Talking Heads #1

At GKP we are always on the lookout for the head teachers hitting the headlines. These are the stories from the last four weeks that really caught our eye.

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  • In this reality show reimagining, Love Island becomes Gove Island as Stephen Petty, Head of Humanities at Lord William’s School in Thame, explores the debate on grammar school policy. Somehow, we don’t think ITV would pull quite the same ratings.
     
  • Richard Cairns, Headmaster of Brighton College, observes the changes amongst his students from banning phones (for younger years) and encouraging more responsible use (for older ones). [You’ll find his piece half way down the page.]
     
  • “Purpose and meaning in life do not come from having a clutch of GCSEs or their equivalents. I know this, you know this, parents know this and even policymakers know this.” Why we need a paradigm shift to make happy pupils a school’s priority, according to Mike Buchanan, Headmaster of Ashford School.
     
  • Helen Jays, Headmistress at Alderley Edge School for Girls, shares what she heard at the Global Conference for Girls in Education. The DC-based conference focused on health and wellness, leadership, global citizenship, inclusion and girls in STEAM (not STEM). Jays reflects on an Iranian writer encouraging teaching girls to take risks and be less dutiful, and closing remarks from Billie Jean King.
     
  • An argument that girls schools are not outdated but can rather be catalysts for social change, from Kevin Stannard, director of innovation and learning at the Girls’ Day School Trust
     
  • Despite his outspokenness against Oftsed - former head Tom Sherrington reacts to the news that the inspecting body are going nowhere. Instead, he urges for certain reforms.
     
  • Why I’m banging the drum for more music funding, the transformational power of music for improving listening and language skills, as observed by Dr Bernard Trafford, interim headteacher at Purcell School, Hertfordshire
     
  • Is the role of a modern head moving further and further from the classroom? Asks this secret head from a secondary school in the Midlands.
     
  • One school’s long term plan to offer bursaries to 50% of students and ‘turn back the tide’ on independent schools having become solely for the rich. A far cry from where this particular school begun. Thoughts from Julian Thomas, master of Wellington College, boarding school of the year.
     
  • Claires Court School, where James Wilding is principal, appointed an artist-in-residence and set up an after school ‘Canvas Café’ to create more room for reflection and creativity through art, outside school hours.

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