The school system seems to be more disparate; school leaders more fragile and worried. Headteachers’ Roundtable looks to light candles in the darkness; bringing forward positive policies and ideas based on our collective experiences, rooted in evidence, of what will enable all our pupils, staff and communities to thrive and flourish.
This is the introduction to the Headteachers’ Roundtable Summit on 2nd February 2017 (see below if you want to book at last minute place with 20% off). I look forward to seeing you there; read on if you can’t attend and be with us in spirit. Follow the hashtag #HTRTSummit.
In participating today, as an attendee or presenter, you are part of our collective voice; thank you. Your attendance and support is hugely appreciated.
Our challenge is to reimagine our accountability system, including the inspection of schools, so that the inclusion of all children, responsibility for their outcomes and retention of our school leaders and teachers become part of a congruent whole. This isn’t simply about policy change it’s about a different culture within education; understanding the lack of validity of judgments being made, the limitations of external accountability and the need to be more responsible, individually and collectively as a profession.
Our focus on retention stems from the belief that we cannot recruit our way out of the looming crisis; insufficient numbers and quality of class room teachers, school leaders and governors cannot be resolved by lowering expectations or looking for quick fixes. With better retention we can move, in stages, towards one higher quality, challenging route into teaching. The Chartered College of Teaching has the potential to augment significantly the work of the profession.
School leaders and governors are facing the unrealistic and undoable, in many cases; delivering a broad, balanced curriculum with a cash flat budget and increasing financial demands. Funding needs to be based on sufficiency; it’s the prerequisite of fairness. There is enough money available within education budget but passing fancies are robbing core budgets of much needed funds. Academies, free schools, local authorities, sponsors and selective education will all come and go. None of them are forever. Leadership within schools and the school system, teachers operating in the key structure of our school system, the class room, and the pupils, their families and wider communities, who we are called to serve, must be our focus.
Welcome to the HTRT Summit; to Westminster, the seat of government. I hope you enjoy the day. Our work continues; our work has never been more important.
Stephen Tierney, Chair of Headteachers’ Roundtable (CEO BEBCMAT, Blackpool)
We will be meeting again towards the end of the Summer Term 2017 (venue and date tbc). Please think about joining us and contributing to our work.