learning throughout the pandemic has been mixed at best. While some schools were able to switch between school...
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Mark Upton

School funding, standards and the abolition of private schools: the general election story so far

With manifestos published and polling day getting closer for the 2019 election, Mark Upton identifies the likely flashpoints in education and ambiguities within party policies. School funding, or the lack of it, was identified as a liability for the Conservatives at the 2017 general election. A...
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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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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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Tiffany Beck

Multi-academy trust governance: your questions answered

Governance was a hot topic at our annual MATs Summit. Tiffany Beck, chair of trustees at Maritime Academy Trust, answers some popular questions from the event. 1. We have a shortage of governors and trustees and require more skilled professionals. Can you share any tips on recruitment? Ask your...
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