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Showing posts from November, 2018

Parental Engagement: time for more rhetoric or meaningful change?

'Parental engagement in supporting learning in the home is the single most important changeable factor in student achievement' (Harris and Goodall 2007)

I have been thinking a lot about parental engagement recently. As part of some work with Connect (formerly SPTC), I have been helping develop and deliver some professional learning models around this crucial area of school work. As I have worked with colleagues, and read more, I have come to better understand the impact that deep meaningful change in this area could have, as well as how a lot of lip-service has been paid to true collaboration and engagement with parents, and the wider community, by schools and systems. This needs to change.

In Scotland the value of parental engagement has been widely recognised and is a key element of national and local policies. The work of Alma Harris and Janet Goodall is only part of a rich research base that has been used to inform policy and legislation. Work in Australia, Scotland the US…

The mechanics of teaching

When I was training to be a teacher, and I do mean training, in the early 1970s, I was able to buy my first car. This was helped in no short measure by a full student grant, and three years in fully-funded student accommodation. Those were the days! Anyway, I bought my first car for £120 and it was a mini-van of some age already when I became its proud new owner. At last, freedom and the ability to spread my wings beyond the immediate confines of Didsbury and Greater Manchester, as well as the vagaries of the public transport system, for the wide open roads that were to lead me to North Wales, the Derbyshire hills, the Pennines and the North Yorks Moors. I had developed an interest in potholing, which explains my destinations of travel on many weekends. I was also now able to get home to Tyneside easier too, casting off the shackles of British Rail and their fictional timetabling.

As a newly qualified and independent driver, I learnt many things, one of which was that, though iconic, …