School leadership and management teams need to be honest and boldy introspective, to examine their own practices and ask themselves if they are really doing all they can to create the conditions in which highly effective work can take place at all levels, at all times. These articles span the wide range of leadership skills and management functions which enable the school to achieve a ‘high-performance culture’.

How can we go about building trust into the education system? Here we look at the NAHT’s Commission of Inquiry into Assessment and League Tables

After a long standing struggle between learner-centred and standards-led aims for primary education, two papers for the Primary Review note the emergence of a hybrid

If a child makes a vague allegation is it OK to ask questions? How should an allegation against a member of staff be treated? Jenni Whitehead discusses some of the concerns facing managers when coping with these issues

Muriel Thomson tells how she has transformed the way support staff are used at Brixham College, Devon, bringing wide-reaching benefits across the school

Michael Segal explores a school’s legal position in implementing a reinstatement order, and how far they are obliged to enforce it

How can outreach work effectively engage hard-to-reach community members? Partnership working and forward thinking has been successful in breaking down barriers to participation, as Nazia Hussain, project manager for Keighley extended schools cluster in Bradford, explains

Admissions authorities and statutory appeal panels can avoid potential litigation from parents by using tactical decision making, says Yvonne Spencer

What impact will Every Child Matters have on CPD in schools? According to Steven Coombs and Mike Calvert, it will be huge; and schools need to be ready

Schools and colleges that work in partnership provide a better offer to their students, make faster progress and improve their performance, says Robert Hill

Chris Webb-Jenkins walks you through the new vetting and barring regime, which comes into effect in autumn 2008

After celebrating her 80th birthday, Joan Sallis looks back and makes a plea for stability

The idea of extended schools has a long history, says Pam Woolner, and we can learn from ideas that have been tried in the past

A key judgement means claimants need prove only abuse − not employer’s negligence. But this could be good news for schools writes Dai Durbridge

To allow full use of teaching assistants, curriculum managers need to ensure both TAs and teachers have the support they need. This involves quality line management and a clear understanding of how to plan for effective learning, Lynn Maidment explains

Are schools rising to the challenge of CPD for the whole workforce? Elizabeth Holmes investigates what schools need to do to ensure everyone receives professional development

Chris Fenton discusses the benefits of working towards the International School Award, and how it can be used to build teamwork in improving schools and impact professional development

The NCSL is doing much more than training the next generation of heads, as Crispin Andrews discovers when speaking to Paul Bennett

What are the essential characteristics for a school leader? Roger Smith reflects on what leadership is and what makes it work

Angela Youngman talks to heads of small schools around the country and gains an overview of the challenges and pleasures of the job

Our European neighbours do education differently – with different starting ages, reading levels, varied approaches to the curriculum and assessment, extremes of class size and funding. What can we learn? Dave Weston shares his experience

Staff at Park View Community School, Chester-Le-Street, describe how introducing a competence-based curriculum has enabled students and teachers to begin a learning journey

Headteacher Simon Uttley explains how he transformed a ‘notice to improve’ school to one of international status with ‘exceptional leadership’ with help from a sophisticated digital environment

Analysing how critical leadership roles are being performed in your school can be a worthwhile exercise, says Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)

The responsibility of SEAL and the development of emotional intelligence ultimately lies with the school, argues headteacher Neil Berry, and can have a real impact on school improvement

Health and safety is not only essential, it can also be a very useful planning tool if approached sufficiently far in advance of a school event

Deputy headteachers Paul Ainsworth and Josephine Smith consider how school leaders can reinvigorate their G&T programmes so they are an integral part of their school’s success

Business managers and bursars are ideally placed to help their schools develop more robust approaches to fundraising, argue Paul Ainsworth and Josephine Smith

Early Years Update looks at the National Healthy Schools Programme and the key issues it aims to address

Headteacher Kim Sparling explores how targets in schools can be used most effectively

Have you ever been attracted by the financial freedom of academies but wondered what the drawbacks are? Gary Dawson guides you through the issues

Discover how to manage the dynamics of a balanced and well-organised childcare team

Would you like to be a fly-on-the-wall at your own Ofsted inspection? Paul Williamson, assistant head of Greenbank High School, shares the insights he gained from doing just that

What is your next step if you’re given a poor Ofsted report? Angela Youngman discusses this, and talks to one headteacher who took over a school in the ‘notice to improve’ category

Setting targets is no way to improve educational standards, argues former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Richard Bird

Gallions Primary School teaches the entire curriculum through the arts, with fantastic results. Co-heads Paul Jackson and Emma McCarthy explain how it’s done

Michele Robbins asks what issues arise most frequently in governor training sessions, and looks at how governors are responding to changes in performance management

Recent government legislation has created new opportunities for multi-agency working in addressing and reducing exclusions from schools, says headteacher Neil Berry

Is there a lack of leadership initiative in your governing body? David Marriott looks at the importance of leadership development for governors

Headteacher Kim Sparling shares her school’s experience of the revised reduced tariff inspection, and explains why she found it less stressful than the previous framework

Can individual governors really make a difference? Joan Sallis looks at how and why governors should get under the skin of their school

Anne Clarke, principal of Benton Park School, discusses the value of departmental SEFs

What does the Children’s Plan have to say about shaping up a more emotionally literate education system?

Roger Smith considers ways in which headteachers can help their staff make the most of their careers

Have you taken ownership of your curriculum yet? David Morley examines how to break free, particularly with themed creative events

The role of family link workers is to encourage parents’ participation and interest in school life. Fiona Taylor shares her school’s experience in the benefits of developing this role

Angela Youngman explores the problem of achieving maximum security in schools whilst maintaining a pleasant environment

The new guidance on restraining pupils is essential reading. Jenni Whitehead discusses the powers it gives and some of the dilemmas it poses

The NLE programme, which provides additional leadership to schools in difficulty, is now in its second year. Crispin Andrews meets an NLE headteacher and discusses the role his school is playing

A number of resources are available when funding school grounds improvements, explains Gill O’Donnell

Some of the key success factors in the development of extended schools provision across a cluster are discussed by Dave Dunkley, headteacher at Coleshill Heath Full Service Extended School in Solihull, and Ruth Shand, lead officer for extended services at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

The parental fundraising team is a fanstastic resource. Paul Ainsworth and Josephine Smith look at how to maximise the work it does

Michael Segal explains why a clear school complaints procedure is vital

Effective management of support staff depends on a set of basic systems being in place. Ruth Bradbury looks at how to build teams, define roles and establish effective performance management

Colleen Cummings examines the evaluation of the the DCSF full service extended schools initiative and some implications for extended schools

The support of a school business manager can make all the difference to your next Ofsted inspection, explains Nina Siddle

Early Years Update looks at the opportunities available for practitioners to gain Early Years Professional Status

The Children’s Plan was launched by Ed Balls in December 2007, but what are the government’s objectives for this initiative?

In the first of new series on managing people, Early Years Update looks at the distinction between leadership and management

Headteacher Bernadette O’Brien describes the core themes of extended provision at Priory School and Sports College

It is vital to know the new changes to the law — especially if your school is its own admissions authority, writes Ingrid Sutherland

Is the pressure of school life too much for young children? Roger Smith investigates

Ensuring that all pupils can read by the time that they leave primary school is a priority for headteachers across the country. Ben Barton looks at how new technology might make this easier

Starting and changing schools are big transitions. Former headteacher Lynn Cousins shares advice on handling these and less common times of change that children experience

Deputy headteacher David Morley examines how best to provide feedback, how to prepare for it and how to train others to do it

A £7bn programme will transform 8,000 primary and special schools over the next 15 years. Crispin Andrews looks at some of the innovative projects being planned in the pathfinder schools

Anne Humble describes the benefits to be gained for nursery schools from participating in the Eco-Schools scheme

School governor and former headteacher Peter Downes takes the long view on what ‘local management’ set out to achieve 25 years ago and where he believes it has gone partially wrong

While measuring school performance is important, it is vital that the data used is properly understood and that the broader picture is not lost, says headteacher Peter Kent

The advantages of being part of a local authority where all schools have specialist status are enormous, as education writer Crispin Andrews found out when he spoke to headteachers in one of them – Plymouth

There is a great deal that schools in difference countries can learn from each other about the problems and successes that different approaches to integrating ethnically diverse pupils into schools can offer, says headteacher Neil Berry

What are the legal restrictions on how we should teach religious studies in school?

At times the collaborative partnership process for SENCOs and senior leaders in schools can be challenging and time consuming. Rita Cheminais looks at how to establish effective partnerships, and describes a new ECM self-evaluation tool that will help to strengthen partnership working

Headteacher David Dixon takes a close look at the philosophy behind elective home education, enshrined in a recent consultation document on guidelines to cover this parental option

Headteacher Anne Clarke reveals how her personal experience of taking a risk as a headteacher led to success and highlights why risk taking is often vital to school improvement

Early Years Update looks at ways of making transitions an enjoyable and exciting experience for children and parents

In this final article in our series on marketing and promotion Early Years Update looks at planning and running a marketing campaign

From taking assemblies to sharing your professional expertise, there are many ways for business managers to raise the profile of their work. Paul Ainsworth and Josephine Smith explain how to make a bigger contribution and climb the career ladder at the same time

School data is an exceptionally valuable asset and schools are not doing enough to safeguard it. Mark Hoyland talks us through the issue

Ofsted is using the five ECM outcomes as key points in primary school inspections. Dave Weston looks at how schools are supporting the outcomes and gives advice on preparing for inspection

When is exclusion for serious misconduct justified, and how careful must a headteacher be in excluding a pupil?

Who gets the final say in deciding when a statement of SEN comes to an end? David Ruebain, Chris Barnett and David Wolfe unravel a complex new case

A headteacher was fined £12,500 after a boy died at school. What does this mean for educators? Hazel Padmore investigates

While academies have some characteristics of maintained schools, they retain independent status in law. So which rules apply? Richard Gold clarifies

Ann Briggs, professor of educational leadership at Newcastle University, examines the issues surrounding the current policy drive towards creating ‘partnerships’

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), looks at the wisdom of using the power to search in schools and concludes that there are often better options

Steve Smith, former deputy headteacher at a technology college and now business development director for education at ICT specialist Ramseys, looks at the technological challenges and opportunities that extended service schools present

Headteacher Brian Rossiter outlines his experience of seeking to take advantage of the variety of alternative qualifications available to boost his school’s headline statistics, while at the same time preparing individual pathways into the world of work for his students

Headteacher Neil Berry takes a look at the vital part that human resource management plays in a school leader’s working life

A raft of small changes add up to important new duties for all parties to the exclusion process. Ingrid Sutherland runs through what you need to know, in part two of this series

How can a school best strike a balance between its uniform policy and its pupils’ right to manifest their religion or belief?

Having found himself in a governors’ free-for-all on the subject of homework, Roger Smith describes that experience and shares his own thoughts and that of researchers on the subject

Former headteacher Bob Jelley remembers a time when ‘school trips’ were a lot more straightforward

Yvonne Spencer looks at a broad scheme to improve outcomes — and explains its effect on local authorities and schools

The genuine occupational requirement defence to a discrimination claim allows schools to set conditions on whom they employ. Tamara Ludlow explains

Providing an extended schools service with a community learning centre brought about unexpected synergies for Mitchell High School. Shaun Morgan describes the changes

Principal Ian Johnson describes how an extended school day and a high level of community involvement are central to the strategy for raising achievement at The Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate

The importance of producing accurate and attractive promotional material about your school or setting

Kim Sparling, headteacher of Oldfield School in Bath, explores the concept of ‘value for money’ in a secondary school context and outlines some suggestions on ways to achieve it

Creating and delivering productive links between business and the school curriculum can benefit everyone’s future, argues headteacher Martin Ainsworth

Headteacher Neil Berry describes his experiences of being on both sides of the SIP process and concludes that the New Relationship has improved LA and school accountability

As part of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative initiative it is recommended that schools work with a managed service provider to procure, manage, maintain and refresh their ICT infrastructure and equipment. Steve Smith explores ICT outsourcing and highlights the potential cost savings

Paul Howells considers the changing nature of recruitment in our schools, and encourages you to consider how you can best save time while also getting best value

Becky Swain from Creative Partnerships explains the initiative’s aims and how it works with schools to help develop contexts for effective creative learning

Dough balls and garlic bread…why does an assistant head find herself negotiating event sponsorship on a Saturday and why are schools having to attract sponsorship to gain specialist status in the first place?

Headteacher Neil Berry explains how Brampton Manor in East London – described by Ofsted in December 1999 as having ‘serious weaknesses’ – was turned into the fully inclusive, successful school it is today

Jack Welch became one of the best-known business leaders in the world when, in the 20 years between 1981 and 2001 he turned round the fortunes of General Electric in America, adding four hundred billion dollars to its share value. Here former head Gerald Haigh looks at how his principles can be applied to leadership in schools

Anne Clarke, principal of Benton Park Technology College, shares her thoughts on the problems of engaging parents in secondary schools

Patrick Ferguson, headteacher of De la Salle Humanities College, Liverpool, looks at the important role effective security plays in school improvement

Legal Surgery answers a question about exclusion of a violent pupil who has SEN

Amid a deluge of new discipline and behaviour provision, the updated exclusions guidance has taken effect. Ingrid Sutherland outlines the changes

Data protection law sets firm boundaries around what information you can collect. Educators retain excessive data at their peril, writes Simon White

We live in a data-rich age where almost every aspect of childhood is quantified! School improvement partner, Dave Weston, helps you see the wood from the trees

Steve Mynard, editor of Primary Headship, urges us to make reading our biggest priority

Jenni Whitehead examines the new procedures for allegations against staff, which have been in force since January 2007

Alison Kitson, programme leader in CPD at the TDA, discusses the kinds of questions that you might wish to ask if you were beginning to draw up a role specification for a leader or director of professional learning

Early Years Update looks at the importance of environmental wellbeing in supporting the five outcomes of Every Child Matters

In this third article on marketing and promotion, Early Years Update looks at creating a range of promotional material to make potential customers aware of the services you provide

In 2003, Le Rocquier school had no ICT strategy, no ICT replacement programme, no staff ICT training programme…but by 2007 that had all changed, and ICT is now integral to teaching and learning throughout the school, writes John McGuinness

Chris Comber from Leicester University offers curriculum managers exclusive insights into the findings, outlining key factors to integrate ICT throughout teaching and learning

Penny Cottee offers some top tips on self-evaluation and the teaching of school sport

Crispin Andrews talks to assistant headteacher Karen Collinswood about the role of school leadership in developing high-quality PE in primary schools

In his final piece on living with the 21st century’s number one killer, Steve Mynard, editor of Primary Headship, considers the cognitive dimension – the way we perceive and relate to stressful situations

The headteacher is absent: every deputy head’s nightmare or a chance to show your true potential? David Morley looks at what to do when a headteacher is away from school ‘for a short while’ or ‘for the foreseeable future’

Climate change is in the headlines every day. What are schools doing about this issue? Angela Youngman looks at the Eco-Schools programme

Former headteacher and current chair of governors Mike Walton argues that a closer relationship between parents and governors will benefit the whole school community

Roger Smith considers tried and tested ways of improving teaching and learning and a few new ones

Which is more important — a pupil’s right to privacy, or the public interest in education?

Seizure of personal effects can interfere with pupils’ human rights, so you need to make sure it’s done lawfully, writes Ingrid Sutherland

The option to collaborate with outside partners is under-used — but it offers benefits that educators would be wise to take note of, as Richard Gold explains

Aisha Ashante of Langtry Children’s Centre describes the thinking behind the centre’s approach to quality provision for young children

In this second article on marketing and promotion, Early Years Update, looks at how to use market research to find out more about the customers who use your services

Early Years Update highlights the key management issues contained in the EYFS Statutory Framework

The steering group of the NQIN has produced a set of overarching principles designed to guide the future development of quality improvement processes and quality assurance schemes

Martin Ainsworth, headteacher of Wellfield Business and Enterprise College and chairperson of South Ribble Learning Foundation explains how group working has helped 14 educational establishments reduce isolation and increase effectiveness

The advantages of having a ‘blended’ senior leadership team are explained by Ray Chatwin and Maggie Turner, directors of school leadership and management training specialists SISU Professional

Education writer and former head Gerald Haigh talks to Dr Keith Bothamley, deputy head (curriculum) at Horsforth School, and Richard Brown, principal of Minsthorpe Community College in Wakefield, about the new KS3 curriculum

Primary headteacher David Dixon applauds many of the changes that the Key Stage 3 review heralds, arguing that many of them will bring about practices already embedded in the best primary schools

Heads must know, but not exceed, their powers when it comes to decisions on school dress, says Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant of the Association of School and College leaders (ASCL)

Headteacher Anne Clark looks at why it is so important for schools to establish effective links with outside agencies

Jeremy Cunningham shows how schools can ensure ‘just’ disciplinary procedures

John Jackson looks at a new approach to leadership that puts the emphasis on integrity

There is no easy solution to the problem of supply cover costs, but more effective management can reduce negative impacts. Ruth Bradbury shares her advice

Roger Whittall, Headteacher, The Westwood School, Coventry explains the school improvement strategies that have raised attainment and standards at his school

School improvement partner (and former headteacher) Trevor Arrowsmith explains what the role involves, how schools can benefit and what difference the initiative has made

Jenni Clarke discusses the important role early years practitioners can play in helping young children to develop good eating habits

In the first part of a series on marketing, Early Years Update looks at the vital area of creating an ‘image’ as part of marketing and promoting your organisation

Early Years Update provides a guided tour of the documents in the new EYFS package

Michael Segal investigates how far a school can intervene when divorced parents disagree over an educational matter

Kris Lines surveys this highly litigated area — and suggests a step-by-step approach to safety within the law

Cultural diversity calls for comprehensive policy. But what if it doesn’t cover the case at hand? Use common sense and consultation, says Michael Brotherton

All primary schools must have a disability equality scheme in place by December 2007. Margaret Collins offers some practical suggestions to help you meet the challenge

Time is a strictly limited resource – we all have 168 hours in a week. The fact that some people seem to manage to get things done and have time to relax is not down to how they manage their time – it is down to how they manage themselves, argues Steve Mynard

Many school leaders don’t have professional development portfolios. David Morley looks at the benefits of creating one for yourself and the pitfalls to avoid

Cyber-bullying is on the increase and cannot be ignored, says Patrick Nash, chief executive, Teacher Support Network

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) looks at the part that the old head can play in helping the new head to be successful

School leaders need a national strategy for citizenship education if they are to build on the excellent practice of those who have grasped citizenship as a tool for school transformation argues Tony Breslin, chief executive of the Citizenship Foundation

Headteacher Peter Kent and deputy Annabel Kay describe how vertical tutoring has moved them towards the extended, cross-age family ethos that they seek to develop within their school

Maintained schools in England are now responsible for providing full-time education for excluded pupils from the sixth day of their exclusion

Question: How must a local authority assess the special educational needs of a child in its area? What is the extent of the duty?

Get set for a raft of changes to legislation and guidance — including rules on use of force, searching and confiscation, writes Ingrid Sutherland

Joining forces brings benefit, but there are implications for governance, employment, and leadership, writes Mark Blois

Headteachers have new powers to screen search pupils for offensive weapons and they can delegate them to staff. Jenni Whitehead looks at recent draft guidance explaining how the new powers will operate

Special needs consultant Patti Turner details the actions you need to take to ensure your school is fully meeting the medicinal needs of all children

Your school profile communicates essential information to parents. Roger Smith gives tips on how to present that information in a positive way

What is the impact of long-term stress on your physical and mental wellbeing? Steve Mynard, editor of Primary Headship, reports

David Morley, a deputy headteacher for the last five years, examines the challenges facing deputy heads in the 21st century, how the role of deputies has changed in recent years and why fewer deputy heads are moving on to headship

Teaching regularly features in the top five most stressful occupations. Former headteacher Steve Mynard explains how to harness the positive effects of stress and prevent it causing physical and mental burnout

The Bichard report has been followed by a flurry of legislation and statutory guidance. Richard Bird looks at what’s changed and what still needs to happen in the world of child protection

Recognising and minimising risk in the school environment is a vital part of a headteacher’s management role, says former head Roger Smith

Yeading Junior in Hayes has evolved its strategy for putting emotional health and wellbeing at the centre of the curriculum. Headteacher Carole Jones describes how

Gerald Haigh continues his three-part series on primary assemblies by looking at the role of the assembly leader

Judith Harwood, senior regional adviser on the secondary strategy for school improvement, reports on the breadth of the pilot work being undertaken in secondary schools to promote Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL).

The CPR Learning Space is a building with a ‘wow’ factor, providing services to schools and the wider community. Jane West looks at its development

Could the school be held liable for negligence if it doesn’t tell parents after an incident?

What are the legal implications of greater collaborative working between education and health care professionals, asks Amelia Newbold

How do you respond if a parent starts complaining about your setting or your staff? Steve Mynard advises that you start with prevention

A useful update on the current law regarding discrimination is provided by Patti Turner

There are pros and cons of chosing to take the franchise option to expand. Angela Youngman reports

How can you make judgements about the performance of your assistants when they are in the room working alongside a teacher/ practitioner? Kevin Bullock provides one solution

Being more aware of mind and body is the key to managing stress says Steve Mynard

The relationship between teachers and teaching assistants is a changing one. Angela Youngman investigates and offers guidance to ensure effectiveness

Does your school have an effective policy on the administration of medication to children? Special needs consultant Patti Turner looks at some of the problems that can arise and the ways to avoid them

Vision into Practice – Ensuring Every Child Matters is a self-evaluation tool for inclusive learning. Trish Lowson, school link officer for Inclusive Learning at Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, explains

Schools’ relationships with the media are increasingly important. Brian Rossiter, headteacher of Valley School, Worksop, North Nottinghamshire describes his approach

What affect has the new relationship with schools (NRwS) had to date on schools and school improvement? Headteacher Trevor Bailey takes a critical look at its impact

The relationship of teachers in the workplace is an under-researched area. Educational psychologist Kairen Cullen discusses her study

A learning partner can help you influence your organisation to move in a more emotionally literate direction, as Peter Sharp, director of learning for MouchelParkman, explains

I have just got back from the SFM annual conference in London: a long journey for me, but definitely worth it – not only because it gave me the opportunity to present a couple of sessions, but also because it is encouraging to see the quality and variety of business management professionals who are now working in our schools.

We begin a series of best practice advice features with a look at the implications of a school having its own bank account

Sharon Wallwork provides comprehensive advice on dealing with a decline in student numbers. She argues that, far from being something that only schools in specific circumstances should be concerned about, all educational institutions need to assess the risks of declining numbers and the huge financial implications this can bring

The school business manager’s role goes beyond simply managing finances, says Hilary Morrison

Donald Maclean outlines some of the latest techniques and new technologies being introduced to help school finance staff keep utility costs under control

Q: Can an employee who secretly taped a disciplinary hearing use the tape as evidence at a tribunal?

Schools will have to be more aware of these particularly vulnerable children when they review policy and practice, writes Ingrid Sutherland

Proving public benefit will be essential if you want to retain tax exemptions, write William Colacicchi and Mark Blois

As schools open their doors to new categories of visitor, they must take an audit of risk and danger on the premises, writes Sarah Freeston.

Can – and indeed should – someone from a background other than teaching become a school leader? Join this growing debate

School governors can play a crucial role in safeguarding the future leadership of schools by taking a more systematic approach to the recruitment and appointment of headteachers.

An independent report compiled for the government has suggested that a number of key aspects of school governance need to be reformed.

‘Community cohesion’ is now a legal obligation on school governors and we must make the best of it, says Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL). He asks how teaching of history could contribute to this objective.

Working to promote a positive image for your school can be a powerful tool for school improvement and can provide a focus for staff efforts on many fronts, argues Brin Best, education writer and director of Innovation for Education Ltd.

Kim Sparling, headteacher at Oldfield School in Bath, analyses the ingredients of her school’s high achievements

Sue Pidgeon, National Strategies primary senior regional adviser, and Karen Jarmany, National Strategies primary regional adviser, explain how the Intensifying Support Programme works to raise standards in low-attaining schools.

Fundraising should be seen as a powerful means of school improvement, rather than an isolated activity carried out by the Parent Teacher Association, argues Brin Best, education writer and director of Innovation for Education Ltd

Trish Lowson, school link officer for inclusive learning at Calderdale metropolitan borough council, introduces Vision into Practice – Ensuring Every Child Matters, a self-evaluation tool for inclusive learning.

David Dixon adds his voice to the debate about the role of the headteacher in today’s schools and suggests that ‘fast-track’ and non-teaching heads may be the poorer for missing out on the daily detail of school life

Nina Siddle explains how her school is working to improve the effectiveness of the governing body with respect to the new financial management standard for schools.

Malcolm Rigler and David Loshak outline strategies to improve young people’s health.

Gill O’Donnell argues that schools need to take a proactive approach to fire alarms if they are not to fall foul of the new disability discrimination legislation.

Government initiatives should be accompanied by more training and support, says Geri Skwarek.

Ruth Bradbury provides some practical advice for how you can stay ahead of the game.

Ruth Bradbury outlines the cost of staff absence to schools and explains how a range of practical measures can help staff to maintain a better attendance record for the benefit of themselves and the school.

Professional teams can make the agenda for change work, says Dr Nick Johnson OBE.

Nina Siddle explains how one school in East Yorkshire found widespread benefits from engaging with the Investors in People programme

Pat Barnes, education consultant and former head, urges headteachers to take a fresh look at their work-life balance.

Bob Jelley argues that success is essential since, for many youngsters, a teacher may be one of the most significant male role models in their lives.

Q – SOMETIMES a child suffers so badly from bullying that parents keep her at home. But is this legally justified?

A Case Study: Anita Brown, Deputy Headteacher, Ponteland Community High School, Northumberland.

Counselling is often touted as a solution to challenging behaviour and as a way of meeting needs that are beyond the scope of a school’s pastoral care mechanisms. But is it? Adrian King, independent health education consultant and qualified counsellor looks at what it can realistically deliver.

Working to meet the standards laid down by Investors in People (IIP) is an effective way of raising standards and improving staff morale, argues former head Roger Smith.

Casterton Business and Enterprise College (CEBC) is one of three truly comprehensive Rutland secondary schools with 800 pupils on role in Years 7-11.

New rules call for closer cooperation between local authority and school, giving increased protection to children at risk, writes Ingrid Sutherland.

Headteachers Anne Clarke and Annabelle Guyver analyse the benefits that trips abroad bring to participating pupils and to the staff leading them.

Bringing school and community expectations into line with national priorities and targets is just one of the many challenges facing new heads. Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), charts the road to success.

Working to promote a positive image for your school can be a powerful tool for school improvement and can provide a focus for staff efforts on many fronts, argues Brin Best, education writer and director of Innovation for Education Ltd.

Involvement in European energy awareness projects can bring a multitude of benefits to the pupils and staff of schools, as well as to the planet, says headteacher David Dixon.

How can personalisation work in practice? Headteacher Paula Allen spoke to Bob Cox to explain how it’s done at Dorney Combined School.

New maternity and flexible working rights mean employers must brush up on the law, says Derek Eccleston.

No matter how watertight the contract with parents, schools must implement it correctly and fairly if they want removal of a pupil to be upheld, says Mark Blois.

Reticence to engage with parents on the part of schools can be deep-seated. Teachers may not be aware of the benefits that parents can bring to the learning experience and the students may not realise that they will benefit too. Julie McGrane looks at how parental engagement can be initiated and how schools can find the forms of engagement that work best.

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), analyses the vital role an outgoing head has to play in the succession process.

Graham Haydon argues that we must go beyond vague references to values.

In the second of two articles exploring what helps new teachers feel welcome in a school, teacher Colin Smith looks at how social relations and the delivery of lessons impact on their experience.

Learners tend to have a narrow view of the relevance of the curriculum and their enjoyment of it decreases across the key stages. These are two of the key findings of an NfER review of the research on pupils’ experiences of and perspectives on the curriculum published in the UK between 1989 and 2005.

A proposed change in the law would raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco. Peter Downes discusses the implications for schools.

A school with creativity at the heart of the learning process will benefit by increasing the motivation of staff and pupils, says former head, Dave Weston. In this article and case study, he shows the way to more imaginative approaches to curriculum planning.

Casterton Business and Enterprise College (CBEC) is the hub of local learning, offering 11-16 education by day and a wide range of recreational and academic activities for young people and adults in the evenings and at weekends

What does ‘extended school’ mean to politicians, teachers and parents and what will it mean for more able pupils? Deputy head Paul Ainsworth explains

Until recently G&T education was piecemeal and largely ignored in Northern Ireland. David Ryan describes the start of a strategy for G&T education at Belfast’s Education and Library Board.

Former headteacher Roger Smith examines the impact of performance management guidelines – in particular the changes to classroom observation – and how they can be made to work.

Exclusion is now one of the main ways of dealing with extreme behaviour. Headteacher Suzanne O’Connell examines recent guidance and legislation on the subject.

Headteacher Trevor Bailey explains why Worle Community School and Westhaven Community Special School, both members of the Weston-Super-Mare Federation, have jointly entered the Trust School Pathfinder programme and what benefits he hopes becoming trust schools will bring.

Former headteacher Tim Small, a member of of ViTaL Partnerships, introduces some excerpts from his colleague Ruth Deakin Crick’s new book on learning power and the effective lifelong learning inventory (ELLI).

Currently just 15.7% of all primary school teachers in England are men, yet 83% of parents would like to see more men in primary teaching. Why so few and why so great a desire for more? Former headteacher and education writer Steve Mynard finds out…

In recent years assembly has been squeezed by the pressures of the curriculum but its importance in demonstrating what your school stands for should not be under-estimated, says former headteacher Gerald Haigh.

New technology can be a comfort or a threat. Vicky Lapins outlines legal duties on educators to keep children safe.

What should employers do when faced with requests for allowances to be made at work on religious grounds? Helen Badger takes a look at the law.

Taking on an old building is a commitment that can pay dividends, says Angela Youngman.

Carole Farrar highlights how you can make the most of formal communications with parents.

The key change to the curriculum at Key Stage 4 has been to increase the breadth of choice. Alan Monks, Deputy Headteacher, describes the impact on Ellis Guilford School and Sports College, Nottingham.

Sarah Blenkinsop and Marian Morris examine young people’s decision-making patterns, the role their school plays, the skills they require and other influences on the choices they make at core points in their school career.

Much remains to make the 14-19 vision into reality. Gareth Griffiths, 14-19 provision and attainment director at the Learning and Skills Council looks at progress in developing the diplomas and establishing collaboration between schools, FE colleges and training providers.

In November 2006, education writer and former head Roger Smith looked at the new draft performance management guidelines and what they might mean for schools.

Teacher Colin Smith, supported by fellow teacher/researchers seconded to a TLRP-funded project looking at the early professional learning (EPL) of teachers, reports on findings on what helps new teachers feel welcome in a school.

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), looks at the different interpretations of personalised learning and what they might mean in practice.

Ross Midgley of the Crocus Early Years group offers some practical ideas for managing payments by voucher.

Locally produced food is increasingly popular in schools and may become more important than going organic, writes Angela Youngman

If your school hit the headlines, how would you cope? Education Bradford’s press and communications officer Paul Parker has some tips.

Anne Clarke explores the role of the headteacher and asks: ‘Is the notion of a headteacher an out-of-date concept?’

Independent drug consultant, Adrian King, questions the wisdom of drug testing in schools, arguing that it undermines the support offered to pupils through effective PSHE and sends out a clear message that pupils are not to be trusted.

Education writer and former headteacher Gerald Haigh shows how ICT can be used to track pupils’ behaviour and create good, quantitative evidence on which to base action.

Matthew Savage, assistant headteacher, George Mitchell Community School, and Dr Margaret Wood, senior lecturer, York St John University College, explore the role of student voice in evaluating and then improving the learning experience of students in the classroom.

When an early years setting is damaged by fire, the effects are far wider reaching than the material damage to the building. Consider the trauma to staff and children, loss of work and resources, and effect on the local community.

Sally Eaton of the Manor Tree Group helps you to think about how you will prepare the ground when you need to make changes in your own setting.

Daniela Sommefeldt tells how a national programme for specialist leaders of behaviour and attendance is empowering those who attend it and inspiring them to move forward to bring about whole-school improvements in their own school context.

Victims of homophobic bullying often have no one to turn to for support. Former headteacher Roger Smith highlights the importance of the fight to eradicate this form of destructive behaviour.

James Park, director of Antidote, explains the benefits for everyone in creating and leading an emotionally literate school and shows how it can be done.

Most schools have not kept up with what management information systems can do for them, says education writer and former headteacher Gerald Haigh. Here he illustrates how they can make more of equipment they already have in school.

Bob Jelley, former head and now supply teacher, argues that success in improving school attendance lies in the hands of the encouragers, persuaders and mentors.

Headteacher David Dixon muses on the nature of headship and how partnerships outside the world of education can lead to school improvement.

The government’s campaign to persuade more schools to offer extended services continues with the publication of new guidance.

The government has updated its guidance on exclusion from schools and pupil referral units.

Schools are having to tighten up their record keeping after an Ofsted survey found confusion surrounding procedures for vetting staff.

Q: can a parent be prosecuted for not sending a child to school when there is an education supervision order in force?

New initiatives, including travel plans and school transport advisers, are being introduced. Managers ignore these at their peril, writes Ingrid Sutherland.

Who is responsible for what? When do you delegate — and where do responsibilities overlap? Richard Gold explains.

Kris Lines takes the story of a girl who wanted to play mixed football after the age of 12, and explains its implications across the spectrum of school sport.

Arson attacks on schools are serious and frequent. Nick Bason of the Arson Prevention Bureau sets out the key aspects of awareness and prevention.

Dave Cotton, Force Crime Reduction Officer at West Midlands Police Force, looks at security risks and gives safety advice for schools, staff and pupils.

The security risks faced by schools are many and varied. This breadth of scope is mirrored by the numerous legal issues relating to security. Mark Blois from Browne Jacobson LLP offers an overview of some of the most important issues, followed by some advice on good practice.

A fire safety petition is calling for the installation of sprinkler systems in all new and refurbished schools.

Neil Short looks at methods for supporting colleagues more effectively in the performance management process.

Did the referee mean to praise the candidate or warn you off? Is a string of previous jobs a negative factor? Headteacher Carole Farrar looks at how to weigh up the information when appointing early years staff.

Neil Short looks at the second and third stages of the PM cycle: monitoring and review.

Carole Farrar, an experienced headteacher, takes you through the process of appointing new staff members.

Helen Hann considers how we can support children and nurture their emerging mathematical concepts and understanding.

All policies should be discussed with those who will be involved in carrying them out and should be easy to understand so that they are not interpreted in different ways. Here we look at how to write an effective behaviour policy.

Former headmaster Neil Short examines the first stage of the PM cycle – planning.

Nick Smurthwaite investigates current developments in radio for young children.

Helen MR Hann looks at the help and support we can provide for those children about to move into Key Stage 1.

Julie Jennings considers how you can go about monitoring the effectiveness of your Foundation Stage team.

Faye Spalding provides an overview of your responsibilities to your staff.

Helen MR Hann suggests strategies to help children transfer into the foundation stage.

Angela Youngman looks at a scheme in Norwich that is raising interest around the country and two other awards that encourage good hygiene and healthy eating.

Julie Jennings considers how to build your Foundation Stage staff into an effective team.

The Foundation Stage induction process can be supported by existing staff in your setting, as demonstrated at Nottingham University’s Day Nursery

Half of all primary schools and a third of all secondary schools are due to be open from 8am to 6pm throughout the year by 2008

Helen M R Hann, an experienced foundation stage teacher, looks at the practical implications of ensuring children’s emotional health and wellbeing as they enter nursery or playgroup for the first time.

If you have equipment which is fixed or too large to be put away, what can you do to prevent the threat of damage overnight? Police Sergeant Cotton of West Midlands Police has some advice for you to follow.

In this first of a short series on leadership Julie Jennings, an experienced teacher and educational consultant, looks at what it takes to be a leader.

What should be in your induction policy and how can you implement it effectively?

We all have policies; we monitor them, we evaluate them and every year or so we review them. Lynn Cousins suggests a different approach.

Angela Youngman finds out what is possible if you want to introduce a modern foreign language in your setting.

John Cousins is a primary mental health worker, supporting children and their families. He explains what we mean by ‘transitions’ and how they can affect the child.

Nathan Archer, from the children’s house consultancy, guides you through the regulations relating to managing any money that you have raised from outside sources, and reminds you of the legalities surrounding local fundraising.

Leonora Davies, chair of the Music Education Council, talks to Nick Smurthwaite about the vital role of music and movement in early years development.

How much does food affect children’s behaviour? Mary Whiting reveals some research-based facts and offers some tips.

Jane Webb is the support childminder coordinator in Milton Keynes, employed by Milton Keynes Council and working within the childcare team at Galley Hill Education Centre in partnership with the National Childminding Association (NCMA). She recounts how her local authority set up its support childminder scheme.

Marketing a nursery is more than advertising and promotion. Marketing covers other activities, including the development of the nursery, market research and what prices should be charged. Whether your nursery is at the planning stage or is an existing business, you will still have to think about marketing. Joanne Taylor talks us through.

A quality assurance scheme is an ideal way to help you improve the care you offer children and families: What is involved? Hayley Doyle of the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) explains.

EYU reviews a new report calling for increased government spending to bring about a childcare system that combines quality, affordability and appropriateness for all children.

Colin Noble explains how achieving national healthy school status supports the new ‘whole-child’ agenda.

Robin Richardson writes in a personal capacity about DfES advice on countering racist bullying for which he acted as external consultant.

Schools should be at the centre of professional support for children and heads should champion change, argues Nick Johnson OBE.

Dr Christine Fanthome argues that good planning is essential if students are to maximise the benefits of workplace learning.

Preparing sixth-formers for their first weeks of university life has long-term benefits. Dr Christine Fanthome describes how to make the most of independence.

Dr Diane Bebbington discusses the implications of a new initiative to address inequalities.

John Potter explores a government proposal for citizenship education.

Peer support schemes can benefit staff and pupils. Jaci Smith describes one initiative and explains how to get started.

EYU draws out the key points for early years education and childcare.

Petra Luck describes the benefits of learning alongside colleagues from around Europe.

Carole Farrar starts a series on communicating with parents by looking at what makes effective communication.

Angela Youngman investigates some initiatives designed to involve men in careers with young children.

Communicating the change agenda in a cruising school

Distributed leadership has the potential to transform schools, raising achievement and inspiring more effective practice from staff. Trevor Arrowsmith shows how.

Student voice can be a powerful tool in encouraging higher levels of engagement in learning leading to raised achievement. But many schools still have a lot to learn about making effective use of this tool in practice to bring about whole-school improvement. We uncover some of the lessons learned so far.

Networking to engage student voice

Creating an effective school

Deputy head Rob Bray considers how his responsibilities have changed over the years as the core function of deputy headship has developed from ‘management’ into ‘leadership’.

Roger Smith explains the background to the Common Assessment Framework and how you can make it work in your school.

Headteacher David Dixon looks at the problems various forms of transition can pose for some children and suggests ways to help smooth those troubled paths.

Headteacher Ian Bauckham attacks some common myths about faith schools and argues that their abolition would seriously reduce parental choice as well as being detrimental to the government’s commitment to raising standards.

Sue Moores, headteacher of a secondary school in the Isle of Man, compares the island’s educational system with that of England and concludes that she won’t be moving back here!

Headteacher Peter Kent and deputy Annabel Kay describe how introducing a condensed KS3 programme in their school has created the opportunity for personalised learning.

Pat Barnes, education consultant and former head, urges headteachers to take a fresh look at their work/life balance.

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) looks at the lessons that can be learned from the community education movement to help ensure the success of extended schools.

Dr John Hopkin, chair of the Geographical Association’s Education Committee, looks at why geography has lost its status in the subject league tables and the ways in which it can be put back on the school map.

School leadership is being reviewed by the DfES. Former head Roger Smith looks at assumptions about what makes a good leader and ponders on where the review will lead.

Former head Dave Weston describes how links with a Finnish school paid dividends for his staff and pupils and led to further similar initiatives.

What makes a good supply teacher? Former head Bob Jelley draws on some memories.

Headteacher Mark Barnett remembers the trials and triumphs of transitions during his own youth and argues for a radical rethink on managing the process.

Geography is the poor Cinderella of the primary curriculum. Where did it all go wrong and what can be done about it? Paula Richardson, education adviser and chair of the publications board of the Geographical Association, makes some suggestions.

Healthy meals for children, pristine premises and lovely grounds are within the grasp of every school, argues headteacher Mark Barnett.

Former head Roger Smith looks at ways of promoting creativity in schools, arguing that the concept needs to have its place at the centre of the curriculum.

Headteacher Carole Hawkins lays to rest the common perception that independent schools enjoy a privileged and problem-free position in today’s education market.

Headteacher Anne Clarke takes a close look at the roles and responsibilities of school governors and highlights the importance of creating a positive and trusting relationship with them.

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), suggests that heads – and those appointing them – should consider the myths they need to match.

Pat Barnes, education consultant and former head, suggests ways to manage and make the most of parental help in schools.

The successful implementation of new standards for school lunches, along with an increased uptake in school meals, is enhanced by a whole-school approach, according to research by the School Food Trust

Letting children take well considered risks helps to prepare them for danger in the world, argues former head Bob Jelley.

Neil Short, education consultant and former head, looks at how schools are facing up to the challenge of supporting and developing sporting talent among young pupils.

Who are the gifted and talented children in our schools and are their needs being properly met? Former head, Roger Smith, suggests that broader definitions and greater efforts need to be made to identify and support the special needs of this group

Anne Clarke explores the role of the headteacher and asks: ‘Is the notion of a headteacher an out-of-date concept?’

Most LEAs ask schools to fill in some type of referral form. This prompt sheet will help you bring together all necessary information before picking up the phone.

Mobile phone bullying is on the increase but there is plenty of support available.

Barbara Lawrie, principal education social worker for Education Bradford, gives a summary of her research into possible risk factors that may be significant in allegations made against education staff.

Jenni Whitehead summarises the 2006 consultation paper on ‘Safer Recruitment and Vetting in the Education Service’.

For any SENCO looking at how SEN is defined, identified and assessed in her own local education authority and elsewhere, it soon becomes apparent that the identification and assessment of SEN is not only complex but confused. Michael Farrell suggests that SENCOs can contribute to clarifying our understandings of SEN.

This month’s professional update summarises the requirements of the Disability Equality Duty (DED) for the public sector and outlines the steps that schools, colleges and local authorities will need to take to ensure that they comply with new legislative requirements.

In addition to its specific recommendations concerning SENCOs, the Education Select Committee has outlined a future strategy on special educational needs. The government’s response will have many implications for the work of SENCOs

What happens when a porcupine moves in with a load of moles? Using a hypothetical dilemma from the animal world, Dr Graham Haydon explores the perspectives adopted by female and male students.

A whole-school approach to food and health is fundamental to establishing good dietary habits and an understanding of the links between good nutrition and future health. In this article Anna Denny shows how shools can support children in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Gill O’Donnell provides practical advice on looking after these key staff and argues that a proactive approach to health and safety is needed to ensure that they are protected from injury.

The Certificate of School Business Management is fast becoming an essential qualification for all school finance staff. But what is the course actually like from a delegate’s perspective? SFM asked a recent delegate to share her views

It is estimated that one in six truants on any given day is absent with their parents on a family holiday. As part of the government’s drive to curb unauthorised term-time absences, the DfES and the Association of British Travel Agents are currently promoting the Every Lesson Counts scheme, which offers discounts, free child places and early booking deals for families.

The closure of hundreds of schools across the country as a result of the recent Unison day of action over pensions can serve as a reminder of how essential support staff are for the day-to-day functioning of our schools.

Many communities are keen to know what is happening in local schools and the profile of your school can be raised and presented in a positive light by successful use of the media. This counters a great deal of the damage done to the public view of education by more generalised central reporting, where sensationalism is the main criterion for publishing/reporting. By Linda Trapnell

There are many techniques to develop self-awareness, self-appreciation, self-esteem, but what would be useful to use with sixth formers? Here are some of the exercises I chose, which can be tailored to suit most age groups.

The 5 Whys (or however many you need to ask) is a great technique for generating common understanding, and can be used in two particular modes.

Do you subscribe to the notion that: ‘There is no such thing as failure – only feedback’, so that whatever mistakes we make, we’re left with the new learning that has emerged?

The discussion about whether managers are leaders or managers (or both) is being overtaken by a new conception of the role of a manager – that of a manager/coach.

For ten years I co-ordinated a school peer counselling scheme. In my experience, the simplest way to describe the above is ‘a body of students who have volunteered to undertake training in order that they may offer support to other students experiencing particular problems, alongside an overall aim of reducing the amount of bullying in school’.

My late father was one of Her Majesty’s School Inspectors in the 1970s and 1980s.

How can we take positive steps to ensure that colleagues feel valued,their skills acknowledged and their personal qualities appreciated?

This article outlines an approach to teaching and learning called LogoVisual Thinking (LVT), which was first introduced into schools in 2000. Although the methods and tools are relatively new to teachers, they are already having a profound influence on those who have been introduced to them. We believe that the approach represents an important advance in the teaching of thinking skills and has broader potential for designing effective learning experiences.

In setting up peer mentoring schemes (see my previous article in Issue 7 of TEX) it would be foolish not to consider some of the pitfalls, especially before you launch a new scheme with pupils, staff and parents. If you can pre-empt as many questions as possible it will give a measure of reassurance that you have already put in place ‘safety nets’, especially for the students involved.

Absenteeism is a difficult issue to grasp. Its causes are often complex and inscrutable.

Bill Lucas explores the phrase ‘accelerated learning,’ and its associated curious, if well-meaning, misconceptions

Rob Sheffield examines three techniques to help your team explore problems.

The role of self-review is gaining in importance. Cliff Jones considers why teachers need to look at their own practice and presents a useful tool for critical professional learning.

How can all the different initiatives, programmes and requirements be linked up to support the professional learning of your colleagues? Cliff Jones takes a look at some of the components.

Cliff Jones analyses the new draft guidelines for performance management.

Barrie Smale and Andrew Gibbons discuss the skills required of an effective mentor. As a developmental process, mentoring is a powerful and cost effective way of helping people to learn.

Last month we reported the establishment of chartered science teacher status, a new professional qualification for science education professionals developed by the Association for Science Education (ASE).

A recent review of the impact of networks of at least three schools has found evidence that networks can be ‘an effective vehicle for improving teaching, learning and attainment’.

How can school leaders and managers create an environment in which highly effective work can take place at all levels and all times? Former deputy head John Jackson suggests an approach.

New qualifications for support staff in schools are now being piloted, bringing with them increasing responsibilities for CPD leaders.

As you embark on a mentoring programme in your school, have you considered defining a clear approach to mentoring relationships? The following model of the mentoring process may help you to put all the elements for a successful programme together.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a reputation for organising and running meetings that were engaging, fun, productive, and used the talents of the people in the team? Maybe you do already…

Once you get set in your ways, your creativity is curtailed.How do you become more flexible? Michael Maynard offers some suggestions…

Headteacher Marcia Twelftree describes her SIP training and looks forward to a visit from her own SIP.

Headteacher Anne Clarke reports on an international headteacher placement (IHP) to Akron, Ohio, which she facilitated on behalf of the British Council and the National College for School Leadership (NCSL).

Headteacher Kate Griffin describes the benefits and difficulties experienced by her school on the path from grant-maintained to foundation status.

Former headteacher Edward Gildea explores the ways in which disagreements with parents can be resolved and used to improve the school’s partnership with them.

Former headteacher Roger Smith analyses the role of school improvement partners (SIPs) and concludes that they should be welcomed with open arms.

Headteacher Martin Ainsworth shows how it is possible for schools to demonstrate responsibility to our planet by becoming involved in a raft of initiatives to save energy and reduce pollution.

Richard Bird, legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), looks at the advantages currently enjoyed by schools with foundation status and ponders where they fit into the government’s vision for the future.

Whole-school self-regulating processes are encapsulated in the self-evaluation form (SEF), which is at the heart of the new inspection system. Anne Clarke, headteacher, looks at how schools can use it to empower themselves.

Jenny Townsend reveals the approaches she used to improve parental engagement at her school.

Graham Osborne , former head and now HIP and NCSL consultant, presents an insight into the Headship Induction Programme through a case study of a recent mentee.

Effective teams are key to raising standards argues Pat Barnes, education consultant and former headteacher.

Tim Lomas, principal adviser, CfBT/Lincolnshire School Improvement Service, looks at ways of continuing to improve the profile and teaching of history in schools.

Anne Clarke, principal of Benton Park School Technology College, shares her thoughts on the management of staff at the end of their careers.

Peter Kent, headteacher of Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby, and his deputy Annabel Kay, describe how a new model of ‘professional friendship’ has reaped dividends at their school.

In July 2005, there were 1,557 poorly performing schools in England, according to the National Audit Office’s recent report, Improving Poorly Performing Schools in England. Around 23% of secondary schools were in the ‘poorly performing’ category.

School meals are in the news again, as Hull City Council announces the success of its free healthy lunch programme for primary and special school pupils.

Headteacher Jim Donnelly reports on a visit to Thailand that shows how community values are reflected in the behaviour and learning ability of pupils.

Bullying continues to hit the headlines. Despite the efforts that schools have made to get on top of the problem, three out of five secondary pupils say that they have experienced bullying. Former headteacher Roger Smith looks at ways of dealing with the instigators.

Kim Sparling, headteacher at Oldfield School, Bath, analyses the implications of the staffing structure review and argues that allowing greater flexibility into the process is vital.

The role of schools in helping to meet the aims and objectives set out in Every Child Matters is vital, says former head Roger Smith.

Headteacher Martin Ainsworth extols the benefits to his school of taking part in the Blueprint Drug Education Research Programme.

Headteacher David Dixon considers the inequalities of the schools admissions system, including negative effects on social cohesion and the ability of some schools to raise achievement and attainment.

CPD Update analyses a document giving the direction of policy for the next three years.

This successful teacher exchange scheme in the West Midlands provides high-impact, low-cost collaborative CPD, as Maggie Langdale explains.

Although much of the publicity surrounding the Education and Inspections Bill now before parliament has focused upon admissions, trust and foundation status, the powers of local authorities and the position of parents, the bill also brings together a number of initiatives and developments that have slowly been taking place for the last two years that have direct implications for CPD.

Does the law help or hinder those charged with protecting such pupils?

Ingrid Sutherland cuts a path through existing, new and ‘improved’ guidance.

What duty of care does a school educational psychologist owe a pupil and, if the psychologist is negligent, what damages will the LEA be liable for?

When does an LEA education officer owe a duty of care to pupils? How far does this duty extend? Michael Segal looks at important new case law.

The BSF scheme relies on successful public-private partnerships. Sharon Jones and Rachel Williams look at how the local authority goes about putting these in place.

One of our pupils is in care and has a statement of SEN. Her parents disagree with the statement’s provisions and plan to appeal to the special educational needs and disability tribunal. Which takes precedence, SENDIST or the family court?

The new framework comes into effect this September. It will give schools more freedom — but this comes with tough new duties, says Mark Blois.

The Education Act 2005: an overview for school staff.

Amelia Wallington looks at what schools can do to counteract increasing appeals from parents.

DOES the right to freedom of religion entitle teachers to inflict corporal punishment on children if parents authorise it?

Paul Mangnall (deputy principal) and Richard Stakes (staff development coordinator) of the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College discuss adopting and working to the revised standard.

Now that the consultation period on the new national standards has closed and their coming importance has been underlined in the TDA’s report to Ruth Kelly, CPD leaders need to build a picture of how they might become part of a school’s CPD policy. Cliff Jones raises some questions.

In the October issue of CPD Update we published a version of the bridging assignment designed to convert work done on NPQH into Masters level credit.

The evaluation of the trials of the New Relationship with Schools (NRwS) has now been published. The trial involved 93 schools in eight local authorities.

Shaun Allison, assistant headteacher at Littlehampton Community School (LCS), explains a variety of ways to cross-pollinate in-house skills and expertise to meet each teacher’s training needs.

A deputy head and a vice-principal describe the new perspectives they have gained from working in different organisations through a scheme run by Headteachers and Industry (HTI).

Cliff Jones guides CPD leaders/coordinators on how to add value for aspiring heads.

This report was compiled by Richard Jenkin who works with Padstow School on behalf of the College of St Mark and St John.

Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference in Brighton Carol Adams, chief executive of the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE), set out her thinking on assessment and testing.

Walsall assistant heads Mike Swan and Keith Sydenham report on a secondment activity.

Government plans to enlarge Ofsted in order to create a single inspectorate that will include all of the services for both children and learners.

Julie Bennett examines the ways in which SWOT analysis can be used with your pupils for brainstorming and exploring projects, ideas, change and decisions.

Peter Hook explains the connection between malnourished children in Vietnam, a sorcerer in Mali and your school’s performance.

Philippa Bogle shares two true stories that warm the heart and renew your faith in what is possible through facilitation.

Susan Norman explains how self-evaluation can help children to take more responsibility for their learning.

Family learning covers all forms of informal and formal learning that involve more than one generation, writes Melissa Gardner

Peer support schemes can transform schools, by reducing bullying, increasing pupil confidence and involvement, and lowering teachers’ stress levels, as Carol Smart explains

Mike Munro Turner works with clients to help them become more effective leaders, exploring their identity as leaders

Philippa Bogel explores the transformational practices surrounding The Certificate of Facilitation Skills in Education, and looks at what facilitators gain from their experiences

In recent months, parents have been much in the educational news. The Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Ruth Kelly, wants them to be more involved in schools, possibly even helping to run them in some way. But many headteachers and their professional associations fear that this means interference rather than involvement.

Michael Wilson, Lecturer in Education Management, and Jon Prosser at School of Education, University of Leeds.

School culture is a term that curriculum managers are having to pay more attention to in nearly all areas of their job. But how do you identify what culture prevails in your school, understand the implications this has for your curriculum leadership, and from there make changes for the better? Jon Prosser, Director of International Education Management at the University of Leeds, shows how.

Building a federation to support standards — working in partnership with schools in challenging circumstances.

Federations are already in the second year of existence — so what has been learned so far about how to create a successful alliance that brings about sizeable improvements in teaching and learning among all the partners? We learn from DfES guidance and NCSL research about what factors contribute to success.

Latest reforms have been stalled further as rebel MPs set out a suite of compromise moves in an attempt to diffuse the areas provoking greatest dissent.

Access to vocational education has been found to be a key factor in reducing disaffection – but only if fully integrated into the curriculum and delivered as a mainstream option available to all.

Headteachers working together in a National College for School Leadership (NCSL) research project have announced progress in overcoming differences in performance between departments within schools.

Gifted and talented support in the regions is being consolidated in a new partnership model. In 2004 NAGTY began to set up ‘regional gateways’ as part of its delivery of programmes and activities particularly for primary and CPD

Schools’ census data on G&T populations will be collected from both primary and secondary schools along with institutional data (including progress against IQS) and matched against all other data in the National Pupil Database (ie pupils’ attainment data and cognitive ability tests).

A new report evaluates the New Relationship with Schools (NRwS) in trial local authorities and schools.

To what extent do Parent Partnership Services work in supporting national strategies for promoting inclusion and reducing poor outcomes for some individual pupils with special educational needs? SENCOs who are often the link between PPSs, parents and their school will be interested in answers to this question and others in the findings of this new study.

More people are working in schools than ever before, including almost half a million support staff. Support staff who are well trained, fairly rewarded, and clear about their distinctive contribution, can be instrumental in the work of raising standards and enriching the lives of children.

Not all local authorities fully appreciate the value of Parent Partnership Services (PPSs), according to new research(1). Some authorities are not convinced about the use of the service in enhancing outcomes for pupils with special educational needs.

The joint DfES/DH guidance Education of Children and Young People in Public Care (May 2000) recommended that schools assign a senior member of staff as designated teacher to act as a champion for looked after children. A new guide for school governors on their role in helping schools support these children will be helpful to SENCOs in defining the designated teacher role and offering useful information and explanations about what ‘looked after’ means.

There is widespread acknowledgement of the importance of working in partnership with parents – especially where children with special needs are concerned. But reaching parents of the most vulnerable children can prove difficult. Jill McMinn and Gill Britten describe a project in Wrexham which has won the hearts and minds of the parents involved.

Recent statements from the DfES raise questions over the admission of pupils with special educational needs to the self-governing ‘trust’ schools proposed in the new education white paper.

The Government has just published an Independent Study into School Leadership, which includes recommendations on training and recruitment of leaders. This article examines the current shortage of leadership candidates, and contrasts this with the surplus of NQTs.

Ofsted says it is ‘very pleased – but not complacent’ at the way its new style school inspections are going.

A group of health experts has warned that the recent attention given to improving the quality of school meals has overshadowed moves to get children to drink more.

The DfES has produced an extensive toolkit to support financial management in schools.

A report by Ofsted is largely enthusiastic about the success of a selection of full service extended schools.

The government is hoping that the concessions it has made to critics of its education white paper will be enough to get its new Education and Inspections Bill through parliament.

Headteachers have welcomed the government’s plans to give them more powers to discipline students but say they are yet to be convinced that the move will make a great deal of difference in dealing with bad behaviour.

Ofsted has criticised the level of support many schools are receiving from their governing bodies to help them implement the government’s programme for remodelling the school workforce.

An implementation plan for the government’s reform of 14-19 education has been published.

Some time this term your school will be sent an email which will give a site reference and password for downloading the template of your school profile.

The government is encouraging primary schools to set up school councils.

Spring 2006 heralds the arrival of the National Governors’ Association (NGA) as the National Association of School Governors (NASG) and the National Governors’ Council (NGC) have merged into a single entity.

According to the DfES: ‘Governing Bodies are and will be school leaders.’ (Governing the School of the Future, 2005).

The DfES has issued a new version of the Governing Body Decision Planner which it first produced in 2000 as part of guidance clarifying the roles of governing bodies and heads.

The important role of governors in school improvement is acknowledged in a report by the National Audit Office.

Criminal record checks are to be made mandatory for all newly appointed school employees as part of the tightening up of vetting procedures in the wake of the recent controversy over sex offenders being cleared to work in education.

Governing bodies in secondary schools in England are continuing to lag behind in ensuring that their schools fulfil their statutory duties, according to the latest Ofsted annual report.

Since the beginning of September, schools have no longer been required to produce an annual governors’ report or hold an annual parents’ meeting.

Proposals to help and encourage schools and local authorities to provide more school trips and increased opportunities for outdoor learning have been published by the government in a draft manifesto for consultation.

The two national governors’ organisations have agreed to merge to create a single body to represent and support school governors.

Ofsted has long stressed the importance of governors being involved in the strategic development of their school and been critical when they fail to carry out that role effectively.

The drive to improve the quality of food in schools has taken another step forward with the publication of a report by the independent School Meals Review Panel.

Governance expert Joan Sallis expresses her reservations about the White Paper.

SENCOs are well aware of the importance of professionals and parents working together as emphasised in the SEN Code of Practice and Removing Barriers to Achievement. In this article Wendy Magee, Solihull SNAP (Special Needs Active Partnership) senior coordinator describes the joint development in partnership with parents of Hand in Hand – a resource folder for schools and services.

Every August exam results are in the media spotlight; but what we focused on better parenting and better teaching instead? Bill Lucas explores parental involvement

Philippa Bogle desribes how skilled one-on-one facilitation can lead to personal empowerment and transformation within your school

From 1 September all teachers with timetabled teaching commitments became entitled to PPA time (eg 2.5 hours, or half a day a week for many primary teachers).

Time to review the school staffing and pay structure is fast running out. Former headteacher Roger Smith looks at what needs doing and how it can be achieved before the deadline for completion arrives.

Headteacher Jim Donnelly looks at some of the ways parental involvement in schools can be increased.

In previous issues of Secondary Headship headteacher Brian Rossiter has described his experiences of PFI in the Bassetlaw district of North Nottinghamshire. In this article he describes the parallel development of a coordinated approach to delivering post-16 education across the area.

Research carried out earlier this year to assess the use of data in schools highlights its importance in many areas, including facilitating more effective allocation of staff and resources and monitoring the effectiveness of initiatives and strategies.

With around 95% of state schools no longer offering Latin, access is the critical issue for survival of the subject. Will Griffiths, director of the Cambridge School Classics Project (CSCP), looks at a DfES initiative to address this and highlights the competitive advantage that offering Latin can give schools.

AL has become something of a catch-all phrase these days, synonymous with brain-based or mind-friendly learning. Susan Norman goes beyond the buzz-word to bring you the facts

We must listen to the pupil voice if pupils are going to feel valued as members of the school community, argues Anne Clarke, Principal of Benton Park School Technology College.

The squeeze on the time available for PSHE is just one reason why its provision is variable across schools. In this article, education consultant Adrian King looks at the arguments for and against making PSHE a statutory element of the national curriculum.

Headteacher Alison Edwards considers the key attributes that make a good leader and looks at some of the strategies that can help grow the much-needed leaders of the future.

In our September issue headteacher Brian Rossiter described the first part of the PFI route to rebuild his and other schools in the Bassetlaw district – creating the vision for the project and meeting with the bidders. Here he shares his experience of the next steps towards making the vision a reality.

Effective school leadership is about creating a culture of continuous improvement and thinking through the implications of endless change. Former head Roger Smith looks at how it’s done.

The teaching profession needs to hang on to more of its bright newly qualified teachers (NQTs), as well as to ensure that all staff remain motivated and committed to their careers. Headteacher Anne Clarke outlines how it’s done.

Principal June Cannie talks to Secondary Headship about the experience of taking on a leadership role relatively late in life, charged with the responsibility for keeping the founder’s vision of a community college intact.

Surplus places and rotting and inadequate building stock was a common experience for schools in the late 20th century. Here, Brian Rossiter, head of the Valley School in Worksop, Notts, describes the arduous PFI route he took to rebuild his school and other dilapidated schools in his district.

Headteacher Trevor Bailey describes the setting up of the Weston Federation and highlights the threat posed by uncertainties about future funding for collaboratives.

Schools in England should now be engaged in formal consultation with staff and their representatives on new draft staffing structures.

School sport partnerships are continuing to be successful in increasing the amount of time pupils spend taking part in PE and sport.

Detailed guidance on fire safety in school building design has been published, in draft form, by the DfES.

Schools in England and Wales are finding it increasingly difficult to appoint headteachers.

Students enjoy school and are pleased with the education they receive — a welcome message for curriculum managers, and one that flies in the face of common opinion.

In our governing bodies we blithely talk about ‘team-building’. And in our more serious moments we may even think about ‘group effectiveness’ and ‘the quality of our decision making’.

Fundraising for school activities is nothing new. Only now with the pressures of workforce reform and initiatives such as extended schools and specialist status, many schools are reviewing the way they have to raise funds.

GTCE chief executive calls for new approach to testing.

The secretary of state for education and skills, Ruth Kelly, has announced to the Labour Party Conference that government has agreed that in city academies ‘as with other schools, all teachers will be registered with the General Teaching Council because those children deserve the best’.

CPD Update takes a look at the SEF: the self-evaluation form (secondary version).

Walsall assistant heads Mike Swan and Keith Sydenham report on a secondment activity.

The government has given further encouragement to schools to set out on the path to providing extended services with the publication of a ‘prospectus’ on extended schools.

Both the main headteachers’ organisations have called for the powers of independent appeals panels on exclusions to be reduced in submissions to the government’s leadership group on behaviour and discipline.

In a letter to the DfES in May Universities Council for Education of Teachers (UCET) expressed concern that teachers working in city academies do not need to be members of the General Teaching Council (GTC).

Single inspectorate for children and learners.

Professor David Jesson of the University of York has expressed concern that talent is ‘going to waste’ because state schools fail to develop the potential of more-able students

Quality standards are the new buzzwords in school self-evaluation for G&T coordinators. But what’s the difference between an audit and self-evaluation – and how do you do it? Jane West explains.

Primary strand coordinator for G&T Joy Blaker explains how schools in Rotherham approach the issue of identifying their most able pupils.

Gifted and talented strand coordinator Sue Sayer describes her work as leader for G&T and creativity for her excellence cluster and explains how a Classroom of the Future has influenced the teaching and learning of pupils in the Camborne, Pool and Redruth Success Zone

Whether you’re writing your first G&T policy or need to update your current one, what do you need to include? G&T Update editor Jane West explains