Whole-school issues


How to protect your school from cyber-attacks

With an increasing number of schools falling victim to cyber-attacks, cyber-security is becoming more important than ever. Sarah Bull outlines seven steps school leaders can take to protect their schools



Meaningless words? How to build a genuine school ethos

Building a school ethos can so easily become an exercise in jargon and meaningless words. James Handscombe says that it is not until your ethos gets in the way of a hard decision that you know if you really believe in what you’re saying…


No going back: Choosing the right MAT for your school

Once your school has joined a multi-academy trust there is rarely any going back. As such, we must choose the right MAT for our ethos and community. Paul K Ainsworth offers some advice to primary heads and governors when taking this important decision


A six-step guide for new mental health leads

The emerging role of designated or senior mental health lead in schools has become even more vital in light of the impact of the pandemic. Wellbeing expert Kelly Hannaghan discusses effective practice for those taking on this new position and six steps for success




Early Career Framework: Roll-out and next steps

The Early Career Framework is here and with it comes a new two-year induction cycle for early career teachers across England. Leora Cruddas identifies some key questions schools should be addressing as full roll-out of the ECF begins...


Four ideas to tackle workload in your school

Teacher workloads have always been heavy but the pandemic has added to the strain. Former deputy head Graham Cooper suggests some practical approaches to cut down on time-consuming tasks and give teachers more time


Anti-racism & diversity: Curriculum, policy and practice

Decolonising the primary curriculum, embedding diversity, and becoming an anti-racist school is a challenging and at times difficult process. Headteacher Laura McPhee describes how her school reviewed and reformed its curriculum, policy and practice


The EYFS reforms: Priorities, opportunities and myths

The Development Matters guidance is supporting schools to implement September’s EYFS reforms. Dr Julian Grenier, who led on the writing of Development Matters, looks at the four priorities that are driving the reforms and responds to our recent coverage of the ‘rival’ Birth to Five Matters guidance





No Silver Bullets: Day-in, day-out school improvement

School improvement is not about silver bullets. Rather it is about making small incremental gains day-in, day-out. A new book is offering 89 such gains to help focus the mind. Author Paul K Ainsworth dissects four of them here…


How to handle criticism on social media

Many schools are now using social media to reach out and engage with their community, but it can also open us up to criticism and unfounded allegations from parents and others. Stephen James advises on how to handle these tricky situations




Assurance: It’s not sexy, but it’s important

From boilers to putrefied rat remains, from magic buckets to burglar alarms – assurance is not well understood in education and the consequences can be catastrophic. MAT chief executive Mark Wilson explains


Building back better: Teaching, pedagogy and learning

Some schools have already begun changing and adapting their in-school teaching practices in light of their experiences during remote education. Dr Fiona Aubrey-Smith asks how your school is already 'building back better'


PFI: Challenging overly expensive contracts

As an academy trust CEO, Andrew Chubb successfully challenged aspects of his school’s PFI contract, leading to substantial savings. He looks here at why PFI often proves unfairly expensive for schools – and what can be done about it




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