Energising Education

Why work in networks? In these times of fast paced educational change, many of us are facing the added pressures of strained budgets, curricula uncertainty and local authority transformation. I am not sure how we can navigate these waters without the continued support of a network of schools and professionals from whom to draw upon.

In the technological world this is called a Personal Learning Network and it is often made up of a plethora of web2.0 sites and contacts. However, personally, I like the human touch too. So I find myself drawing upon a group of close contacts to inspire and re-invigorate my thinking. Who are these people? Michael Shepherd (on twitter as Smichael920) from Haweside Primary School in Blackpool has a really innovative mind and leads an excellent school brilliantly. Equally Dave Watson at Chorlton Park Primary School in South Manchester is an outstanding National Leader of Education and genuinely humble innovator in leading schools and supporting clusters of schools. Tom Barrett (@tombarrett) is Deputy Headteacher at John Davies Primary School in Nottingham and a global leader in embedding new technologies in to the primary curriculum. He is also a real expert at empowering networks of thinkers, take a look at his Edublog Awards nominated Interesting Ways series for a great example of his PLN in action.  There is also Dave Broadfield (@davebroadfield), another guru of New Technologies and learning spaces, who has been at the forefront of innovation in primary education for 20 years. I also draw upon the considerable expertise of Steve Hall, senior lecturer at Staffordshire University, who is an expert in international collaborations between primary schools. Beyond education, I have worked very closely for many years with Malcolm Hurrell at New Mindsets, to help me develop my thinking around leadership, management and coaching, whilst another two National Leaders of Education, Peter Rubery, Principal at the Fallibroome Academy and Darran Lee, Executive Principal of the Learning Federation in Oldham, both continue to challenge me in my journey from best practice to next practice.

These people have helped to make me who I am and they continue to help me become the leader I would like to be. I met most of them through the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, a great network for educational transformation.


4 thoughts on “Energising Education

  1. Headship is i believe the most rewarding and mentally stimulating profession.

    Working with the SSAT primary network enables me to reflect and vision about learning and leadership. David Broadfield, Ann Aston, first introduced me to this wonderful network and i have never looked back. We continue to see the future!

    Thanks Neil

  2. I stumbled across your blog whilst researching alternatives for our current state education system, in response to the take over threat of academies and free schools.

    I am but a novice when it comes to the education system, and although i have a young child in school i know little about how schools are run (i suspect i am not alone here) However, i am learning! I have recently come across the Alberta education system in Canada (in particular Edmonton) I presume that you already know about this system and i wonder why state schools in the U.K. do not adopt a similar approach? It appears that schools in the U.K. only consider networking and sharing information completely with one another once they have become academies, and i am puzzled as to why this is. Please could you and others in the education system who read your blog (particularly heads) explain.

  3. It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people about this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

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