Keeping Creative

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In times of increasing accountability, how can schools and teachers stay creative?

On 10 October, A New Direction welcomed over 150 teachers and cultural educators to their annual conference at The British Library. It was an honour to be invited to speak on ‘Creativity in Schools’ – you can download my presentation in the footer.

This time last year, I posed a question: “Can creativity be cultivated in our current school system?” in a response to educationalist and historian Tim Leunig – Senior Policy Adviser to the Government – who argued that Sir Ken Robinson was wrong to declare “schools are killing creativity”.

Between us, I am the only person who can comment on how teachers are living recent policy and its impact on the ground; my keynote below shares my views of what’s actually going on in schools at a time when many are facing increasing pressure on time, money and space for the arts.


In the 30 minutes, I discuss funding, the English Baccalaureate and Jihadi John.

Throughout the day delegates took part in a range of practical workshops, attended expert panel discussions, and, crucially, got the chance to network and discuss how they as teachers, leaders and members of the cultural sector can continue to provide a balanced, broad and diverse education rich in arts and culture, for children and young people in London.


My presentation along with other resources from the day can be found here.


In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

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