42 remarkable leaders; how to navigate leadership styles; school improvement community now open

Hello everyone,

To mark the end of a remarkable year, I want to say a few thank yous to all you:

  1. School leaders and teachers, for your incredible service delivered under the most difficult circumstances.

  2. Leaders and teachers, who shared your wisdom via our 2020 webinars, podcasts, live chats and columns.

  3. Subscribers and members, for your support and engagement with We Are In Beta’s work.

Thank you.

We are going on a short break for a well earned rest. I hope you are too.


👋 If you’re a new subscriber, or you’ve joined us from a webinar, welcome!

⏪ Catch up with previous newsletters, podcasts and webinars via the archive at the bottom.



This week:

🎧 Podcasts: 20 remarkable leaders over 16 listens

🎥 Webinars: 22 remarkable leaders over 14 watches

📰 Column: Thoughts from an Exec. Head’s head about… leadership styles

🌐 Community news: Access Greenshaw School Improvement Community content


🎥 16 Remarkable Listens

Series 3 has come to a close. We’re taking a break while we work on Series 4. If you’d like to take part, keep your eyes peeled for a call for submissions… out soon.

In the meantime, picture yourself in the sun (SPF advised), a drink in your hand and wisdom in your ears… Got it?

Now check our podcast back catalogue to sort your summer listening.

Sort my summer listening

👂 Subscribe on Spotify | iTunes | Stitcher | Libsyn | TuneIn 🔉


🎥 14 Remarkable watches

Our Head of Helpfulness, Frances Ling, has put together this handy guide with links to every replay and all of the resources, from every webinar we’ve done this year.

Ooh, let's have a browse


📰 Thoughts from an Exec Head’s head about … leadership styles

You might think, after a first glance of this graphic, we’re encouraging you to avoid George McMillan (Exec. Head, Harris Federation) 😂.

Far from it. I can’t recommend the first of his fortnightly columns enough. This week he explores leadership styles.

He discusses why he failed his first leadership test, the 4 leadership styles he uses and how you can recognise when to deploy each one with the help of some scenarios you may well recognise.

He also sets out 3 practical next steps for you and your team.

I want to read this

If you’d like to share your learning, join our growing list of columnists. Email saar@weareinbeta.com.


🌐 Greenshaw School Improvement Community opens

Today It Begins

Last weekend applications to the Greenshaw School Improvement Community closed.

This week the community opened. We can’t wait to get started with this group of 600+ school leaders over the next 12 months.

If you missed the application deadline, you can still access some of the content even though you won’t be able to access the community itself.

Join the mailing list to make sure you don’t miss out.

Join the list

🗑️ If you did apply but you haven’t heard back, please check your spam and/or contact frances@weareinbeta.com.


Thanks for reading and playing your part in making education the place we all know it can be.

Have a great summer.

Speak soon.

@NiallAlcock


If you found this useful and want to get updates about great people doing great things in their school direct to your inbox, hit the button below.


🆕 New here? Catch up with previous editions, podcasts and webinars via the archive

️️❤️ If you’re excited about the summer, give us a ‘cheer’ below.

Can incremental coaching lead to a P8 of +1? Roadmap to renewal; Adopting edtech under pressure; What education can learn from industry

Ted Wragg Trust; Kiran Mahil (Central Foundation Girls School) & Hannah Dalton (UAE, Southbank); Christopher Harris (Spalding Grammar), and more.

Hello everyone,

At times we thought we might not make it. But here we are, heading into the final full week of the academic year. A challenging year. An unforgettable year. A year that has made us all reflect on what’s important. And what’s possible.

On behalf of the whole We Are In Beta team (Jay, Fran, Saar and me), I want to thank you for your support and for engaging with our work. A big thank you also to all of our guests and contributors for sharing their wisdom.

We’ll be in touch with details of our plans for next year soon.


👋 If you’re a new subscriber, or you’ve joined us from a webinar, welcome.

⏪ Catch up with previous newsletters, podcasts and webinars via the archive at the bottom.


This week:

🎥 Webinar: Teacher CPD like no other! Investing in Incremental Coaching

🎧 Podcast: Roadmap to Renewal

💬 Live chat: Adopting EdTech under pressure

📰 Column: Getting Down to Business… Or Maybe Not


🎥 Ted Wragg Trust - Teacher CPD like no other! Investing in Incremental Coaching

How do you make sure every teacher gets individualised feedback? And that this feedback is the right feedback? Given at the right time? And acted upon to make a difference?

One way is engaging in incremental coaching (IC).

IC has had a significant role in transforming Ted Wragg’s pupil outcomes and moving from high-stakes observations to a weekly development coaching entitlement for all staff.

On taking All Saints CofE Academy out of Special Measures, Ofsted commended the impact of this work.

Based on a case study of the implementation of IC at Marine Academy Plymouth from September 2019 they may have seen a predicted P8 increase of +1.0 had 2020 exams not been cancelled.

Join us on our final webinar of this term to find out how they did it by making it a trust-wide priority and access the resources they use to implement the strategy.

📅 Tuesday 14th July

🕕 6pm

Save my spot


🎧 Roadmap to Renewal

Obviously, things have changed a lot due to Covid-19, but what might not be obvious is how we’ll regain what we’ve lost over this period.

Kiran Mahil and friend Hannah Dalton, have designed a document, which helps schools to understand what has been lost and consider how they will respond.

It’s called the ‘Roadmap to Renewal’. In this episode - the last of this season - we talk about how it came to be and how it can help schools navigate the journey ahead.

👂 Subscribe on Spotify | iTunes | Stitcher | Libsyn | TuneIn 🔉

⏲️ 13 minute listen

📖 Access links to plus bonus content from the episode and the document we discussed here.

If you are a serving school leader or teacher, access our premium content for free, for a limited time here. Soon this will be the only place you can access it.

Listen


💬 Adopting EdTech under pressure

  • The current circumstances have been ideal for rapid roll-out of new technology.  How can we keep a mindset that extremely complex tasks can be done quickly?

  • How did your existing infrastructure cope?  Will the school VLE survive or will it be replaced by newer technologies?

  • Has the pandemic taught us that attitudes can change and could this lead to a major shift in teaching to a technology based approach?

  • Should it be an ambition to get a personal device accessible to every student in every school?  Is it even possible?

  • 2020 has demonstrated that the world has needed technology to keep businesses and economies surviving.  Could this technology capability start in school? Do we need a minimum expectation by the end of KS4?

Join us for “Team Up! Thursday” hosted by Christopher Harris (Head of Computer Science & ICT, Spalding Grammar School) who’ll be asking the questions and supporting you with your thoughts.

📅 Thursday 16th July

🕖 7pm

Save my spot


📰 Getting Down to Business… Or Maybe Not

As you know, we believe there is a lot to be positive about in schools. But there is also much we can learn from industry. What are we not learning from industry that could really benefit us as a sector?

David Ellison (Executive Principal, United Learning) explores the answers in his first fortnightly column for We Are In Beta.

Yes, I want to read this!


Thanks for reading and playing your part in making education the place we all know it can be.

Speak soon,

@NiallAlcock


If you found this useful and thought of colleagues and friends, who would too, share it with them by hitting the button below. Thanks!

Share


🆕 New here? Catch up with previous editions, podcasts and webinars via the archive

️️❤️ If you believe in collaboration, give us a ‘cheer’ below.

Recruiting for alignment; Resetting culture; What bubbles have taught us; Preparing for September.

Elroy Cahill, Claudenia Williams, Bhavin Tailor (Kingsley Academy, AET), Sharifa Lee (Dorney School); Mide Ola-Said (Ark John Keats); Katherine Brown et al. (Greenshaw Learning Trust)

Hello everyone,

With the DfE secondary guidance coming out (a tad late) and pubs opening (perhaps a bit early), this week seems to be all about timing.

With that in mind, we have something to help you look ahead to the short, medium and long terms. And we take a brief look back too to remind us how far we’ve come.

I hope you find it useful.


👋 If you’re a new subscriber, or you’ve joined us from a webinar, welcome.

⏪ Catch up with previous newsletters, podcasts and webinars via the archive at the bottom.


This week:

🎥 Webinar: Tales of Turnaround: Recruiting for Alignment

💬 Live chat: ‘Team Up! Thursday’ Resetting Culture in September

🎧 Podcast: So how’s ‘re-opening’ been? Bubble learnings

⏪  Catch up: Preparing for September Opening: Ask Us Anything

🌐 Community News: Last call for applications


🎥 Tales of Turnaround: Recruiting for Alignment

Great organisations are the ones who make sure they have the right people on the bus and in the right seats.

But how do you get the right people on the bus, especially when facing chaos?

In February 2019, Elroy Cahill became the 7th Headteacher at Kingsley Academy in just 6 years.

The academy was a serious cause for concern with a track record of under-performance and weak leadership.

18 months later:

  • Year 7 numbers have risen to over 150 for September (from 70)

  • No temporary or supply staff for the first time since the school opened in 2013 (previously 50%)

  • 97% of staff have confidence in leadership and 96% feel proud to work at Kingsley (up from a worrying 64% and 31% respectively)

  • Rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in October 2019 (following two successive RI judgements)

How? By getting the right people on the bus. By recruiting for alignment.

Join us to find how they did it and access the resources that helped them.

📅 Tuesday 7th July

🕕 6pm

Save my spot


💬 ‘Team Up! Thursday’ Resetting Culture in September

  • What steps are you taking to create time for a cultural and behavioural reset? 

  • How are you planing to engage pupils in thinking about the culture and behaviour you want to see in classrooms? 

  • How are you planning to engage staff in thinking about the culture and behaviour you would want to see amongst each other? 

  • What resources are you working on or planing to communicate clearly?

Join us for ‘Team Up! Thursday’ (live chat) to discuss your thoughts, concerns and plans around these questions.

Hosted by Mide Ola-Said (Vice Principal, Ark John Keats).

📅 Thursday 9th July

🕕 7pm

Count me in


🎧 So how’s ‘re-opening’ been?

Sharifa Lee is the Deputy Headteacher at Dorney School, Windsor.

In this episode - the penultimate of Series 3 - she shares how their bubbles were planned, how they changed and why.

She also reflects on what she and her team have learned and what she wishes they’d done differently.

Tune in to learn how she’ll be applying her learning in September and beyond Covid-19.

👂 Subscribe on Spotify | iTunes | Stitcher | Libsyn | TuneIn 🔉

⏲️ 14 minute listen

📖 Access links to plus bonus content from the episode here.

If you are a serving school leader or teacher, access our premium content for free, for a limited time here. Soon this will be the only place you can access it.

Listen


⏪ Preparing for September Opening: Ask Us Anything

On Thursday 2nd July, Greenshaw Learning Trust hosted a panel discussion to share their reflections and ideas from the DfE guidance for wider opening of schools in September. Questions they covered:

  • How are schools going to approach staggered starts?

  • What will you do during registration time?

  • How will you reduce the flow of students around the school?

  • How will you deal with break times/lunchtimes?

  • What will be your expected cleaning routines?

  • How are we going to approach catching up on lost learning?

  • Are you going to reduce the curriculum offer for pupils?

So far 730+ of you have tuned in.

If you haven’t yet, it is 🔥, so…

Catch up


🌐 Congratulations! Our Greenshaw School Improvement Cohort 2020/21. Last chance to apply.

We’ve been blown away by the quality of applications we received for the Greenshaw School Improvement Community - bringing together more than 300 leaders and teachers, from over 140 schools and 80 Local Authorities, all truly committed to creating positive change together!

If you haven’t applied, here’s your chance.

This post will guide you through the details of the programme and the application process.

Recruitment deadline is Sunday 12th July, but space is limited, so the sooner the better.

If you have applied, invite a colleague.

During the programme we will be working together. Outcomes can greatly improve by having your peers also take part with you.

Share this post on your social media or directly with a colleague.

15th July - the online community opens.


Thanks for reading and playing your part in making education the place we all know it can be.

Speak soon,

@NiallAlcock


If you found this useful and thought of colleagues and friends, who would too, share it with them by hitting the button below. Thanks!

Share


🆕 New here? Catch up with previous editions, podcasts and webinars via the archive

️️❤️ If you believe in collaboration, give us a ‘cheer’ below.

Activism takes action; How to map talent; What hundreds of leaders are doing

Chantelle Clarke (Frederick Bremer School); David Ellison (United Learning); Greenshaw Learning Trust

Hello everyone,

This weekend was meant to be Glastonbury weekend. Whilst 200,000 people (myself included) will be gutted not to be there, these days everyone can enjoy incredible sets on the iPlayer from anywhere.

How does this relate to schools you might ask?

There is incredible stuff happening in schools up and down the country. But not everyone can access it equitably. That’s why the We Are In Beta team finds and shares great practice at scale, so we can all learn from it.

We - schools - Are In Beta - always learning.


👋 If you’re a new subscriber, or you’ve joined us from a webinar, welcome.

⏪ Catch up with previous newsletters, podcasts and webinars via the archive at the bottom.


This week:

🎧 Podcast: Activism takes action

🎥 Webinar: Diamonds in the rough: mapping talent

🌐 Community News: time’s running out to join hundreds of other school leaders


🎧 Podcast: Activism takes action

As an organisation, We Are In Beta did not say anything publicly to show our solidarity with Black Lives Matter in the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. We should have.

Chantelle Clarke, Head of Department (Frederick Bremer School) and host of Black Women Working Podcast shares her thoughts with our producer, Jay, and challenges us to take action.

She tells us what we should all do now to tackle racism and what we can all do, consistently and constantly, to ensure activism takes action.

👂 Subscribe on Spotify | iTunes | Stitcher | Libsyn | TuneIn 🔉

⏲️ 16 minute listen

📖 Access links to plus bonus content from the episode here.

If you are a serving school leader or teacher, access our premium content for free, for a limited time here. Soon this will be the only place you can access it.

Listen


🎥 Webinar: Diamonds in the rough: mapping talent

As the new academic year approaches, you’ll be thinking about how you get the best from your team. You might be asking questions like:

  • How do you identify your high potential and high performing colleagues?

  • How to do you know which staff are performing less well?

  • How do you find out why?

  • How do you guarantee they get the right CPD to thrive?

  • How do you define ‘performance’ and ‘potential’?

  • How do you avoid this process being used as a stick of accountability?

David Ellison is a Primary Executive Principal at United Learning Trust, across three primary schools in East London.

As an Assistant, and later Deputy Head, he was part of the team that transformed Foxfield Primary School from Special Measures to Outstanding.  He and his team also led Goresbrook School from Requires Improvement to a borderline Outstanding in just two years.

When asked about his proudest achievements, it's the people he’s developed he recalls. He has mentored no fewer than six of his colleagues to become headteachers. 

Join us to find out how and access the resources he uses to do it.

📅 Tuesday 30th June

🕑 2pm

Save my spot


🌐 We Are In Beta Community News

On 17th June, we ran a webinar in partnership with Greenshaw Learning Trust where they shared how they keep the complex simple. Over 840 of you have tuned into watch. Thank you.

If you haven’t watched, catch up here.

Together we announced a brand new, online programme, which will show you how they’ve tackled 10 persistent problems to achieve their remarkable school turnarounds.

Each module has:

📚 Pre-reading
🎥 Webinar
📎 School improvement resources
⭐ Challenges to trial back in your school
🎤 ‘Ask Us Anything’ panel discussions with Greenshaw leaders
💬 Direct live chats with fellow learners and Greenshaw leaders

Open to all academies and local authority schools but spaces limited. Group applications with at least 2 colleagues from the same school/MAT favoured.

Applications closing and programme starting soon.

Learn more + apply


Thanks for reading and playing your part in making education the place we all know it can be.

Speak soon,

@NiallAlcock


If you found this useful and thought of colleagues and friends, who would too, share it with them by hitting the button below. Thanks!

Share


🆕 New here? Catch up with previous editions, podcasts and webinars via the archive

️️❤️ If you believe in collaboration, give us a ‘cheer’ below.

10 persistent problems & how Greenshaw tackle them; rebranding attendance; what AP can teach us about building belonging

Greenshaw Learning Trust; Anita Woodward-Benn (University of Brighton Academies Trust); Caron Johnson (The Rowans AP)

Hello everyone!

At the end of a week when schools were given a lot of money to fund catch up tuition, which is turning out to be not so free after all, We Are In Beta is in your inbox announcing something very cool which absolutely is.


👋 If you’re a new subscriber, or you’ve joined us from our webinars, a very warm welcome to you!

⏪ Catch up with previous newsletters, podcasts and webinars via the archive at the bottom.


This week:

🌐 Community News: a first of its kind school improvement programme

🎧 Podcast: Rebranding Attendance

🎥 Webinar: Building Belonging: what can we all learn from AP?


🌐 We Are In Beta Community News

As many of you know, this week we hosted a webinar for 650+ colleagues in partnership with The Greenshaw Learning Trust.

Will Smith (CEO), Ben Parnell (Director of Education) and Izzy Ambrose (Headteacher, Yate Academy) shared how they keep the complex simple to achieve their impressive outcomes. If you missed it, catch up via the button below.

Together we also announced a brand new, online programme, which will show you how they’ve tackled 10 persistent problems to achieve their remarkable school turnarounds.

Each module has:

📚 Pre-reading
🎥 Webinar
📎 School improvement resources
⭐ Challenges to trial back in your school
🎤 ‘Ask Us Anything’ panel discussions with Greenshaw leaders
💬 Direct live chats with fellow learners and Greenshaw leaders

Open to all academies and local authority schools but spaces limited. Group applications with at least 2 colleagues from the same school/MAT favoured.

Starting soon. Apply early to avoid missing out.

Learn more + apply


🎧 Rebranding Attendance

You could say attendance officers have a reputation for being the rule keepers, the punishment issuers.

But Anita Woodward-Benn - Attendance Manager, University of Brighton Academies Trust - thinks differently. She thinks attendance practitioners could and should be the front line of support for families.

Why? How? Tune in to find out.

👂 Subscribe on Spotify | iTunes | Stitcher | Libsyn | TuneIn 🔉

⏲️ 17 minute listen

📖 Access links to resources and organisations Anita mentions plus bonus content from the episode here.

If you are a serving school leader or teacher, access our premium content for free, for a limited time here. Soon this will be the only place you can access it.

Listen


🎥 Webinar: Caron Johnson, The Rowans AP Academy. Building Belonging: what can we all learn from AP?

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that togetherness is vital.

If many children continue to learn remotely, especially those who are shielding, we will all need work with parents more closely than ever.

When Caron Johnson arrived at what was then called Silverbank in 2009, there was no curriculum, no enrichment and incredibly low expectations.

Now The Rowans AP Academy is graded outstanding by Ofsted and achieves outcomes significantly higher than national average despite the local challenges of high deprivation, low aspirations and high exclusion rates.

The school is also leading the national conversation about how we serve the most vulnerable learners as part of The Difference programme.

Join us to find out how they’ve done it by building belonging using an ‘assets-based’ approach.

📆 Tuesday 23rd June 2020

🕕 6.00pm

Don’t miss the resources Caron will share with attendees.

Save my spot


Thanks for reading and playing your part in making education the place we all know it can be.

Speak soon,

@NiallAlcock


If you found this useful and thought of colleagues and friends, who would too, share it with them by hitting the button below. Thanks!

Share


🆕 New here? Catch up with previous editions, podcasts and webinars via the archive

️️❤️ If you believe in collaboration, give us a ‘cheer’ below.

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