Leadership and Policy

Aiming for the top job

In September, Emma Williams will embark on her first headship. Here, she describes her leadership journey – the challenges she has faced and the skills she has learnt along the way – and offers encouragement and advice to other would-be headteachers


Term-time absence

How are the tighter rules surrounding parents pulling their children out of class for holidays and other events affecting schools? Amy Cook takes a look.


Understanding VAT

VAT is a complicated tax and it is easy for academies and free schools to make mistakes. We ask expert Helen Elliott for some advice.



Preparing for SEN reform

As a new SEN and disability Code of Practice awaits publication, Jane Friswell summarises the challenges facing schools as the special needs sector undergoes major reform.


Teacher training: Growing your own

The government’s School Direct teacher training scheme will train more than 15,000 teachers next year. Headteacher Tom Donohoe explains why his school has embraced the approach.


In it together – running a Teaching School Alliance

What is it like to run a Teaching School Alliance? Marie-Claire Bretherton describes the opportunities that working as part of a 27-strong Teaching School Alliance has presented and some of the challenges they have faced.



Introducing a staff coaching programme

Faced with a decline in teaching standards and low staff morale, deputy head Pauline Hughes instigated a coaching programme to help staff develop and share best practice across their school.


Two examples of cross-phase collaboration

Collaboration between primary and secondary schools can have a notable impact on key areas, such as assessment, numeracy and literacy and transition. Christopher Woolfrey looks at the work of two partnerships.


'Structured conversations' to engage parents

Quality parent/carer engagement has a positive impact on pupil attainment. But it is about more than just ‘getting on’ with them and requires deeper, more meaningful links. Professor Sonia Blandford discusses the potential of 'structured conversations'



Avoiding the pitfalls of performance pay

Schools are getting to grips this term with the new system of performance-related pay. Employment lawyer Amanda Lyons looks at common pitfalls that new pay systems must avoid.


A headship masterclass

Alison Peacock has now led her school through three outstanding Ofsted inspections. She is clear that professional courage and a focus on enabling learning progress is key. Emma Lee-Potter reports


Top 10 tips for buying school furniture

With all the pressures of Ofsted and pupil outcomes, school furniture may not be top of your list of priorities, but making wise investment choices is important nonetheless. Caroline Wright offers some advice


Peer-led inspection and accountability

In Oxfordshire, a network of primary schools has formed an umbrella trust and is working together to place peer-led intelligent accountability at the heart of what they do. Fiona Aubrey-Smith finds out more


Improving communication and language skills

Faced with a new intake whose lack of speech and language skills meant they were still operating as toddlers, Clare Constant implemented a range of strategies to overcome this significant learning barrier


10 steps to a world class education system

Ahead of this year’s Whole Education conference, David Crossley draws on the views of national and international education leaders to define how we can build a world class system. He offers 10 key ways forward for our schools


Transforming the quality of teaching

Two headteachers speak to Fiona Aubrey-Smith about how the use of the Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme after an Ofsted inspection has helped them to sustainably improve the quality of teaching


Transforming the quality of teaching

Two headteachers speak to Fiona Aubrey-Smith about how the use of the Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme after an Ofsted inspection has helped them to sustainably improve the quality of teaching


Bouncing back from a poor school inspection

Some of the most challenging times in a headteacher’s career can be after a poor inspection outcome. Nick Bannister meets leaders who have helped their schools to bounce back after inspection setbacks


Team motivation: Hitting the ground running in September

Today, team motivation is seen as a key responsibility of modern headship, and it is especially important that as the new school year begins the whole-school team hits the ground running. Nick Bannister looks at the experiences of one primary headteacher


Getting the whole school singing

Becoming a ‘singing school’ can have a range of knock-on benefits. Penny Sheppard, headteacher of Queen’s Hill Primary, explains why and how she has embedded singing in every aspect of school life



Teaching on the Falkland Islands

Tom Hill has been head of a 260-pupil infant and junior school delivering the English curriculum for two years. Nothing unusual about that – other than its location. Emma Lee Potter caught up with him

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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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