Chair’s Blog

Pre-election period may be keeping a lid on some of our TSC activity but there are still children and young people up and down the country who deserve the very best. In my first of what I hope to be regular updates over the coming weeks and months, I hope to keep you up-to-speed with what is going on in the Teaching Schools Council and some of the things that have arrived in my in-tray as Chair.

I am delighted to represent Teaching Schools and NLEs as part of NAHTs latest commission exploring school improvement. There is so much to celebrate within our system but inequality still remains in parts of the country hit by deep-seated community issues. Schools alone cannot make the much needed difference in these areas; it will need cooperation and collaboration from a number of agencies.

I have also recently spoken at the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) CPD forum, again, exploring the future landscape. I am looking forward to joining colleagues at the Westminster Education Forum’s policy conference discussing improvement and attainment, partnerships, and the Free Schools programme within the school system next month.

Over the last 12 months I have been asked by many when education might become a priority?

But, as school leaders, do we need to wait for permission if our goal is to make a difference. Over time, many have challenged the sector. For example, back in ’16, then NSC David Carter told us to ‘abandon the past’ and ‘dare to be different’. Is it true that the only thing that is stopping us is … us?

There is so much that is working within our schools; there is so much to share across our schools; there is so much expertise within the sector.

Funding is both a barrier and an excuse – discuss…

We have to work within the constraints seen by some but must galvanise the commitment and moral imperative shared by all. I believe now is the time for all school leaders to ‘abandon the past’; now is the time that we ‘dare to be different’. This collective, collaborative effort will need bold leadership, it will need schools to work beyond geographical and structural barriers and will require the needs of children and young people in every community being placed at the heart of such collective efforts. A forensic approach to current needs and the collective capacity of all can make further progress and can make our school system even stronger. If what are you are doing is impacting positively on the life chances of children and young people, who’s going to stop you? 

Richard Gill
TSC Chair