Best Practice

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

Last year I became deputy headteacher at a newly established primary free school in Tower Hamlets, east London, joining as it opened in September 2012. I had left a school in nearby Hackney where I was assistant head and had a clear career path ahead of me.

This decision was most certainly risky, so why did I do it? First, because there was a need – hundreds of parents in Tower Hamlets were told last August that their child did not have a place in school for the following September. 

Second, I did it for the opportunity to start a school from scratch (when at the beginning the senior leadership team comprised just the headteacher and myself).

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