All entries for April 2018

April 30, 2018

CES–CTE #WomenEd Festival of Leadership: Saturday June 9th 2018 – Hannah Wilson and Deb Outhwaite

CES-CTE #WomenEd Festival of Leadership: Saturday June 9th 2018

Hannah Wilson and Deb Outhwaite

University of Warwick staff from both the Centre for Education Studies (CES) and the Centre for Teacher Education (CTE) are hosting an event for 200 women teachers and leaders involved in the grassroots #WomenEd Twitter movement, that now has more than 18,000 members. The Saturday June 9th event, to be hosted on the Westwood Campus at Warwick is a ‘Festival of Leadership’ celebrating educational research with women teachers and leaders in education. We have both our own Provost Chris Ennew, and the Sheffield Hallam University Provost Christina Hughes; both our Directors of Education Centres: Emma Smith and Kate Ireland and keynotes from Professor Farzana Shain (Keele) and Jaswinder Dhillon (Worcester).

What is #WomenEd?

#WomenEd is a collaborative network and the values of #WomenEd have evolved as the community grows. Our main mission, however, is now concrete – to inspire and empower more women in education to become leaders. We have also identified a set of principles that we call ‘The 8 C’s’, in accordance with which we will aim to:

  • Confidence: coaching our community to be 10% braver
  • Clarify the issues
  • Communicate the solutions
  • Connect existing and aspiring leaders
  • Create an inclusive and interactive community
  • Collaborate and share experiences
  • Challenge the systemic barriers
  • affect Change, by collating evidence demonstrating the impact of inclusive/diverse leadership models

Regional Structure

#WomenEd was founded by seven educational leaders from various backgrounds and sectors. To increase our capacity and our reach, we have since recruited 60 volunteers around the country to co-lead our activities in 12 regions across the country, including Scotland and Northern Ireland. In the East and West Midlands we are really lucky to have some of the high profile names in gender and educational leadership such as Professors Farzana Shain and Jaswinder Dhillon who are doing our Keynotes, and also an Associate Professor Kay Fuller at the University of Nottingham, who is an expert on women and headship, and co-convenes the BELMAS RIG on Gender and Educational Leadership:

Together, #WomenEd plans to identify and meet the local needs of women in education, and create a series of bespoke regional events. Throughout the year, our volunteer Regional Leaders connect and collaborate at a series of events, where they will identify regional priorities and plan regional activities. The 12 regions each have their own group within the #WomenEd community in which to share ideas, resources and opportunities. Come and join in!

So if you are interested in #heforshe, and live or work somewhere in our Midlands region, why not come and join us on Saturday June 9th for our Festival of Leadership? Tickets available here:

Any questions or queries to Deb Outhwaite:

April 23, 2018

An intern’s perspective – Andrew Petrie

Andrew Petrie, a teacher at King Edward’s School, is measuring the impact of ICT on learning outcomes in his project. This post is linked to the post written by Jocelyn D’Arcy at King Edward’s School, Birmingham.

There were many reasons that motivated me to sign up for the internship program across the KES consortium. Firstly, I saw it as an opportunity to observe good practice in another school environment whilst also sharing some of my own skills in return. In addition to this, it allowed me to research an area of my own interest in more depth and tied in reasonably well with my Masters studies into the use of technology in the classroom. Finally, as an aspiring middle manager I felt it was an opportunity to add something unique to my CV that represented a driven and reflective teacher with the ability to drive forward new initiatives.

The research is focusing on the usefulness of technology in the classroom with one of the initial challenges being the matching of the aims of the school placement with what is achievable in a small scale research project. Whilst it is hoped that the research will provide some insight into the impact of technology on attainment, it is difficult to provide any conclusive evidence within the timescale of the current research. Observations and interviews with a series of staff that might consider themselves ‘techie’ or technophobes have been conducted with the aim of gaining a rounded picture of the potential benefits or limitations of using technology. The feedback provided in these interviews and observations will add direction when forming a questionnaire for the whole staff of the placement school.

After reviewing the results, I hope a clear picture will form regarding the use of technology across the school, its problems and benefits and the impact it has on student learning. After reflecting upon these results I will consider what advice I might offer the Senior Leadership Team of the school, and offer to provide a CPD session for any interested staff. It is my hope that I might add some of the ideas acquired from interviews and observations with staff to my own teaching practice as well as adding something new to my own school environment.

The Schools of King Edward VI Internship Programme – Jocelyn D’Arcy

Of the nine schools in the foundation, two are selective independent, five are single sex selective state, one is co-educational selective state and one is a co-educational non-selective academy. Given the extreme diversity of our schools, collaboration within the foundation has not always been a strength! Sub-groups of the schools work very closely together, but others see each other more as competitors than potential collaborators. The internship programme was launched in September as a means of beginning to collaborate more effectively, share good practice across the foundation and develop the teachers in each of our schools.


The Internship Programme is a free programme that provides aspiring middle and senior leaders with the opportunity to gain experience in another school while acting in the capacity of a consultant. Host schools benefit from the expertise and knowledge of an ambitious practitioner reviewing a developmental priority area forthe school.


Phase I:

Each year, schools are invited to submit:

a) A list of issues on which they would welcome an external perspective (e.g. a review of an initiative in the school’s development plan or of a subject department to help inform self-evaluation). Some examples for possible projects include: quality of homework provision, Oxbridge programmes, strategies for teaching girls or coaching systems. It is also possible to review a particular subject or aspect of school life.

b) A list of the members of staff, probably middle leaders or aspiring middle leaders, who have been identified as being likely to benefit from an opportunity to broaden their leadership skills. Each school has their own process for identifying these staff members, but the process might include applications, or it might be incorporated into the performance management or CPD process.

Phase II:

Potential interns receive an email congratulating them on their nomination for an internship and inviting them to complete a questionnaire. This email is not a guarantee of an internship as that is dependent upon the allocation process.

Phase III:

The Internship Liaison Officer uses the questionnaires to match interns with projects and notifies host schools and successful interns with an email containing contact details, project brief and general expectations for scope and timescales of the internship project as well as the date and time for the central training. S/he also emails any unsuccessful applicants with brief feedback on their applications.

Phase IV:

Teachers selected for an internship receive training on areas such as qualitative research design, report writing and presentation skills before starting their projects. Clear expectations on confidentiality are included in the training. The training is delivered centrally through the King Edward’s Consortium.

Phase V:

The format of the projects will vary widely depending on the nature of the brief but could involve staff/pupil/parent questionnaires or face to face interviews. Following analysis of the data, a written report and/or oral presentation to the school’s SLT will be made. The amount of time an intern might then need to spend in the host school will vary depending on the nature of the project but likely timescales include:

  • Initial meetings to agree brief and methodology: half day
  • Data collection (interviews etc): one day
  • Presentation of report and findings to school’s SLT: half day (or twilight)

If the methodology involved questionnaires, these could be administered remotely and thus reduce the face to face time commitment.

Phase VI:

Interns complete an online review of the programme; reflecting on their own development as well as offering insight into the programme. This information is collated by the Internship Liaison Officer and distributed to the headteachers of participating schools to inform future allocations for the next intern cohort.

In its inaugural year, we have 25 interns engaged in 25 different research projects exploring questions such as ‘How can we create truly independent learners at KS5?’, ‘Real stretch and challenge for the most able learners’ and ‘How does homework support the students’ mastery of their learning?'. We are excited to see how being an intern has developed teachers within the foundation while improving our schools.

April 16, 2018

What can mainstream schools learn from those working with Special Educational Needs pupils?

What can mainstream schools learn from those working with Special Educational Needs pupils? - Rebekah

On Friday 23rd March 2018, guest speakers arrived at the Centre for Teacher Education Inclusion Conference. The focus of the conference was teaching strategies for students with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Discussions have often led to trainee teachers asking ‘that’s great in an autistic school, or an inclusion centre, but how exactly can these techniques inform my own practice?’ This is a tricky subject, yet one that must be faced in mainstream schooling. As such, here are the seven ideas I feel my colleagues could take away from the conference:

1. To think of dyslexia as a learning preference rather than an impairment could vastly improve the teaching of dyslexic students. Dyslexic students achieve best when they are taught the concept first, then the concept alongside the operation. This then allows them to develop the operation before finally allowing them to gain mastery over the operation.

2. Whilst more males than females are diagnosed with autism, this does not mean that there are less females with autism. Teenage girls are incredibly adept at copying the behaviours of one another – be sure to look out for changes in behaviour or challenges faced by the girls in your classrooms.

3. The ‘Theory of Mind’ suggests that Autism is a self-centered condition. Autistic students struggle to empathise and take other people’s feelings and emotions into account, trying using “I hear what you’re saying but…”

4. Students with Autism can definitely achieve GCSEs and make progress, it’s all about how you guide them. There are many ways to support students, but one that stuck out was to give clear explanations of what the words in each exam question mean and clear time limits for each question/mark.

5. A neuro-typical person understands verbal communication mostly through body language, imagine how difficult that is if you cannot read the body? For a neuro-typical person we understand verbal communication in three ways: 7% through the spoken word; 38% through the tone of voice and intonation and 55% through body language. For those that struggle to read body language you must always choose your words carefully and try to keep a straight face.

6. Everyone has the ability to perform at 100%, but there are three factors stopping each and every one of us from performing at this level. 1) Knowledge – do we know how to succeed? 2) External Factors – do we have the equipment or the space to complete the task? 3) Internal Factors – what inside us stops us from achieving? Is it fear of failure? Support your students in these three ways and everyone can achieve.

7. Yes, differentiating for autism and dyslexia in mainstream schooling is difficult, but there are many ways to make teaching better for all, not just for those with a special educational need. By making subtle differentiation, all will benefit.

Many thanks to Gareth Hobson, David Lisowski, Shivaun Moriarty, Lisa Batch, Sarah Heckle and Kate Foxton whose sessions have informed the writing of this article.

April 09, 2018

BELMAS Leadership Preparation and Development Research Interest Group – Dr Deborah Outhwaite

What is a RIG?

This summary explains the Leadership Preparation and Development RIG: what its aims are; how to get involved; what the benefits are of participation. As we all know, education policy is a fast-moving area. Consequently, Research Interest Groups (RIGs) are established when a group of academic colleagues team up with a group of practitioners to discuss and research the changes that are happening in a particular area. The BELMAS ( Leadership, Preparation and Development Research Interest Group is open to all those who have an interest in researching leadership development in its broadest sense, including educational leaders, researchers and research students. Its aim is to build a forum and network capable of generating and facilitating exchange and partnership on a continuing basis across the full range of research interests, professional contexts and contemporary issues relating to leadership development, and the ways in which we prepare leaders in education for their roles.

The group might appeal to colleagues researching the changes in leadership preparation and development. This could include colleagues researching social policy, Initial Teacher Education, postgraduate education, those involved in CPD, those involved with recent NCTL developments as it becomes part of the DfE from April 2018, those involved in SSIF and TLIF bids, and so on.

Benefits from participation include:

  • Membership of a community of researchers engaged in advancing the understanding of leadership development
  • The opportunity to collaborate or correspond with colleagues engaged in similar studies, research or activity
  • The opportunity to identify and explore contemporary issues linked to leadership development
  • Participation in future events specifically covering issues related to leadership development

Networking and further information on this RIG's activities will take place in the members' area of the BELMAS website. Membership is free for the first year, if you apply before April 1st 2018.

Why should I be involved?

For teachers who are busy, but interested in their landscape, a RIG meeting is a day where a lot of connections can be made between researchers and practitioners that everyone benefits from. For students of educational leadership at all levels, a RIG is a great way to ‘dip your toe’ into an event to see if you like it, and the people involved, before you commit the time (or the money!) to attending a whole conference. Many RIGs (or SIGs as they are called in some organizations) hold free or day-cost only events where teachers, researchers, and students can present posters; research; or listen to panel events from experts on our changing educational landscapes.

Current Research:

We have just finished working on a Special Edition of the SAGE Management in Education journal to be published Easter 2018, on Leadership Preparation and Development:

If you would like to come along to any events, and see what we do, please register on our Leadership Preparation and Development RIG page on the BELMAS website, or contact, we look forward to you joining us.

April 03, 2018

What is WJETT? – Dr Deborah Outhwaite and Dr John Thornby

WJETT is a new journal that was first printed in June 2017, from a grant secured by us from the University of Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL).

It is intended for an audience of practising teachers and school leaders but submissions should nevertheless be rigorous and presented in the journal’s approved academic style. WJETT welcomes submissions from first-time authors and support will be offered to such individuals in order to help them to present their work in an appropriate way. Articles will be blind peer-reviewed.

WJETT’s official web page can be found at: Here you will find template documents, guidance for authors and copyright information. Please direct all queries to

Call for Papers

The Centre for Teacher Education is proud to announce the call for papers for the second issue of its teaching journal, WJETT – due summer 2018. WJETT is a platform to disseminate best practice and is an opportunity for practising teachers and senior leaders within schools to share their innovations in teaching and learning. This includes (but is not limited to) practitioner research, whole school initiatives and case studies as well as issues relating to educational leadership, professional development and teacher education.

The journal publishes articles in a range of formats (see below) as well as regular columns and content from invited contributors. WJETT is intended as a catalyst to bring the communities of teaching and educational research closer together, with a view to promoting evidence-based practice within classrooms, across our partnership of schools and beyond. These goals are closely aligned to the new Standards for Teachers’ Professional Development: (published July 2016) and the renewed drive for teaching to become a more evidence-informed profession over the last few years, see the work from Education Endowment Fund and the Chartered College of Teaching.

WJETT will publish a variety of content:

Research Articles (5,000 - 8,000 words)

  • Empirical Research
  • Theoretical Research
  • Case Study

Review Articles (1,000 - 5,000 words)

  • Literature reviews
  • Book reviews

Conversation (3,000 - 5,000 words)

  • Interviews with academics, policy makers, government, think tanks etc.

Critical Reflection (1,000 - 3,000 words)

  • Reflection on a conference, symposium or workshop
  • Shorter, focused discussion of emerging research
  • Highlights of important research in your field and its significance
  • Personal reflection on practice

This project has been funded by the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning at the University of Warwick, and is supported by staff within the university library, please do consider writing for us!

April 2018

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