An Education Tour of Duty by @TeacherToolkit

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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Over the past two weeks, I have been on the educational tour of duty across London and parts of England. This blog is a snapshot of what’s been going on in my world …

Teachers are doing it for themselves; with the help of some brilliant institutions! In this blog you will find report, videos, data, photos and a few Twitterati selfies!


The evening of Monday 30th June, saw the Teacher Development Trust host their Summer Celebration Tea in the Members’ Dining Room in the Houses of Parliament. In the room, networking between the 150 guests, which included policy makers, NTEN school representatives, GoodCPDGuide providers and Trustees. The event marked the launch of the trust’s Annual Report 2014.

Teacher Development TrustConversations in the room paused for founder David Weston to say a few words about how far the Teacher Development Trust has come in the two years since it began, and its mission to achieve access to powerful professional development for all teachers. He outlined the eight policy recommendations released in the Annual Report that would see effective CPD in schools and colleges helping children succeed.

Teacher Development TrustIt was a splendid event and the TDT must feel incredibly proud! Note, there was no vino; otherwise, the only selfie I managed to take may have become increasingly messy as the evening progressed which was probably a good thing! It was a fabulous evening and @InformedEdu should feel very proud indeed. I’ll be signing my new school up to The National Teacher Enquiry Network (NTEN) in September. As for the evening, it’s easier if I let the video do all the talking.


On Thursday 3 July, Future Leaders launched their 2014 Impact Report at a very early breakfast meeting. Evidence in this year’s report shows that schools led by Future Leaders are improving faster than the national average. Highlights include:

Future Leaders
In 2013, Future Leaders headteachers increased the proportion of disadvantaged students getting 5+ A-C GCSEs (including English and maths) by an average of 4.2 percentage points. This outstrips the national improvement of 2.4 percentage points and the average improvement in similar schools of 2.6 percentage points.  Overall 5+ A-C GCSEs (including English and maths) results also rose in Future Leaders heads schools by 4.1 percentage points, compared to 2.1 percentage points in similar schools.

Future Leaders


The report represents a small part of what Future Leaders are doing to improve the education of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Please contact FLs if you would like to find out more about what headteachers are achieving across the country. You can download the full Impact Report here.


On (the evening of) Wednesday 9th and (during the day of) Thursday 10th July, The Education Reform Summit 2014 was hosted by The Education Foundation in partnership with the Department for Education and gathered educators and reformers from across the UK and globally. It provided an opportunity to hear from inspirational school leaders, teachers and politicians who are transforming education systems across the world. The first summit (of its kind) included a group of 200 of the country’s top school and education leaders – me? – to celebrate the existing achievements of great educators, raise ambition and build consensus about where reform should go next, and inspire people to create change on the ground. The Think Tank (@EdnFoundation) founder’s Ty Goddard and Ian Fordham has achieved so much from one year ago when I first attended one of their opening events. This summit focused on the following themes:

  • Celebration: What should we celebrate most about our current education system?
  • Ambition: What is your ambition for England’s schools?
  • Inspiration: Who or what has been your biggest inspiration within education?


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You can find some superb photography captured here in Day 1 at St. James’ Palace, and Day 2 here at The Emmanuel Centre in Westminster. It was a magnificent event. I met many great leaders and a few more of my Twitter followers. I managed to grab a couple of selfies with new friends; plus ‘you-know-who‘ and this crazy man!

Headteacher Tom Sherrington provides a superb overview of the event: Unleashing Greatness? Education Reform in Action and is worth a read from a school leader’s perspective. In the words of Dr. Sarah Nelson, who I heard speak at @BELMASConf 2014 below, “If we are able to organise ourselves, we can shift policy and change politicians!”

You can find Michael Gove’s speech here.


On Friday 11th to Sunday 13th July, BELMAS annual conference took place – this time, in Stratford Upon Avon – where members who work as school or college leaders and academic leadership and policy researchers mostly throughout the UK gather together. Member from 75 different countries around the world also attend. They are united by a common interest in how research and evidence can inform and enhance practice. For the past two years, I have been tasked with the challenge of bridging the ‘gap between academic research and classroom practice’, using  @SLTeachMeet as a CPD model during the annual conference.

The BELMAS conference is unique in bringing together researchers into leadership and management from universities, and those who work in schools and colleges in the UK. This is enriched at conference time by  international members who attend each year from places (and educational systems) as diverse as the US, Canada, Africa and Asia; from small schools in Australia to urban schools in Chicago. The conference offers innovative ways of presenting research, practice, or policy issue. The differing formats offer all delegates opportunities to think, discuss and share experiences of research and practice.

I will post their summary of the weekend here… as I have only just left the event.


For the 5th ever @SLTeachMeet held across the UK, a large gathering of educators took CPD into their own hands. This was organised for teachers and academics who want to listen to inspiring educators who do amazing things in their work every day. There were 10 great presenters which I have listed below:

1. Developing research culture: spreading the bug by @HelenaMarsh81
2. Management with colours; making progress visible by @listerkev3. Trainee Teachers & Learning from Lesson Observations by @Runrober
4. Teacher-led CPD by @jkfairclough
5. Researchers and practitioners - stronger together by @LCLL_Director
6. The Professional Doctorate - being an insider and an outsider by @jillberry102
7. The quick wins of research by @MaryMyatt
8. Some Ideas for Qualitative Research by Dr. @cazzwebbo
9. Balancing teaching and parenting by @thosethatcan
10. How research could change your (teaching) life: confessions of a research convert by @lucindapreston

I will upload each presentations on this page shortly ...


SLTeachMeet BELMASThe TeachMeet was trending at some point throughout the day and the archives from the event can be found here.

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There are some superb photos online too.

SLteachMeet photos

As for me, I’m now taking a back seat during August to concentrate on completing my second book. It’s been a great end to a busy academic year and thank you for reading.

And a few selfie’s to finish off. Cheers!


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