Education Panorama (February ’15) by @TeacherToolkit

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Education Panorama Newsletter by @TeacherToolkit


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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This monthly newsletter is dedicated to Paul Ginnis who passed away on Friday 30th January 2015

Education Panorama

If you are new to this monthly newsletter, you can expect to find the following:

  • Education: all the links to my @TeacherToolkit articles I have shared over the past 30 days,
  • Panorama: plus the blogs that have caught @TeacherToolkit‘s eye online, plus any interesting events in the real world of education.

In The Educational Panorama February 2015 edition – this monthly newsletter aims to capture a summary of everything from the online edu-sphere of bloggers and tweeters across the UK. In my January 2015 newsletter I shared over 40 blogs on teaching and learning which 6,000+ of you chose to read.

This month, politics continues to dominates many blogs and as I predicted last month, this appears to be continuing on until the general election in May 2015. February sees the sad passing of Paul Ginnis, the original Teacher’s Toolkit man who has shaped many – including me – in our classroom practice.

We are approaching half-term and this February edition features some blogs from me – as usual – on range of topics, plus many more from other bloggers new and old. It’s all here! By the time I write my next Education Panorama, we’ll be into exam season and I’ll be back from Canada(!), following my first ever international gig!

Until then, enjoy the read and keep warm …


  1. My Education Panorama (January’15) newsletter gathering in over 7,000 readers.
  2. The Potential Fate of School Leaders Everywhere challenged school leaders to avoid becoming a bad egg!
  3. After 6 months, I finally published Thirty Words in 30 Seconds. Why not print it off for your staff-room?
  4. The Celebrity Teacher, a blog about the rise of the celebrity, perhaps cult-like, teaching profession.
  5. A Reliable Ofsted? A blog about the need for Ofsted to become reliable by @headguruteacher and @harfordsean.
  6. Ding A-Ling, A-Ling; a light-hearted blog, yet seriously important message about getting the smaller details right, within a bigger picture.
  7. A very popular blog; What is the Point of Copying Lesson Objectives?
  8. An alternative approach to CPD: Speed Dating Bring and Brag.
  9. A blog about the BETT Show and Twittering teachers meeting each other in the flesh! The @Bett_Show Selfie.
  10. Believe it or not, I was nominated for The 500 Most Influential People in Britain!
  11. I then blogged about the VIP Debretts 500 Party and share a few celebrity VIP selfies …
  12. Power from the Floor is a blog about marking and a common-sense approach to teacher-workload.
  13. And a follow-up on monitoring book-looks across the school with; Taking a Look at Books.

Bike Snow Cold Bicycle

Image: Photo Credit: Lothann


Here are the blogs I’ve noticed over the past 30 days. As ever, it’s difficult to keep up with so many wonderful blogs as more teachers blog online. I’ve read as much as I can to represent the blogs that have ‘pricked the ears’ of all those who talk about all-things-education.

Teaching and Learning:

  1. Inclusion … and a robust behaviour policy carefully applied, does more good than harm. To include or not to include? by @judeenright
  2. Exploring Key Stage 3 Science Example Lesson Plans by @r_brooks1
  3. I Object to Learning Objectives by @RPD1972
  4. Developing our in-house system for improving teaching by @headguruteacher
  5. “Creating positive habits to improve daily practice is where we should begin;” argues @Te4chL3arn in That’s Just Typical!
  6. @IPEVO Making Teaching and Learning More Visible by @LeadingLearner captures the use of a small device with a series of photographs.

CPD / WellBeing:

  1. A blog by @Sue_Cowley. Tie Your Leg to the Desk is seasoned advice after a month abstaining from Twitter!
  2. A wellbeing Nuture1415, written by @MissKMcD, using The 5 Minute Wellbeing Plan.
  3. There are many motivations for blogging. Idealism takes hard knocks and Negotiating The Path Ahead is part of the process and a one-off blog by someone I have sadly, yet to identify.
  4. “You go ahead and I’ll follow after.” A lovely, reflective and popular blog by @atharby; Keeping It Simple in 2015.
  5. This Much I Know About … The Workload Debate by @JohnTomsett
  6. Sharing Practice Meetings by Myton School, Warwick, via @annaloualton. Some great CPD ideas here!
  7. And another great set of CPD ideas here too by Myton School, with Celebrating CPD!


  1. The Problem with Journal Access for Teachers by @HuntingEnglish.
  2. Impington Village College has published a journal featuring research carried out by teachers. The journal was launched at a college ‘researchmeet.’ It is well worth downloading here. If only all our schools could produce this kind of material …?

Leadership / OfSTED / DfE / Politics:

  1. A Meeting with Tristram Hunt MP by @ImagineInquiry
  2. @Cherrylkd and her take on the meeting with Tristram Hunt. A Positive Meeting.
  3. And another viewpoint; A Meeting with Tristram Hunt, by @DebraKidd
  4. and also The Hunt Goes On! by @Thought_Weavers
  5. Looking Back on 2014 as @headguruteacher leaves King Edward Grammar School in Chelmsford.
  6. Mrs Morgan – how sad that we have come to this by @StephenPerse
  7. A Market in Children by @DisIdealist.

Twitter / Blogging:

  1. One of the main reasons I enjoy being on Twitter is the chance to discuss education with teachers all over the world,” says @ImagineInquiry in his blog, Some Principles For Debating on Twitter.
  2. My Top 5 of 2014, a blog by @PEteachAbbey and a top 5 list of tweeters, blogs and books from 2014.
  3. A List of Lists from @CarmelHeath in the USA, providing an interesting list of podcasts, blogs, accounts and more …
  4. “2015 is to start to blog this year – at least I am listening to me, even if no-one else is.” Nurture1415 by @thepetitioner
  5. Reading and Evaluating blogs by an Assistant Curriculum Leader of English.
  6. Inspiration for my own blog, The Celebrity Teacher, South Korea’s Celebrity Teachers Make Millions and Flirt With Fame.

Something New:


Check out @StaffRM, a new forum for teachers new to blogging:

There are already hundreds of blogposts.


Top-blogs of the month:

I’ve selected five blogs for this February 2015 edition.

Favourite educational blogs
Favourite educational blogs


  1. The first blog is by @headguruteacher in which he says;

“… I reject the idea that schools can be judged in a meaningful way via inspections … I’ll need to play the system the way it is.  Those inspectors had better know their stuff – because we will be on it like they won’t believe! It’s our agenda, not theirs and I’m not having my teachers dance to any tune but our own. ”

This raised a response from @harfordsean, National Director for Ofsted which has lead to double-Ofsted inspections and reliability.

Read his blog, Ofsted Outstanding? Just Gimme Some Truth.

  1. The second blog is The Perfect Storm : Gove’s Teacher Shortage by @DisIdealist;

“… when there are no applicants for the chance to sit behind the headteacher’s desk; then politicians will HAVE to act.That crisis will be here sooner than any of us suspect, I think.”

  1. My third blog is by @HuntingEnglish;

” … it took time to establish my writing in the early days, but the habit grew – luckily, and to my surprise, an audience grew also. It became a virtuous circle …”

Read, Teacher Blogging and how to get started.


Image: Alex Quigley

4. Sneaking into next month’s edition, is my fourth blog, “It Seems I Won’t Be Joining The College Of Teaching” by @OldAndrewUK. Andrew quite rightly argues about the need for a College of Teaching to ‘have the best interests of teachers at heart.’

“Membership will be open to all with an interest in education but chartered membership status will, in the first instance, be developed for and only available to practising classroom teachers.”

What do you think? Should a College of Teachers welcome those who do not teach in classrooms?

5. Finally, and probably a blog that makes the hairs of my neck stand upright, my fifth (and favourite) blog from my choice of top blogs. A call to all bloggers by @hibs1974 with A short Blog on School Performance Tables. Paul says;

“Imagine if every single state secondary school decided to act together and do what was right for the kids and not the performance tables. Imagine that.  Imagine if we all refused to be dictated to by our place on the performance tables and all stood together to decry them as nonsense.”

Can we start a coordinated blog-campaign?

Have a great half-term!


‘Saving teachers time and money!’

Tweet – @TeacherToolkit – The most followed teacher on Twitter in the UK.
Web – – Ranked the no. 1 educational blog in the UK.






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