It has been a while!
And a question I have posing myself in my own mind is ‘What drives change in an educational setting?’ Who is responsible in the organisation for ensuring that the change is pupil-focussed? Are change drivers always ideological in their nature or do they need to be realistic in their approach to what a real school setting is like?
I have a ridiculous and somewhat frustrating rose tinted outlook towards change drivers in schools, that aspects like changes in an organisational culture (MAT creation) and systems and external drivers like curriculum evolution and summative indicators can be fielded and pressure diverted away from coal face, the pupils, those that need a stable, strong and forward thinking system, Burke and Litwin (92).
Identifying these areas of development and dealing with the implications for pupils and staff will always impact positively on them, but as the government persist with this ridiculous notion and process of league tabling these external measures will take the focus away from what schools purpose is, to help the pupils no matter what their starting point.
Grading. Why? How does this help? why not actually visit an establishment if you want to know what the learning environment is like? Schools would welcome visitors, a chance to show them the day-to-day lives of the pupils, a chance for their pupils to interact with visitors to show their maturity.
But do we actually need to keep staff informed about everything or should we as leaders cushion them slightly from the drivers that they have no control over? Do they need to know about positions in league tables etc?
I honestly believe that at each strata in complex system like schools there needs to exist an element of ‘pressure protection’. We in SLT need to look after our middle leaders, shielding them from external factors that may impinge their ability to make positive decisions for their pupils. In turn, the teachers/staff need to protect the pupils from these external pressures, creating an intrinsic motivation to learn, rather than pupils having to feel they have to get through the content to pass.
We continue to help our pupils develop an intrinsic motivation in their learning, and the same must be for our establishments. WE must want to change and move forward rather than being told we must change. I really like this blog from ‘Headsmart’ about how Ofsted should not be the driver for change. Think it says it perfectly.