Renata Joseph, headteacher at Saint Cecilia’s Church of England School in Wandsworth, London, shared her reflections with us on the theme of women in leadership and education.
I was very sorry to hear of the death of Professor Sir Tim Brighouse on 15 December 2023. I had the privilege of working with Tim when he was in Birmingham. The headteachers admired and loved him.
“What do you even know about leadership? You’re a woman, and someone who has only been here for a short time!” This was a question, levied at me by a parent who sat in my reception area verbally abusing the receptionist and conducting a ‘sit in’ until he spoke to the headteacher.
This week Sir Martyn Oliver gave his first full interview to The Times newspaper. Whilst we await further details, he gave some key indications about the likely direction of travel. Ofsted have also published a formal response to the report following the inquest into the tragic death of Ruth Perry.
Having recently moved from being a headteacher to Senior Education Lead with SSAT, I have been reflecting a great deal on the nature of school improvement.
School leaders have long known that the attendance and punctuality of pupils is of the utmost importance. As a former headteacher, I began each termly Celebration Assembly with awards for the best and most improved attendance awards. The students would know beforehand that I was going to tell them that great attendance was the most important factor in the academic and social successes that are what schools are all about. Attendance matters. It always has.
Attendance is at the top of every school leaders’ priority list, with persistent absenteeism rates rising to 24.2% in the Autumn term of 22/23. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving attendance, and the effectiveness of interventions is context-dependent.
In this second article by Ndah Mbawa from Happier Every Chapter, she highlights her top choices for diverse and inclusive titles as we approach the festive season.
Back in April 2019, I wrote a blog looking back at what had been my 40 years working in education. What I didn’t mention then was the band of trailblazers and journeymen/women politicians who were in charge of education during that time. I’m talking about the 23 men and women who held the office of secretary of state for education from September 1979 until the present day.
With a general election on the horizon, the major political parties are starting to set out their vision for the future of education. SSAT has a proud history of championing the voices of school leaders and working collaboratively with academics and thought leaders to produce fresh thinking.