This category contains 9 posts

The Power of Collaboration – Blackpool Rocks!

The First of the Home & Away Leg of #Vis2040

robcarter2012's Blog


I’ve done it… I can now say that I have had the pleasure of having visited Blackpool and more importantly the privilege of spending the day in a fantastic Catholic school there. It was a unique opportunity to spend some time with Stephen Tierney, Executive Headteacher at St. Mary’s Catholic College and Christ the King Catholic Primary School. Stephen is a prolific blogger and is passionate about all things to do with education and learning. We are both part of the SSAT Vision 2040 group with a focus on Redesigning Schooling and curriculum reform. I suppose this led to the educational equivalent of “blind date” as we were paired up to progress with some work on identifying what makes a distinctive school curriculum. This will build on the effective work of Dylan Wiliam who led one of the symposia for the SSAT and also will author a resource…

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Changing Flight Paths and Interventions

The previous post on Targets, Learning Gaps and Flight Paths looked at how targets should be used to generate “gaps in learning” between a student’s current attainment and future attainment.  It develops a line of thought that targets need to be agile, flexible and adaptable to take account students different flight paths.  Targets are not helpful as accountability measures.

I understand teachers’ concerns when they say that the problem with flight paths is children’s learning isn’t linear.  It’s important to understand that the flight paths aren’t linear either; it is just the tables that are.

Air Traffic Control

 The tables take learning over an extended period of a year, key stage or whole school experience and break this up into convenient and often similar size chunks as a way of looking at expected or better than expected progress.  However, children don’t always do what we expect and it is important to pick this up during the learning process and either intervene to close the gap in learning or extend the targets to re-create a gap in learning.

Changing Flight Paths – Secondary Ready?

The term “secondary ready” is often used to describe students who enter a secondary school with “a good level 4” namely a 4B.  Expected progress for these students, if achieved, takes them to a relatively secure grade C at GCSE.

However, the conversion rate from a level 4C, at Key Stage 2, to a GCSE grade C is 49% for GCSE English and 55% for GCSE Mathematics (2012 national data)and the expected progress  of three levels targets for students entering on a level 3 is a GCSE grade D which is not exactly aspirational or motivating.

Many schools are now looking to accelerate the learning of students in the first part of Year 7, that is deliberately change their flight path and trajectory, through targeted intervention.  Our whole school “minimum” target setting based on ten sub-levels progress, two sub-levels in each year from Year 7 to Year 11, needs to be re-thought in terms of students making more accelerated progress much earlier.

Intensive Intervention in Year 7

We need to intervene in Year 7, to change a student’s flight path, by deliberately seeking to address issues and gaps in learning, for those students who entering the College at levels 3B, 3A & 4C.  This can help redirect them towards a flight path to achieve a 6B at the end of Year 9.  Maybe 6B should be renamed the new “Key Stage 4 Ready” level as the conversion from a 6B at the end of Key Stage 3 to at least a GCSE Grade C is very high.

To achieve this we have introduced “Passport Maths” from the National Mathematics Partnership for students in the Christmas Term of Year 7, likewise with a new Literacy Intervention Programme.  We wait to see what the impact will be.  Due to “losing” our additional teaching capacity, an extra Mathematics teacher and English teacher, one to maternity leave and one to a late external promotion, we are looking to increase capacity with Numeracy & Literacy Intervention Supervisors who will be taking small groups (3/4 students) a few times a week to accelerate the students’ progress.

Building on the idea of “Passport Maths”, why not introduce Passport Science or RE or History or Geography as part of the teaching programme in the first term of Year 7 with a supporting focus on developing literacy, numeracy and learning skills.

We are working on this, we are not there yet.

Changing Flight Paths – More Able Students

We may also need to think again about flight paths for the more able as even our four levels progress that targets a student at level 5A on entry towards a GCSE A grade may not be sufficiently challenging or aspirational.  What would it look like if we challenged these students to make an extra sub-levels progress per year by changing the Key Stage 3 Curriculum to increase the rate of expected learning and our aspirations for these academically able students.

Challenging the Most Able

We are working on this, we are not there yet.

Changing Flight Paths – PE & Creative Subjects

Most of the e-mails and comments I have received on the previous blog post Targets, Learning Gaps and Flight Paths were from PE teachers who wanted to know how to approach flight paths for their subject using English or Maths Key Stage 2 scores as a baseline.  Exactly the same issue was discussed at St. Mary’s last October when we discussed them during a CPD session.  These were our thoughts:

The number of targets, at the various levels, at the end of the key stage should be identical for PE and the Creative subjects as they are for the academic subjects.  Outcomes matter so no lowering of the bar.

PE and the creative subjects could produce their own baseline for students at the beginning of Year 7.

The subjects could then alter which students would be expected to achieve which end of key stage level to match the end of key stage profile expected of the other subjects.

We are working on this, we are not there yet.

If you’ve not read Chris Hildrew’s blog post on “Assessment in the New National Curriculum: What We’re Doing” it is well worth looking at but hopefully the idea flight paths are linear we can begin to put to one side.

Where to Now?

The new draft national curriculum lacks much of the national element that is associated with the current one, in particular the removal of levels though how national these were is a moot point anyway.  This will create a different environment in which we operate but possibly provides an opportunity for us to develop an individualised curriculum for our students – Charles Handy suggested that this would be a better idea than a National Curriculum over twenty years ago.  The thinking that underpins the flight paths, and good assessment generally, will become a critical part of our professional understanding in the years ahead:

  • Where are you?  This is the assessment that allows us to know where each student is starting their journey from.
  • Where are you going?  This needs to be considered in terms of the learning gains made over a period of time.  What would be expected, what is beyond expectation and what is below?   It also needs to be considered in terms of the actual knowledge, understanding, procedural skills, habits of mind and metacognitive strategies that are required for the student to move from current to future point of learning.
  • Learning gap closed, target attained and so the process is repeated.

Changing Flight Paths – Getting Really Radical

I want to be clear about this – I’m only just thinking about thinking about the ideas below.

It’s all Joyce Matthews’ (@passionateaboot) fault as she set off a lining of thinking, at least I think it’s thinking rather than just plain madness.

Student Determined - Flight Paths

What would it look like if students took control of their target setting process having totally understood the idea of flight paths and had a good working knowledge of the flight paths available?  Now this fascinates me as we are moving into the realm of metacognition and self-regulation which is the place where micro personalisation really occurs.

The previous post on flight paths proposed “agile and flexible” targets which operate at the classroom level and are negotiated by students and teachers.  What would happen, if alongside the school’s computerised target setting system, students tracked their own progress against a certain flight path:

  • Referring themselves for “intervention” if they fell behind?
  • Sought additional support to change flight paths onto a trajectory that attained a higher grade that they aspired to
  • Planned, reviewed and amended their own learning as they took greater and greater responsibility as learners.

We are entering a different World!

If your concerned that metacognition & self-regulation is scientific nonsense for tweed wearing enemies of promise, have a look at this:

Education Endowment Foundation Toolkit: Metacognition & Self-Regulation

If you are interested in personalisation there are a series of posts that develop the idea, from macro to micro-personalisation, below:

Vision 2040: Learners at the Centre I

Vision 2040: Learners at the Centre II

Vision 2040: Learners at the Centre III

#Vamoose and #Skedaddle by @TeacherToolkit


Whilst it is a Saturday evening I’m happily sat at my laptop posting my first ever Guest Blog Post.  The #Vamoose story has been of interest to me ever since it was published by @TeacherToolkit.  The world of blogging, to which I am a rather late entrant, is changing at a rapid pace.  

#Vamoose & # Skedaddle may just be the start of teachers being able to create, post and sell for a small fee the resources they produce.  There is no such thing as a “free resource”, there is a teacher out there who has spent time and effort putting it together.  I’m delighted to say that I have purchased Ross McGill’s new book and I have every intention of buying Alex Quigley’s and Tom Sherrington’s books, when they are published, as well.  They may not be able to retire on the proceeds but I’d rather keep my money circulating in the profession then to big corporations.  You may agree or disagree.

Main Post

For those of you who have been hiding under your duvet for the past 4 weeks, you may have missed my #Vamoose I’m off! story, regarding teacher content uploading to The TES Resources website.

#Vamoose and #Skedaddle

In this anticipated post, we hope to highlight the concerns that have been raised by the teaching community; allow others to catch up with what 
has been taking place; and of late, report back to everyone, regarding the outcomes at TSL headquarters today.

There are two parts to this post…

1. The background to #Vamoose prior to today's publication, to which the first half of this article has been premeditated. 
2. And, the second half of the article, which has been updated today, following a meeting at TSL headquarters in London at 2.30pm on 
Saturday 5th October 2013.

The teachers representing this article are:

  1. @IanMcDaid
  2. @Ideas_Factory
  3. @LeadingLearner
  4. @LGolton
  5. @MrLockyer
  6. and @TeacherToolkit

The problem?

In the original post, we highlighted that the resources that you upload to The TES website, no longer belong to you and that the TES’s Terms and Conditions are not clear enough. This was compounded by examples shared below.

TES Terms and Conditions: ‘You hereby waive any moral rights you have in the content‘.

As a consequence, the TES can continue to use the resources you upload and share, for free. However, one that has needed clarification for everyone, is charging customers to use TESPro in order to access resources. I will clarify this for everyone below on behalf of Michael Shaw who is director of TES Pro and former deputy editor of the TES magazine.

Our first objection:

… to the TES parent company, is the “harvesting” of resources for their other partner websites that may charge for access to these resources. This includes sharing your resources on other sister-sites in the USA (Share My Lesson) and Australia (TES Australia) – without your knowledge and perhaps, even after you have removed them from the TES in the UK.

We (the teacher), freely share resources with everyone and anyone in education. The TES resources page offers:

“Over 662,382 free teaching resources to use in your classroom and school today.” Last updated: 04 October 2013

All uploaded by you and I …

This means that we could assume that no-one would make any financial gain from them.  So, therefore the issue of Copyright and IP ownership should be irrelevant.  However, since the online exposure of the current TES’s Terms and Conditions, this is now a huge issue for the online community of teachers here in the UK.


The image below by Julia speaks for itself… but will be clarified.

(@missyjules1974 - on 8.9.13)
(@missyjules1974 – on 8.9.13)

In a nutshell, (we) lose (our) rights once (we) upload a resource to their website!

(For example) “As time has moved on over the past 18 months, I have shared a total of 33 resources on the TES; all of them generating over 496,000 views across the globe and hopefully making an impact on hundreds of teachers and thousands and thousands of students in schools. Great!

These statistics in itself, are powerful.

Using the potential of social-media and blogging, I and a few others, have come to discover the ‘power of the people’, for making your own resources available to thousands and thousands of other teachers, for free. But what other business sectors would accept this? And also doing this for free?”

TES response:

The TES did have the courtesy to reply to my original post and you can read the full story here. Hopefully, you will also be aware of the following (current) contractual agreement on The TES…

Rights in posted content:

“With respect to all Content you post on the Websites, you grant TSL Education a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sub-licensable right and licence to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed. With respect to all Content you post to the Websites, you hereby waive any moral rights you have in the Content. You agree to perform all further acts necessary to perfect any of the above rights granted by you to TSL Education, including the execution of deeds and documents, at our request.

You will… immediately remove and notify us of any Content that does not does not comply with these Terms and Conditions or may infringe the rights of third parties. You agree to … Terms and Conditions.”

TES response on 9.9.13
It says quite clearly above: "that content uploaded by the user always remains the property of that user".

So, why do they have the statement in their Terms and Conditions about The TES owning any uploaded content, if that’s not the case. This is completely contradictory!

What sparked #Vamoose?

… was that a small number of us and publicly shared resources with The TES and have also started to promote the sales of our own work on our own websites. In my case, a first book on a mere teacher-blog with little or no commercial potency. Furthermore, that some of the links we have shared on The TES resources page, redirect the user downloading the TES resources, from The TES website, back to our own websites for reading-references; not for financial gain.

Our second objection:

… is the double standards that exist with regards to links to external resources within resources; resource pages and teacher-profiles within the TES website.  There are many, many resources that link to websites where products are offered for sale, or where products are advertised.  There seem to be some very cosy relationships between TES, some contributors (although raised today, not intentional), and their own websites offering products for sale.

Removal of my resources and web-links
Removal of my resources and web-links

Shifting sands:

We (have always been) happy to share freely amongst ourselves; helping the schools we work in and local networks. However, this is gradually changing speed with the introduction of Teaching Schools. Schools are funded to be leading providers for a ‘hub’ area and in return, either use these sums of cash to design and sustain CPD courses, yet quote other schools in return for a service level agreement (fee).

In terms of teacher-produced resources, the online landscape is changing and is yet a further example of grass-roots taking back control of the profession. (similar to #TeachMeets; #SLTchat). It would not take a genius to state, that the profession may bedivided by some the following options …

What are our options?

  • stop sharing any further resources with the TES.
  • remove any links on personal websites that promote the purchasing of any resources you may have for sale.
  • or, continue to upload resources to TES Resources, but do not include any links that re-direct the viewer back to a website (that is selling a product).
  • start uploading resources to your own websites for your own audiences to download. No login required. No terms and conditions violated!
  • move you resources to another forum, such as Teachers Pay Teachers in the USA; and keep sharing and ‘consider’ offering resources for free with other popular files via a pay-per-download resource page on your own website.

There are all sorts of further options to consider …

You will be aware that we were invited to attend a meeting with Lord Knight at TES HQ on Saturday 5th October 2013. As of here, the content below is updated based on the meeting today.


Key points for discussion at TSL HQ:

  • The underlying principle of “not for profit” sharing.
  • New Terms and Conditions that protect the rights of the author.
  • Payment to authors when resources are ‘sold’.
  • Use of resources on other partner websites must have the authors permission.
  • Links to external content being out of the control of the author, if the host (TES) places advertising out of their control.

So, what happened at TSL HQ?

So, in true pop-star fashion; all of the team sent their apologies and I (@TeacherToolkit) turned up alone and late to an empty reception. Inside the meeting room, TSL had clearly gone out of their way to meet with us and discuss the teacher-community concerns.

TSL headquarters - Red Lion Square.
TSL headquarters – Red Lion Square.

A true David vs. Goliath scenario set the scene with some premeditated cartoon tweets I had posted before I arrived. As I entered the room, Lord Knight was browsing through my Twitter page and had just viewed this cartoon …

Lord Knight
Lord Knight – David vs. Goliath

In attendance were:

  • @JimPKnight (Lord Knight of Weymouth, Shadow Defra Minister in the Lords)
  • @AnnMroz (Editor and Digital Publishing Director, TES, and former editor of Times Higher Education)
  • @MrMichaelShaw (Director of TES Pro and former deputy editor of TES)
  • Ashid ? (tbc – Legal Terms and Conditions advisor.)
  • @TeacherToolkit
  • Tea and biscuits.

Once the initial sensitive introductions were made, off we set … and then Michael offered me a drink.


Our questions for TES HQ:

Answers in red.

  1. TES’s owners need to make a return on their investment in TES Connect; so, how are they going to do this (free means you (the teacher) are the product)? For information: TSL recently sold their company to Texas Pacific Group for £400M.  We respect the teacher community and know that teacher-generated material is what makes TES work.
  2. Will TSL retrospectively change the T&C’s for all members who have used or added content to TES Connect and ShareMyLesson in the US? We will update Terms and Conditions following the meeting (see more details below) for new content henceforth.
  3. Why haven’t TSL adopted a Teachers Pay Teachers model previously? We do not want to differentiate between judging what resources should be free and what should be paid for content.
  4. Is Lord Knight aware that new owners, Texas Pacific Group have met with the owner of Teachable, a UK business almost identical to Teachers Pay Teachers? No, but we have a positive impression of TPG.
  5. The TES Advisory Board that is ‘led’ by Lord Knight. When was it established and what is its remit powers? Who does it report to and is it really independent? We are advisory to TES and that is all. We meet every 2-3 months and have no legal responsibility. We report to TSL’s CEO. You can read who is on the advisory board here and who is TSL’s Executive Team here.
  6. Have other teachers previously raised these issues and why didn’t the management at the TES/TSL act previously if they were aware of this issue? There was no clear answer. It was apparent that my original post and followers had provided us all with the opportunity to gain attention of the board.
  7. Was monetising the resources on TES Connect discussed with potential purchasers during the recent sale process (very likely)? As highlighted by Michael Shaw, TESPro will make it clear on their website and banner adverts, that teacher-produced resources will always be FREE and that the TESPro is not a forum for restricting free content in return for annual subscriptions to the TESPro magazine and so forth.


From what I could minute, there were 8 clear outcomes.

  1. Terms and conditions: TSL wanted to clarify, that no IP is given away. The teacher owns the resource. In essence, the licence is a Creative Commons Licence – but has a waiver of Moral Rights. This appeared to be the real sticking point and one that TSL would not be willing to address as it would be far too complicated to police. For example, (a very crude one) I may agree for you to use my 5 Minute Lesson Plan, but may not agree for you to publish within a Primary School context. The TSL cannot monitor these individual Moral Rights. I stressed that the key T&Cs were written in plain English so that teachers understand clearly what they are agreeing to. If TSL do keep the T&Cs, then it should be emblazoned across the screen before any person uploads anything. Therefore, the uploader takes full responsibility for any copyright violations, links to external websites and that content can be used elsewhere.
  2. Moral Rights: Two issues here that cannot be resolved with the current T&Cs. a) Rights not to be identified and b) Rights to privacy. TSL cannot guarantee this with any content uploaded. There is also a Data Protection issue and how the TES look after the resource. The current TES waiver ensures they cannot be sued. They admitted that Moral Rights is a minefield!
  3. TES profiles: An example is my own TES profile here. I raised the discrepancies and how some profiles advertised blog links; books and products and how others had been identified and asked to remove content. I highlighted that my own page included my Twitter icon as my profile-photo, and that it wouldn’t take a genius, to work out that just three-clicks away, you could reach my own website, where I ‘could be’ advertising my own resources or products for sale. It was agreed, that teachers would be allowed to include their website address in their TES profile page.
  4. Resources: It was agreed that resources uploaded to the TES would remain ‘clean’. That is, no product advertisements, but as no. 3 above, individual teachers could include their own website links from their profile page. I highlighted the idiocy that TES moderators had asked me to removed direct-links on individual resource pages (linking back to my blog for readership clarification and not-for-profit) and copy and paste any references as basic HTML code onto a Word document; then upload these as additional attachments to the resource page itself!
  5. TSL Pledge: The TSL would review their current TSL pledge to include some of the changes listed here on this post. It currently reads hereOur pledge to you: TES Connect pledges that our members can download and share user-generated resources free of charge for ever. We are committed to protecting the privacy of our members’ personal data and promise never to sell or share it with any third party.”
  6. TESPro: would clarify their purpose of what is paid-for content and what is free. Michael Shaw stressed that all teachers resources are free and would remain so. The example tweet from Julia Taylor at the top of the page is an exception and if we encountered any more confusion, to direct the user to the Terms and Conditions which are soon to be updated. I also added the TESPro banner is long overdue for removal.
  7. Complaints: I asked for an easier mechanism to report ‘Complaints’ on the front page of the TES. As it currently stands, their is a ‘Report’ button on each individual resource page, but through the ‘Contact us’ page, their is no clear avenue in which to report any issues. It is currently, neatly tucked away at the bottom of the website.
  8. Lord Knight: The intention is, in light of all our concerns, that Lord Knight will co-author a blogpost with @TeacherToolkit informing the teaching community of the changes TSL have made. The predicted timescale was 2 weeks from today.

Vamoose - TES

All in all, TSL and the team were incredibly hospitable and very open to our suggestions. I’d like to say thank you personally to TSL and the team today; on behalf of everyone in the teaching community who has taken the time to report their concerns. As a group, we can really shift sands. Our next task, is to collectively challenge the Secretary of State for Education! Grassroot teachers can do this, we just need a clear focus which is focused and not personalised …

What next?

TSL will make the necessary changes over the forthcoming weeks and report back. I left the meeting highlighting to The TES, that they have 3 options:

  1. Resource content for partners (for profit).
  2. Resource content for teachers (for free).
  3. Resource content for teachers advertising their products (for profit).

TSL: If I have made any of the above details/answers inaccurate, please let me know and I will readjust.

Further information:

TSL advisory board:

  • Lord Puttnam
  • Lord Adonis
  • Lord Knight
  • Owen Lynch
  • Baroness Morris
  • Click here.

TSL’s Executive Board:

  • Louise Rogers – Chief Executive Officer
  • Bill Donoghue – Chief Operating Officer
  • Matthew O’Sullivan – Finance Director
  • Click here.
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