Best Practice

Academy status – to be or not to be?

Whether or not to convert to an academy is one of the fundamental questions facing primary leaders across the country today. Nick Bannister speaks to three heads about the factors that made them go for, or reject, academy status


How to spend the Pupil Premium

Having increased to £900 in 2013/14, the Pupil Premium is expected to make all the difference to disadvantage in our communities. Suzanne O’Connell speaks to schools about how it is being used, including how Ofsted is reporting its use


Creating a friendly school library

Finalist in the School Librarian of the Year 2012, Gill Trueman offers her advice on how we can create friendly and inspiring library environments


What does the Equality Act mean for schools?

The Equality Act 2010 replaced nine major pieces of legislation and should make it easier for school leaders and governors to understand their legal responsibilities and tackle inequalities in education. Bill Bolloten explains


Forced conversion puts leaders under threat

As primary schools are being targeted for forced academy status, many headteachers are not being given the benefit of the doubt. Headteacher Update investigates the story behind the conversion statistics


Data protection – legal advice for schools

A survey of 1,000 schools has found that around half have inadequate policies on data protection and security. Expert Ros Foster looks at the challenges facing schools and the need for many to update their policies and practices on managing data



Ofsted – an inspector's advice

We are now two months into life under the new Section 5 inspection arrangements. Here, an Ofsted inspector and practising primary headteacher – writing anonymously – looks at the key changes that schools must be aware of under the latest inspection regime


Careers education for primary pupils

It is becoming more common for primary schools to focus on pupils’ career aspirations and to begin preparing them for the world of work. Suzanne O’Connell reports



Making school count for young carers

Michelle Dale discusses the importance of supporting young carers and explains how her primary school is making a difference for those pupils who have caring responsibilities



Removing barriers for BME pupils

Are schools doing enough to meet the needs of their increasingly diverse population? Linda Tanner reports on programmes that have been proven to make the difference for Black and minority ethnic children


Tackling homophobic bullying

In 2009, 75 per cent of pupils at Alfred Salter Primary School were hearing homophobic language on a daily basis. Now, the school is to become the only primary in the country offering training days to support school staff in tackling homophobic bullying.




Pupil wellbeing and attainment

Wellbeing activities such as yoga, music, breathing techniques and good nutrition can help create pupils who are ready to learn. Giles Bryant explores the link between wellbeing and attainment and looks at case studies of wellbeing practices in action


Lessons in railway safety

Trains are popular with children – making rail safety education all the more vital. Mark Shaoul introduces some new resources to help primary schools in this area


Creative thinking

Gareth Mills looks at how engaging teachers in research to inform best practice can unleash untapped creativity and bring about sustainable improvement in schools


Closing the poverty- attainment gap

The Future Leaders charity works to develop outstanding school leaders in challenging secondary schools. It is now expanding its work to the primary sector and is appealing for applicants. Heath Monk explains


Staying secure when going online

With schools looking at services such as online communication and parent payment systems, what security issues do they need to understand and how can they reassure parents that they provide a safe and secure service? Martin Temple offers his advice


Working together

The government’s stated aim is to give schools more autonomy. Paul Bennett from the National College discusses how focused and sustainable collaborative working could be the key to making the most of increased freedoms


Embedding effective ICT

Earlier this year, Michael Gove said that ICT in schools was a mess. Brenda Bigland discusses how her school embedded ICT across its classrooms and curriculum and offers an insight into developing an effective ICT strategy


Homework: To set or not to set...

While one union has branded homework a waste of time, many others argue the benefits. With government guidelines scrapped, Dorothy Lepkowska looks at the pros and cons of setting homework


Language barriers

A new study focusing on global language learning finds that English-speaking education often provides less resource and encouragement for languages. Teresa Tinley and Therese Comfort consider the challenges common to successful primary language teaching

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Headteacher Update is a magazine, website, podcast and regular ebulletin dedicated to the primary school leadership team. We tackle a wide range of leadership issues, offering best practice, case studies and in-depth information, advice and guidance. Headteacher Update magazine is distributed free to approximately 20,000 primary school headteachers.

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