Talking Heads #8

Education PR

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.

Kevin Stannard, director of innovation and learning at the Girls' Day School Trust, warns how Edtech could fundamentally change our exams system and warns against a move to short answer questions.

Former head, Dr Bernard Trafford, shares concerns that history is being squeezed out the curriculum.

Rod Grant, head of Clifton Hall School in Edinburgh, believes grouping by ability in primary school is only about classroom management, offering no educational gain.

Dr Philip Hills, head of Oxford High School, is tackling (excuse the pun) stereotypes by encouraging women’s football.

Andrew Halls, head of King’s College, Wimbledon, says universities can learn from schools with regards to managing mental health issues.

Colin Baty, head of Bedales Prep, shares how his school is thinking creatively in how to increase exercise participation.

Adam Black, primary head in Scotland, explains why schools need to embrace outdoor learning, saying it enables children to be less restricted, see their teachers more relaxed and learn to do things ‘on a bigger scale’ .

And finally, the heads offering their varying takes to The Times about proposed new government guidelines on mobile phones in schools:

Samantha Price, head of Benenden School in Kent, who believes schools “must feel empowered to take a firm line”. She argues, “if schools and parents can work together to manage this with children from a young age, I am sure that some of the increase in teenage mental ill health … will reduce” .

Mark S Steed, head of Jumeirah English Speaking School in Dubai, who feels schools “can only do so much,” and ultimately it is the parents’ responsibility. Adding “although one can accept that children may need to carry a phone for their personal safety, there is no need for this to be a smartphone that facilitates full, unfiltered web and social media access.”

And Jane Prescott, head of Portsmouth High School, who feels “banning phones in school isn’t the answer to reducing screen time”. Continuing that “for some students, phones enhance learning and that schools educate on misuse”.


GKP offers education PR, marketing, consultancy and communications management to UK schools, universities and business