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Honours should go to teachers first; headteachers second

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We obsess about structures – academies (multi or single) – sponsored or converted, free schools, studio schools, collaborations, federations, partnerships, and whatever the latest is.

We should obsess about teachers.

As a parent, to be honest I’m not that interested in who the head is. But I am very very interested in who is teaching my children.

I visited a superb school earlier this week: Shenley Brook End in Milton Keynes. They obsess about teachers as professionals. The SLT don’t give feedback to teachers; they engage in professional dialogue. The purpose of this dialogue is to observe the details of the learning process in a more acute way, to analyse it so as to make it more effective. They don’t label teachers 1, 2, 3 or (heaven forbid) 4. Every teacher is well informed by the data manager and they know the aggregate value added (VA) score for all the pupils they teach. If all of their pupils are making expected progress, the teacher’s score is 0 (wouldn’t 1000 be better though?). I love the fact that teachers become so aware of the impact they are having on their learners.

And the school’s leaders are obsessed about enabling their teachers to be more effective.

And while I am mentioning it, I love the leadership style of the head, Glen Martin, a model of servant (or level 5) leadership if ever I saw one.

So, folks, let’s do something about this. Let me know what you are doing to take things in this direction. We’ll draw attention to it.

The next honours list should have OBEs going to 50 teachers who have made an enormous difference to children over a significant period of time. Please see to it.

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