Cutting Through The Waffle

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Cutting Through The Waffle SSAT Conference Workload


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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How would you reduce the burden of marking, planning and teaching for teachers?

To reduce the burden placed upon teachers was the focus for my presentation at the @SSAT national conference held this week in Manchester. ‘Cutting Through The Waffle‘ was the title of my presentation.

National Conference:

I’m all for keeping high standards in everything we do with teaching and learning, but I’m also a stickler for cutting corners. If this means that we can work smarter rather than harder, then that’s a win-win for everyone.

On Friday, December 4th 2015, I delivered a keynote at the SSAT National Conference: Leading Learning.

SSAT national conference

The SSAT National Conference focus was on two principles that underpins all excellent education systems: quality and equity. If each individual school, and our society as a whole, is serious about social mobility then we have to continue closing the gap while raising the overall quality of teaching and learning … On this particular point, John Dunford, ex-ASCL president and DfE National Pupil Premium Champion delivered a sublime message about closing the gap. His blog is here.

The theme of the day and my presentation focuses on putting learning at the heart of school leadership. Teachers and school leaders who attended debated about the curriculum, assessment after levels, CPD and staff learning, whole-school pedagogy, student voice and co-construction, and evidence-informed practice. There were also some excellent performances by students!


In my presentation, I discuss a common-sense approach in leading teaching and learning; workload and staff well-being.

I explain the context of the school that I work in, the challenges that we are facing, as well as the risks in teaching and learning we are taking to encourage risk and creativity; this is despite the external pressures of working and being judged in a specific category.  I explain the differences between an open and closed accountability model, as well as experienced and new teachers needing to move with the times in order to work smarter, not harder.


Here are some photos taken from the audience. I will publish official photos and videos here once I receive them.

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I can’t quite believe I managed to whizz through 150 slides in 40 minute;  I even had 3 minutes to spare! Proof that you can cut through the waffle! You can download my full presentation here.

Before you do, please click a tweet of thanks.

Cutting Through The Waffle SSAT Conference Workload


You can read my interview in SecEd magazine for the national conference here. In it, I explain  some the ideas that we are implementing in our school, as well as some of my own ideas for shaping teacher-pedagogy nationally.

Thank you to the SSAT for a great event.

@TeacherToolkit photo Ross McGill SSAT conference


@TeacherToolkit logo new book Vitruvian man TT


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