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Top 5 most-read by school leaders this month: November 2020

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“Curriculum intent.” 

“Ofsted deep dives.” 

“Schools used as polling stations.”

These were the top three things our members were searching and using our website for in November 2019 in light of recent changes to inspection frameworks and a general election that now feels like a lifetime ago.

Fast forward to November 2020, and unsurprisingly,  the search terms paint a very different picture. This month, school leaders were looking for advice on how to plan a safe run-up to Christmas, provide strong remote learning, all while protecting the wellbeing of their stoic yet undeniably stressed-out staff. 

It’s my job to understand the intricacies of what’s happening at the chalkface,  albeit while working in a different discipline (and from the confines of my living room). Therefore search terms, article usage and various other metrics provide me with real-time insight into the challenges of a school leader, insight that I will now be sharing via a monthly digest of most-read resources on our website. 

In this post, I’ve also unlocked a free resource for education leaders to access, to give an idea of how we are supporting our members. 

With that in mind, what have our members been using The Key for School Leaders most for this month? 

  1. Coronavirus: how to collect staff feedback on workload and wellbeing

Our fifth most popular article is a sure sign of the times and illustrates the impact this year has had on staff wellbeing. In this article, we give practical tips on how to talk to staff about how remote learning and COVID restrictions might be affecting workload and mental health. We provide suggested questions to help leaders better understand how staff are feeling, practical tips on dealing with and prioritising feedback, plus a case study detailing how one school transformed staff workload. 

If you’re a member or on a free trial, you can read this article here

  1. Remote learning policy: model

Our fourth most-read resource this month was a lawyer-approved model policy that’s ready to use and adapt to suit the needs of the individual school. The policy is designed to help school leaders set out expectations for remote learning, so staff are clear on what they need to do. The policy is in line with relevant requirements and good practice.

If you’re a member or on a free trial, you can access this model policy here

  1. UNLOCKED Coronavirus: catch-up premium cheat sheet 

The third most-read article this month was our catch-up premium cheat sheet. This single article details how the coronavirus catch-up premium will be allocated and what leaders can use the funding for, including details of the National Tutoring Programme and the Nuffield Early Language Intervention. Plus, the article explains how schools will be held accountable by Ofsted for spending and how they should report on it.

We’ve unlocked this article for you here

  1. Coronavirus: catch-up premium report template

Our catch-up premium report template was our second most-read resource this month. This template helps schools to publish the required information on their website and report to the community about their COVID-19 catch-up premium spending. We also link to examples of catch-up premium reports from other schools.

If you’re a member or on a free trial, you can read this article here

  1. Staff briefing: how to design and deliver remote lessons

And lastly, our most-read resource is our package of staff briefing materials, carefully designed to help your teachers feel confident about planning and delivering good remote lessons. The package includes a staff briefing presentation template, prompts to customise the briefing for each school phase and approach, checklists and tips, and a handout to share with teachers. 

Our members are currently using these documents to upskill their teams, support pupils to work collaboratively and independently, and translate classroom teaching into strong remote teaching. 

If you’re a member or on a free trial, you can read this article here

The year-on-year comparison of search terms speaks volumes, not only about just how much has changed within the sector but also how much school leaders have, true to form, adapted to these changes at pace. 


Next month, we’ll share our top five most-read resources from December. In the meantime, download our explainer for more information on membership, or head straight here to view pricing and join today. 

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