Merry Christmas to all our followers

This is just a quick post to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas. We will be returning on January 4, refreshed, refuelled and ready for another news-filled year.

It’s been an incredibly busy year for the education sector: the return of grammar schools, the argument over term time holidays, and the ongoing debate over academisation, to name just a few of the top stories covered this year.

It’s also been a year of change for this website. Back in April, Schools Improvement founder Tony Harbron announced that he was stepping down from daily SI operations. However, from May John Catt and Ink Education took over the day-to-day running of the site, allowing it to continue as before minus the 4am post preparation (sorry Tony, that’s bit too early for me!). The site and daily newsletter has continued to grow in popularity. We now have our own Facebook page – follow us if you haven’t already – which is on its way to become as successful as our twitter account.

We’re taking a break for the the festive period, and we wish you all a very peaceful Christmas. We’ll return in the New Year, at about the same time you are returning to your desks.

If you can’t do without us until then, here are the most-popular 5 posts of 2016:

  1. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers: The Michaela Way
    Michaela Community School in Wembley is one of the most talked-about schools in the UK. Here, Jo Facer, Head of English, reveals why staff at the school have decided to write a book, edited by Headmistress Katharine Birbalsingh, about their approach.
  2. Guest post: Marc Rowland’s 32 Pupil Premium ideas to magpie
    In this extract from the best-selling book An UPDATED Practical Guide to the Pupil Premium, Marc Rowland of the National Education Trust recommends some ideas for schools to borrow.
  3. Some academies ‘pay other schools to offload poor behaving students’
    The Telegraph is reporting claims that a study has found failing academies are paying other schools to take on disruptive pupils in a bid to boost standards quickly. 
  4. Outstanding pre-school downgraded to inadequate after staff sent parents photos taken on personal mobiles
    Kent Online is reporting that staff taking pictures of children with their personal phones has resulted in a previously ‘outstanding’ pre-school downgraded to inadequate following an Ofsted report.
  5. Student effort: the Holy Grail of school improvement?
    Stephen Adcock, deputy director of academies for United Learning, says the biggest determinant of students’ success will be the effort they are willing to commit to it.

With best wishes,

Tony, Alex, Jon, Meena, Sophie and the rest of the Schools Improvement team.

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