The impact of #SLTchat across the UK by @EducationGovUK

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Over the past 13 months, I have watched @SLTchat grow and establish the #SLTchat hashtag for education on social-media. This has not been a solo effort and one I wish to highlight here.

What is @SLTchat?

#SLTchat  – the hashtag stands for Senior Leadership Team chat, which is a popular forum for all teachers interested in school leadership across the UK. The conversation takes place online, via Twitter between 8pm – 8.30pm every Sunday.

The Department of Education:

Today, at 7pm on Sunday 15th September 2013, The Department for Education published the film below via their Twitter account, @EducationGovUK.

"This is amazing. This is incredible CPD"  @EducationGovUK
“This is amazing. This is incredible CPD” @EducationGovUK

I have been keeping this video under my hat, since June 2013 when I was first asked to be part of the DfE’s new online series of videos. This video is great news for the @SLTchat community and is high-praise for senior leadership across the UK.

One point I do wish to make, is that the DfE are unlcear how to engage senior teachers across the UK. By showcasing @SLTchat, they are highlighting what ‘they would really like to be doing’.

You can watch the 3 minute clip below.

The recording:

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How did @SLTchat start?

@SLTchat started off with a simple TwitPoll back on Friday 31st August 2012. The forum itself – as it still does today – takes place for 30 minutes only – once a week. After a successful first forum, the SLTchat poll and hashtag moved and established itself throughout September 2012 on a Sunday evening and that is where it has remained. You can see me presenting the growth of @SLTchat at #TMEssex (my first ever TeachMeet) at @HeadGuruTeacher (Tom Sherrington)’s school, King Edward Grammar School in Chelmsford, Essex on the 19th November 2012.

The core purpose:

  • to include all teachers who are currently in school leadership across the UK.
  • for those teachers who aspire to be in a school leadership team/position and,
  • for anyone in education who is interested in what senior teachers are discussing up and down the country. This could include school business managers, who may hold senior teacher positions in school, or HMI inspectors and educational consultants.

Of course, the forum is a perfect opportunity to open up the debate for all and allow Twitterverse teachers to discuss their senior leadership experiences and strategic ideas. There is a detailed blogpost here, describing how the concept started and the initial journey.

How it works?

  • Topics are suggested here.
  • Hosts are suggested here.
  • Poll published mid-week via Polldaddy.
  • The top two voted topics are selected for discussion between 8.00-8.30pm.
  • The format is 30 minutes in length with each question debated for 15 minutes.
  • Everyone joins in the chat and the hosts (so far), listed below to all they can to keep us in control.

Behind the scenes?

  • A host is self-nominated; self-elected and/or chosen.
  • Six topics are chosen by the host.
  • A 25 bullet-point ‘order of events’ document is shared with hosts.
  • The poll is published.
  • The most voted topic is discussed during the last 15 minutes between 8.15-8.30pm.
  • The reason for the fast-paced timings were to mimic life as a senior teacher.
  • The person hosting @SLTchat for the 30 minutes can experience over 1,000+ tweets on the timeline.
  • There is a recent push to keep the hashtag clean; absent from adverts and blogposts during the 30 minutes.

What is @SLTchat?

@SLTchat hosts 2012-13:

With thanks to the following for giving up their time to host @SLTchat.

  1. Secondary Assistant Headteacher (Me) @TeacherToolkit
  2. Primary Deputy Headteacher @MrLockyer
  3. Secondary Deputy Headteacher @KevBartle
  4. Secondary Headteacher @HeadGuruTeacher
  5. Secondary Assistant Headteacher @DevelopingTandL
  6. Secondary Assistant Headteacher @MsFindlater
  7. Primary Headteacher @RachelOrr
  8. Secondary Deputy Headteacher @SimonWarburton
  9. Primary Headteacher @SuperStylynne
  10. Secondary Deputy Headteacher @SSGill76
  11. Secondary Assistant Headteacher @ded2je
  12. Secondary Deputy Headteacher @MsDonaldson82
  13. Middle leader @jim1982
  14. Secondary Assistant Headteacher @chrishildrew
  15. Secondary Assistant Headteacher @MrCaffrey
  16. Secondary Headteacher @SteveThursbyMA
  17. Secondary Assistant Headteacher @bms_mrharrold
  18. Deputy Headteacher @mickkay2
  19. Middle leader @foxymusiced
  20. Middle leader @trueenglish365
  21. Deputy Headteacher @educulling

Apologies if I have missed anyone!

The Archives:

All the SLTchat archives are published each week and can be found on Storify here. I have listed all the topics here on this page and provided you with a snapshot of content that has been discussed over the past academic year below:

@SLTchat archives - click to view
@SLTchat archives – click to view
  1. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 8th September 2013 – Independent learning and Sharing good practice.
  2. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 1st September 2013 – Ofsted changes and Qualities of a senior leader.
  3. SLTchat archive for Sunday 15th July – Not archived.
  4. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 7th July – Weekly SLT meetings and Narrowing the Gap.
  5. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 30th June 2013 – Good to Outstanding
  6. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 23rd June 2013 – Low morale
  7. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 16th June 2013 – Whole-school use of feedback and Whole-school independent learning.
  8. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 9th June 2013 – Performance Related Pay and Raising T & L standards.
  9. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 2nd June 2013 – Low motivation and Requires Improvement teachers.
  10. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 19th May 2013 – Resilience of students and Strategies used to promote high performing teams.
  11. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 12th May 2013 – Pastoral care/well-being and Assessing teacher performance?
  12. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 5th May 2013 – Engage with parents & How to raise staff morale.
  13. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 28th April 2013 – Advice for joining SLT
  14. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 21st April 2013 – PPA time & Challenges facing schools.
  15. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 14th April 2013 – not archived.
  16. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 24th March 2013 – (Draft Primary Curriculum Consultation)
  17. #SLTchat archives for Sunday 17th March 2013 – (Supporting middle leaders & Managing difficult conversations)
  18. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 10th March 2013 – (Independence & Using data to inform planning)
  19. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 3rd March 2013 – ( Whole School Vision & Strategies for closing the gap)
  20. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 24th February 2013 – (Parental Engagement)
  21. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 17th February 2013 – not archived
  22. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 10th February 2013 – not archived
  23. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 3rd February 2013 (Assessment & Broken relationships)
  24. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 27th January 2013 (Middle Leadership & Data)
  25. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 20th January 2013 (Attainment & Middle Leadership)
  26. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 13th January 2013 (CPD & Susscessful SLT teams)
  27. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 16th December 2012. (Staff mtgs & Keeping SLT sharp!)
  28. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 9th December 2012. (DfE curriculum consultation)
  29. #SLTchat archive for Sunday 2nd December 2012. (Morale Boosters & Middle Leadership capacity)
  30. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 25th November 2012 (Motivating Middle Leaders & School Improvement)
  31. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 18th November 2012 (New Curriuculum & Good starts to lessons)
  32. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 11th November 2012 (Time for teachers to teach & Time management)
  33. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 4th November 2012 – Halloween special (What would you burn? & Weird days as an SLT)
  34. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 28th October 2012 (Year 11 intervention & Underperforming SLT)
  35. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 21st October 2012 (Good to Outstanding & Whole-school literacy strategies)
  36. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 14th October 2012 (Lesson feedback & Independent learning)
  37. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 7th October 2012 (Ideas for teaching and learning & Having that difficult conversation)
  38. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 30th September 2012 (Top 3 staff well-being ideas & What makes a good AHT/DHT?)
  39. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 23rd September 2012 (Getting ready for Ofsted & Making staff accountable)
  40. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 16th September 2012 (Year 11 intervention & Embedding resilience)
  41. #SLTchat: archive for Sunday 9th September 2012 (Top 5 day-to-day strategies & Managing workload)
  42. #SLTchat archive for Friday 31st August 2012 (Tips for a new term in leadership & Leadership reading books)

Hosting @SLTchat:

If you would like to host @SLTchat in the future, sign up here.

@SLTchat outcomes:

As a result of @SLTchat, the following opportunities and ideas have evolved. @SLTeachMeet and recently @SLTcamp by @MrLockyer and @MsFindlater

#SLTeachMeet – click to view
@SLTcamp - click to view
@SLTcamp – click to view

and finally, if all the above is not evidence of SLTchat impact on leadership across the UK, maybe the image below may help.

@SLTchat trending across the UK on 8th September 2013 - just last week!
@SLTchat trending across the UK on 8th September 2013 – just last week!


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, a simple Twitter account which rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on Twitter in the UK'. He is an award winning teacher and an experienced school leader and as @TeacherToolkit, curated this website you are now reading as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in the Britain' by The Sunday Times and one of the most influential in the field of education. He is the only classroom teacher to feature. He is a former Teaching Award nominee for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School in London' and has also written 3 books on teaching. Read more here.

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