The Ladybird Book of Edu-Twitter

Reading Time: 5 minutes

What have been your education highlights over the past 12 months?

This post is a contribution by Andrew Percival.

This Christmas I put together some pages for an imaginary book I called ‘The Ladybird Book of Edu-Twitter’ to sum up the past twelve months in education and give something back to the wonderful folk on Twitter. This is the story of how it all began, in the style of the 2016 Key Stage 2 reading test. (Andrew Percival)

“Dawn was casting spun-gold threads across a grey sky over Oldham’s finest leading supermarket on the morning of the last day of term. I trawled the aisles of the shop looking for suitable Christmas gifts for my colleagues at school.  After purchasing a selection of ‘Ladybird Books for Grown Ups’ I plodded, like some arthritic pony from the local stables, back to my car. An early morning North Manchester chorus of dirty pigeons and stray dogs provided a soundtrack.

I pranced skittishly into school and headed for my colleagues’ classrooms. Inside, the teaching assistants milled around in bewilderment taking down displays and tidying dark corners.  I shared the Ladybird books and good times were had reading our favourite pages out loud. An idea began to crystallize.

Later that evening I drove home on the A627(M), a thoughtful smile on my lips. What if I created a few pages from an imaginary Ladybird book to pay homage to some of those who had inspired me and challenged my thinking on Twitter? ‘The Ladybird Book of Edu-Twitter’ might be an interesting way to summarise the year in education – even if it was only to an audience of H.I.P.P.O.S (Helpful, Inspiring People Populating Online Space). So I did, and here are the pages …”

Page 1:

This page features Deputy Headteacher Michael Tidd who tweets at @MichaelT1979. He gave evidence at the Education Select Committee in December 2016 regarding the precarious position of teacher assessment within the DfE’s accountability measures.

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Page 2:

This page features OfSTED’s National Director Sean Harford who tweets at @HarfordSean. Sean spent a lot of 2016 ‘busting myths’ about what Ofsted expect to see in schools.

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Page 3:

This page was inspired by the ongoing debate about the most effective approach to teaching. Supporters of both sides use Twitter as their primary battleground.

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Page 4:

This page features data analyst and advisor James Pembroke who tweets at @jpembroke. In September 2016, he blogged about ‘The Progress Loophole of Despair’ here.

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Page 5:

This page was inspired by Sean Harford’s workshop at the SSAT 2016 conference in December where he re-emphasised that OfSTED would be taking a more thorough look at the wider curriculum during inspection.

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Page 6:

The page reflected the turmoil and uncertainty around the new floor standards.

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Page 7:

This page was inspired by the events in May 2016 when the KS1 and 2 grammar tests were published online prior to the delivery of the tests.

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Page 8:

This page features Headteacher and children’s literature aficionado, Simon Smith who tweets at @smithsmm. He lives near Whitby.

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Page 9:

This page was inspired by Theresa May, and her decision to resuscitate the idea of expanding grammar schools in September 2016.

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Page 10:

This page was inspired by the much-discussed Michaela Community School in Brent, London who tweet at @MCSBrent. As part of their lunchtime routine, the children learn poetry off by heart.

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Page 11:

This page reflects the publication of The Rochford Review in October 2016 (which can be found here). The report featured a new range of descriptors to assess children with special educational needs.

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Page 12:

This page features English consultant and blogger, Maddy Barnes who tweets at @MoonMaddy.

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Page 13:

This page features English consultant and Herts For Learning blogger, Martin Galway who tweets at @GalwayMr.

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Page 14:

This page features the author and CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching, Dame Alison Peacock who tweets at @AlisonMPeacock. This year ,Alison helped to organise the grassroots ‘Beyond Levels’ conferences across the country focusing on improving and taming assessment practices.

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Page 15:

This page was inspired by the announcement from the previous Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, that parties to celebrate the end of tests in Key Stage 2 should stop.

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Page 16:

This page was inspired by the growing online discussion about teacher wellbeing during 2016, with a large number of blogs being written on the subject.

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There is a great version of this book on Twitter (as a Moment) by Andrew Percival. I think you will agree, this is a great summary by Percival and an idea, inspired!


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.