I am in a hotel for a conference. I am going to be discussing the future of Britain’s education with some incredible minds.
I am scared and my chimps are going mad.
I am on the exercise bike in the gym trying to get focussed.
In order to focus, I am going to remind myself of what I believe about education.
You should only teach if you care that every child in your school is loveable and can succeed. If you only want to teach middle or upper class children, avoid comprehensive education.
Teachers have the power to impact on the lives of children and therefore on the future. This is a massive privilege and responsibility.
This should be made clear in initial teacher training.
Teachers are very, very, very important and needed to be treated as such.
Parents and carers are very, very, very important and need to be treated as such. All of them.
Teachers who are not doing a good enough job in helping every child to learn need to be supported to do a good enough job.
Parents who are not doing a good enough job in helping every child to learn need to be supported to do a good enough job. Schools can play a big part here.
School leaders need to be prepared to work very hard, talk the talk and walk the walk. The 35 hour week does not apply.
Every teacher needs to be highly informed about the purpose of education, child development, attachment, adverse childhood experiences, mindset and nurture.
The job of a school is to help a child learn about the world and to help them find their place in the world.
The purpose of secondary education is to help children become adults who make the most of life and make sensible choices. The teenage years are incredibly complex and exciting and we need to understand the related psychological and neuroscientific fields.
We all need to keep learning and reflecting. Self awareness in teachers is crucial.
Political decisions about education should never be made by people who have not been successful teachers or educators.
Decisions about education must be based on evidence based practice and never a knee-jerk.
A long-term view is crucial.
Inclusion is not one experience…or maybe not even one environment …fits all.
Assessment. Hmmmm. We must measure what we value and not value what we can measure. Some important things cannot be assessed easily.
The community should be at the heart of a school and the school should be at the heart of a community. Governance structures should be arranged accordingly.
Education should be at the heart of society and society should be at the heart of education.
Soundbites? Maybe. Nothing much new. But what I believe.
What do I know…?