Leadership and Policy

Challenging schools: Five recurring themes

Every school is different and must tackle its challenges in a way to suit its own circumstances. However, Daniel Sobel has seen some generally recurring themes in schools that could be classed as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘challenging’


Case study: Improving attainment in year 4

In a bid to bridge the gap between years 2 and 6, school leader Ciara Murphy focused on outcomes in year 4, implementing four key strategies to improve attainment in reading and writing


SEND reforms: Still no real culture change

It is now more than two years since schools were required to implement the new SEND Code of Practice. Now the Scott Report and local authority inspections have thrown more light on current practice. Are the changes really delivering for our SEND children?


What are the next steps for primary assessment?

Could it be the calm after the storm? 2016 was not an easy year for assessment co-ordinators and their schools. Now Justine Greening offers reassurance that 2017 will be better. But will it? Suzanne O’Connell reports


Staying compliant

What do you really have to do to stay compliant this year? Do you know the real requirements from the myths? Marianne Pope puts some commonly (mis)understood expectations to the test


Which type of headteacher are you?

Theories about leadership types are nothing new. However, a new piece of research has identified specific leadership types and how they relate to factors such as pupil outcomes and even the amount you earn. Suzanne O’Connell asked some headteachers where they would place themselves


Planning a new SEND building

Developing new facilities and buildings to cater for pupils with SEN and disabilities can be a challenge for schools. Gareth Barber discusses the requirements, offers expert advice, and looks at a case study of one school’s building project


Middle leaders: Great teaching and CPD

?Middle leaders now have a key role in developing great teaching across their teams, which of course involves securing effective CPD – but what are the best ways to achieve this? Bridget Clay advises


Pupil Premium: A gap that’s proving hard to shift

The government has made it clear that narrowing the gap between those who are disadvantaged and their peers is a priority. Five years after the introduction of the Pupil Premium, are we any closer? Suzanne O’Connell takes a look



Creating pupils who take responsibility for their own learning

Creating responsible children and encouraging your students to begin to take responsibility for their own learning is an admirable ambition for every school. Fiona Aubrey-Smith draws on some examples of good practice to offer advice, ideas and guidance


Diary of a parent: The vital role of PSHE

After seeing how girls can be treated by boys, even at primary school, our parent diarist is adamant that PSHE and sex and relationships education must be on the curriculum for all pupils


A helping hand for school leaders

Where can school leaders, especially those who are new to the role, turn to for support? Dr Glenys Hart and Christine Pollitt consider the range of options


A smooth transition into the early years

Pupils’ transition into the early years of primary school can be daunting. Drawing on practice she has seen across the country, Fiona Aubrey-Smith offers some practical advice and ideas to help ensure your youngest pupils get the best possible welcome


Reviewing your Anti-Bullying Policy

What does your anti-bullying policy say about your school? As Anti-Bullying Week approaches, Lauren Seager-Smith looks at the key ingredients of an effective policy


Raising expectations; boosting progress

Rosebrook Primary was determined to narrow the attainment gap for all the children in school by focusing on strengthening the middle leadership team and improving teaching quality across all year groups. Deputy headteacher Amy Blackburn led on this work


Embracing risk and danger in schools

Schools are too often blaming health and safety for not being able to take risks with activities for pupils. Headteacher Mike Fairclough says the time has come to stop making excuses...


We value pupil wellbeing – but what about our staff?

Pupil wellbeing is high on many schools’ agendas, but what about our staff? Mental health expert Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers some simple steps to tackle challenges to mental health and promote staff wellbeing in your school


Leadership wellbeing: It’s good to talk

With huge pressure on today’s school leaders, Julian Stanley from the charity Education Support Partnership discusses two of their programmes offering wellbeing and mental health support



The Research Mark journey

Headteacher Update is a supporter of the NFER’s Research Mark accreditation. Here, Dorothy Lepkowska looks at how this initiative and other resources from the NFER can help schools on their research journey


KISS: Rules of engagement

The management technique Keep-Improve-Start-Stop – or KISS – can be used as an effective leadership tool to deliver powerful results, says Howard Jackson. He explains how it might work in an education setting


Governors: Finding the right skill-set

There are a number of initiatives out there to help schools source governors from the world of business to boost the skill-set of their governing body. David Rowsell explains


Diary of a Parent: Rewards? Or bribery?

Using rewards (or bribery) is seemingly a necessary part of raising and educating a child, but do we rely on this approach too much? Our parent diarist reflects on the impact on her own child


Working in partnership with secondary schools

Last edition, Matt Bromley introduced the five 'bridges' of school life that are key to the year 6 to 7 transition process. He now focuses on how we can work effectively with secondary colleagues on issues such as pupil data and the curriculum

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Headteacher Update is the only magazine delivered directly to every primary school headteacher in the UK. It is published six times a year, at the beginning of each term and half-term, to keep headteachers up-to-date with everything going on in primary education.

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