Change of plan, thanks and condolences; how we are helping schools leaders connect.

12 big questions; 3 relevant resources; 4 articles written by our members

Hello listeners and subscribers,

After a brief break, I have something very exciting to share with you!

We’ve been working on something that will completely change the way we do things, improve these updates and empower you to connect and share with other We Are In Beta Community members in real time.

What’s in store today?

  • A change of plan, thanks and condolences

  • How we are helping school leaders to share practice

  • 12 big questions being asked on our new community platform

  • 3 relevant resources to help at this time

  • 4 awesome articles written by our members on the new community platform

Change of plan, thanks, condolences

🧭 After three months of research, fixing dates and getting parental permissions, understandably all of our face to face interviews for Series 3 of the We Are In Beta Podcast were postponed last week.

Thank you to everyone who’s been involved so far. We hope to get them going again when we can. In the mean time we’ll be running a new format of the podcast. More at the bottom.

🙏 I want to thank all the teachers and school leaders (and other key workers) for delivering such an incredible public service in recent days. And to express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the school leaders (and others), who have lost their lives.

How we are helping school leaders to share practice

📢 Last week (true to our brand promise: we’ll never be finished and we’ll always be learning), we released the beta version of the We Are In Beta Community platform.

🌐 Now school leaders can access our content and news more easily, connect with others more deeply and share their approaches in real time.

📝We’ve been testing it with our podcast guests and a small number of our most engaged listeners and subscribers.

🙌 The response has been amazing!

In a free, dedicated group, over the last 10 days, school and trust leaders have been supporting each other to tackle the challenges they currently face. They’ve been asking big questions and sharing helpful solutions.

If you are a serving school leader and you want to join this pilot, click the button below and I’ll send you a private invite link.

Get an invite link

12 big questions

🤔 This week has thrown up some big questions, with many still to be answered. Here are some already being discussed on the new We Are In Beta Community website:

  1. How are you ensuring your FSM students will be able to eat?

  2. What protocols are you putting in place for social distancing / virus control in schools? Best medical guidance for staff rota making?

  3. What key documents have you put together that would be helpful to share with everyone?

  4. How are you supporting your students and teachers to learn and teach from home? How are people planning for asynchronous remote teaching for primary age children? 

  5. How will you keep the gap between more vulnerable and disadvantaged children and less vulnerable and disadvantaged peers to a minimum?

  6. How are you supporting families in light of school closures?

  7. How are you supporting and staying connected with your teams?

  8. How are you approaching hub provision and working with other schools?

  9. How are you approaching next term?

  10. How are you going to manage recruitment processes if we don’t see a return to school after Easter?

  11. Now that you have been forced to change how do things look and work in the short term, how can education come back differently after?

  12. How will the coronavirus closures affect school budgets?

Read their answers

3 Relevant Resources

🗒️ In just over a week, We Are In Beta Community members have already shared hundreds of nuggets of support, including: letters to parents, staff and students; guides for staff and students on how to use online learning resources; new policies and protocols; staff rotas; photos; words of advice and tales of inspiration; and a national campaign. Here are 3 of the best:

  • Google Classroom resources Headteacher Shonogh Pilgrim & Ansford Academy have spent the last 4 years building.

  • Strategic plan for summer term (student learning, staff CPD and wellbeing) from Manny Botwe - Headteacher, Tytherington School.

  • Headteachers’ Google Drive including template letters, virtual school materials, HR guidance and working from home resources from Will Smith - CEO, Greenshaw Learning Trust. Get in touch with Nicola Borrow directly.

Get resources

4 Awesome Articles

✍️ Members have been writing their own articles on the platform, as well as posting questions, sharing documents and listing jobs. Here are 4 of the first articles to be written:

  • 'Remote job interviews: some thoughts' by Clare Fletcher, Director of Schools, at YARE Education Trust.

  • 'Reflections on the importance of culture during exceptional times' by Manny Botwe, Headteacher at Tytherington School, Macclesfield.

  • 'How to smash a virtual job interview' by Will Mackintosh, Headteacher at Ark John Keats.

  • ‘Using Microsoft Teams’ by Chris Harris - Head of Computer Science and ICT, Spalding Grammar School.

Read (and write) articles

🎙️For now, a new format of the podcast

We can’t visit schools to record the very best sound right now but we still have the podcast. Over the coming weeks we’ll be releasing 10-15 minute calls, 2 to 3 times a week, sometimes hosted by Jay - We Are In Beta’s producer - and other times me. All to create some connection, celebrate how schools are innovating and explore the questions on their minds. If you’re innovating and want to take part, get in touch.

Thanks for reading.

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

Speak soon,


Catch up on We Are In Beta Series 2

🎧 While you’re here, catch up on Series 2 of the podcast:

Listen on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Libsyn | TuneIn 🔉

Catch up on PiXL Pearls (a We Are In Beta production)

🎧 ‘Best of me, best of we’. The late Sir John Rowling shares how we can get the best out of ourselves and each other.

Listen on Apple Podcasts Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn 🔉

️️❤️ If you find being connected to other school leaders and sharing approaches useful, hit the like button.

The Women of We Are In Beta

IWD2020: Introducing our new shero & recognising 21 incredible women

Hello listeners and subscribers,

Happy international Women’s Day 2020!

At the back end of October 2019, having secured some funding earlier in the year, I was getting ready to write a job advert for a new role at We Are In Beta to help serve and grow the community.

Unsure about exactly where to start, I tweeted tentatively about it. To my delight I was given a friendly and very helpful nudge to get going with posting the role. The genie was out of the bottle. I stopped procrastinating, wrote the ad and tweeted with 10% more bravery.

Our new shero

36,492 impressions, 878 job ad clicks, 96 applications, 6 incredible final round candidates, 2 rounds of interviews and 2 months of really hard work later, I’m delighted (albeit rather belatedly!) to introduce our new shero, Frances Ling.

I’m incredibly proud that Frances has become the third member of the team at We Are In Beta. She moved from Ambition Institute in January to be our Head of Helpfulness.

To find out what that means and how she can help you promote your school, connect you with members of the community and even do that bit of research into what other schools are up that you haven’t quite found the time to do yet, hit the button below.

How Frances can help you

21 incredible women

On International Women’s Day 2020 I want to recognise the incredible women who have played a significant part in getting We Are In Beta to where it is today.

If you are looking for inspiration, you’ve come to the right place.

All of these amazing women have seen problems in the system and tackled them head on. I am truly grateful they have shared their stories.

If you haven’t heard them yet I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as we enjoyed making them. 👇

Evelyn Forde

Headteacher, Coptall School

🎧 BAME leadership: how do we make it more representative in schools?


Clare Rees

Headteacher, Havelock Primary School

🎧 How to build trust in schools by creating a coaching culture.


Hannah Wilson

Former Executive Headteacher, Aureus Primary and Secondary and Head of Secondary School Teacher Training, University of Buckingham

🎧 How to create a mentally healthy school.


Linda Emmett

Linda Emmett, Headteacher, All Saints Catholic College, Cheshire

🎧 How to create a culture of absolute joy on the journey out of special measures.


Leann Swaine

Headteacher, East Barnet School

🎧 Call To Action: Going Phone Free. How to enact whole school behaviour change.


Lisa Farmer

Co-Headteacher, Thomas Russell Infants School

🎧 Two heads are better than one.


Emma Sheppard

Lead teacher, Harris Morden and founder, MTPT Project

🎧 Two heads are better than one.


Amy Brookes, Catriona Jenkins, Hannah Turbet & Lucy O’Healan

Co-founders of The Shared Headship Network

🎧 Two heads are better than one.


Sue Plant

Head of School, John Taylor Free School

🎧 The Jigsaw Puzzle.


Lucy Rose & Lindsay East

Co-founders, Flexible Teacher Talent

🎧 The Jigsaw Puzzle.


Marie Gentles & Katie L'Aimable, Lucy Mattison

Former Head & Deputy Headteacher, teacher - Hawkswood Primary PRU

🎧 Behaviour Is Communication.


Claire Cuthbert, Dawn Pare & Natalie Elliott

CEO, Operations and Marketing Lead, SLT & English Lead - Evolve Trust

🎧 Blind Recruitment.


Allana Gay

Headteacher, Vita Et Pax Preparatory School

🎧 Critical Mass.


Thank you to all of these incredible women for being a part of We Are In Beta and sharing their experiences, knowledge and expertise with us.

You can find links to all of the resources, research and recommendations mentioned in all of these episodes via the archive.

Take me to episode resources

If you found this collection inspiring and want more inspiration direct to you inbox every Sunday hit the button below.

Thanks for reading.

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

Speak soon,


❤️ If you know or admire these women give them a cheer. Hit the like button.

💬 Let these phenomenal leaders know what you think of them in the comments of this post.

🎙️Like discovering new podcasts? Check out Find That Pod. Nominate us while you’re there.

What are you up to? #7

We Are In Beta Community News: celebrations, funding, events, jobs, blogs, pods, news and more.

This is the free We Are In Beta Podcast Newsletter - written by me, Niall Alcock. We - the education community - Are In Beta - always learning. Sign up to learn how school leaders are tackling the big issues in schools.

Thank you to everyone who said hello last week after I admitted I’d been spying on you. 🕵️

It’s been great to get to know so many of you, learn about what you’re working on and, where I can, share it in this week’s We Are In Beta Community News.

If you’re a new subscriber or didn’t get round to it last week, tell me a bit about yourself if you’d like to share what you do with the community. It’ll also help me ensure We Are In Beta is as useful to you as possible.

This week’s been about working out how to share more of our research and interviews with you in different ways - looking for a someone who loves education, learning and writing to turn our audio into blogs which ooze positivity, practicality and personality. Perhaps that’s you? I'd love to hear from you.

We’ve been developing an approach to finding and sharing case studies that are hidden beneath the data. More on that soon.

Work on Series 3 continues. So does the second part of our project with PiXL (pic below). And we’ve been working with a MAT to digitise and share the approaches to school improvement.

We’ve been getting ready to start fundraising and there’s a new website on the way too. So a few things going on!

(Colette Firth - Executive Headteacher St Johns Church School & Winyates Primary School, Rachel Johnson - PiXL Leader & Patrick Cozier - Headteacher Highgate Wood School recording The PiXL Leadership Bookclub - coming soon).

We Are In Beta Community News

As usual I’ve curated a bunch of great stuff you listeners and subscribers are up to. To thank you for being a part of this journey. To fuel growth and connect people throughout the community.

This week you’ve served up:

  • 4 celebrations 🎉

  • 1 award/funding opportunity 💰

  • 7 events 📆

  • 6 blogs 📃

  • 2 books 📚

  • 3 pods 🎧

  • 1 video 🎬

  • 10+ jobs 💼

  • 7 resources and ideas💡

  • 3 press mentions 📰

  • 6 professional development opportunities 👩‍🏫

  • 4 opportunities to connect and collaborate on projects 🤝

  • 1 chance to be kind ❤️

Celebrations 🎉

Holly Power is a winner of the #TimewisePower50, flying the flag for flex in the education sector. Congratulations.

Rob Carpenter, Nav Sanghara and team at Inspire Partnership are celebrating Elaine Primary in Strood being the most improved school in Medway Towns.

They are also celebrating the addition of Delce Academy to their growing trust. Catch up on Rob’s We Are In Beta interview here.

Sam Butters, Gina Cicerone, Siwan Davies and team at the Fair Education Alliance are celebrating launching as an independent charity working with 150 organistions to tackle entrenched education problems. Congrats team!

Awards and funding 💰

The Fair Education Alliance team also invite you to apply for The Innovation Award. They are offering salary, advice, official endorsement and office space. An award I benefitted from and will be forever grateful for when it was part of Teach First. Apply here.

Events 📆

Alison Woodward encourages you to get behind the Visible Governance In Schools Campaign and invites you to free Spring networking sessions for school governors and trustees in Norfolk. 3rd and 9th March.

Josie Mingay and Brad Nash are hosting a Dive Deeper session on the Tutor Reading Programme at Henley Bank High School. 4th March.

Will Mackintosh and Dennis Simms have planned, and invites you to the Teach First Heads Forward School Leadership Summit. We Are In Beta guests Ed Vainker and Elroy Cahill will be speaking too. 7th March. Catch up on their We Are In Beta Interviews here.

Allan Osborne is speaking on ‘Leading with Authenticity’ at BrewEd East London. 7th March.

Nav Sanghara invites you to Inspire Partnership’s fist recruitment event in Croydon at West Thornton Primary. Competitive salaries, innovative CPD, networking with outstanding schools and leader progression up for grabs. 10th March.

Allana Gay, Penny Rabiger & Rachel Warwick are speaking at ASCL Annual Conference. Consider whether your school's take on diverse leadership is more about promise or practice. Tickets here. 13th-14th March. Catch up on Allana’s We Are In Beta podcast here.

Andrew Lifford invites you to ‘DiscussEd’ - an opportunity for anyone interested in the world of education to come together, meet new people, listen and discuss issues and trends. It’s designed to be accessible to everyone from teachers, ex-teachers, ed-tech entrepreneurs to parents. 10th March.

To read - blogs 📃

Aziza Ajak and her Principal share what it’s like to start a brand new school and the lessons learned from it. Keep an eye out for her appearance in The PiXL Leadership Book Club We Are In Beta is producing.

Josie Mingay writes about ‘The elephant in the room: the academic side of KS2-3 transition’. She identifies some key challenges and questions to consider if we are to smooth transition.

Jo Facer reflects on the achievements and importance of King Soloman Academy 10 years on.

Bukky Yusuf does her fortnightly share of educational aspects which have been of interest to her.

Lucy Flower reflects on why her PGCE course leader was so important.

Nat Parnell, Owen Jones and Northampton Academy students have been using new Tutor Reading Discussion cards to encourage them to think and share ideas from their books in a more detailed and academic way.

Northampton Academy has more subscribers to this newsletter than any other school. Thanks for sharing and signing up team!

To read - books 📚

Sam Strickland has published his no nonsense ‘Education Exposed: Leading a school in a time of uncertainty’.

Kat Howard has released her new book ‘Stop Talking About Wellbeing: a programatic approach to teacher workload’.

To listen - pods 🎧

Kiran Gill is a guest on Geoff Barton’s ASCL Leadership Podcast discussing the importance of working in alternative provision as part of a leader’s experience.

Cath Murray is a guest on Naylor’s Natter talking about IntegratED which works for ‘fewer exclusions, better alternative provision’. Learn more about their methodology and partners here.

The late Sir John Rowling reflects on the idea that not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts in #weareinbeta’s PiXL Pearls, which has a fan in Geoff Barton.

To watch 🎬

Pran Patel asks ‘What does ‘Decolonise the Curriculum’ mean to you?’ He speaks about the school curriculum in the UK in his TEDxNorwichEd talk combining passion and practical solutions.

Jobs 💼

People who are outward facing, love to learn, get involved and support each other are great to work for. That’s what We Are In Beta is about. Don’t miss out on the chance to work with them.

Jim Smith is asking: do you want to be a senior leader at Meden School? One of the most improved in the country. He is looking for two talented leaders to join their senior leadership team as AHTs. If you want a chat or a look around the school get in-touch.

Aziza Ajak is recruiting for Teachers of Music, English & Science, Head of Year, Lead Teachers of RE & Drama and Subject Leaders of Science & History. All up for grabs at their growing start up school. DM her for more details.

Jeremy Hannay is recruiting for a teacher at Three Bridges Primary School: “Agency, mark if it's right, plan so it works, minimal admin, PPA where you like, no formal obs. or scrutiny, professional challenge & inspiration, kindness, calm & caring responses, 6 days term time release, collaborative work, action research, voice, happy staff, school empty at 4”. Catch up on his We Are In Beta interview here.

Allan Osbourne is recruiting for the ever expanding Ongar Academy, Ongar 6th Form and Bridge Academy Trust: PE, History, English, DT & Science.

Evelyn Forde is recruiting for a Teacher of English at Copthall School.

Emma Turner is not only writing another book, she invites you to go and work with her at Discovery Schools Academy Trust.

Amanda Burnell is recruiting class teachers for September 2020. “Sherington is a thriving and dynamic school. We believe that ‘character + academics’ is the goal of true education and deliver this through Positive Education and the PERMA model.”

Alan Blount is recruiting teachers in Maths, Science, DT and PE for September at Newstead Wood School - proudly doing their bit to increase representation, diversity, inclusion and flexible working.

Phil McCahill is helping recruit for 3 teaching posts to double the size of Shireland Primary School as they enter their second year.

Dave Whitaker is recruiting a class teacher and EYFS Leader. Deadline 2nd March. Catch up on his We Are In Beta story here.

Resources & ideas 💡

Jo Ambrose has put together and shared Greenshaw Learning Trust’s exit timetable template.

Will Lau is right in saying many stereotypes about Computer Scientists need challenging. So he’s made a Computer Science Colouring Book. Sneak peak here. Download a free version for your students here.

Sarah Vardy has found distance is no barrier for her Secondary SENCO Meeting - staff in 3 different locations receiving Y11 academic mentoring training.

Cath Kitchen provides educational support for children and young people aged 4 to 18 who cannot attend mainstream school due to a diagnosed complex medical and/or mental health condition. They have a collection for resources for schools with children with mental and medical health conditions here.

Mike Hoad has discovered an automated way to save or print multiple versions of the same worksheet but with different contents based on a selection from a dropdown menu. Time saver.

Christopher Harris has been listening to a podcast for people who hate networking and applying what he learned about ‘reciprocity circles’ to the classroom to identify misconceptions and empower students to help each other to improve.

Ele Stoneham has been celebrating World Book Day and made instant posters with this website

In the press 📰

Deb Rutley has been profiled by Schools Week where she reflects on how her experience of school made her the teacher and leader she is today.

Marie Gentles and Jenny Thomson are part of a 7 strong team working alongside headteachers and leaders to improve behaviour in around 500 schools. Catch up on Marie’s We Are In Beta story here.

Penny Rabiger is delighted Lyfta has been featured in the Ed Tech 50, which shines a spotlight on people, projects and products enhancing teaching and learning in our schools.

Professional Development 👩‍🏫

Lucy Rose and Lindsay East are offering free CPD for Headteachers interested in exploring flexible working. 12th March. Catch up on Lucy’s We Are In Beta story here.

Dan Morrow & Julie Carson are hosting ‘Enrich your curriculum and excite your students’ with Lyfta's global learning platform at Peareswood Primary School. 23rd April.

Clare Fletcher and the Norfolk Teaching & Leadership Excellence Centre (NTLEC) are now offering SEND reviews for schools in the area.

Jonathan Rees is striving for excellence in schools across SE Wales at Education Achievement Service (EAS) for South East Wales. Services and CPD offer here.

James Jackson invites you to a range of CPD opportunities in March at West Lakes Teaching School including: ‘Intervention Planning and Assessment’; ‘Planning for and Assessing Students with Autism’; and ‘Planning for and Assessing Students with Attachment as a Recognised Difficulty’.

Connect & Collaborate 🤝

Najat Hassan would like your help: “How is your school assessing reading (not summative assessment) regularly while using a ‘Whole Class Reading’ approach?” Check out the responses here.

Will Teece is reviewing the assessment model at KS3 at Walton Academy and is wondering what others are dong with: “1. Checking security of knowledge over time. 2. Clearly identifying learning gaps/ next steps. 3. Communicating effectively to pupils & parents the above +% on track”. Give him a shout to help or learn what others have said.

Martyn Cox has got through the first inspection at their brand new school - Scott Medical and Healthcare College. Get in touch if you’re starting a new school. Martyn is super open to learning and collaborating.

Elaine Bennett is looking for someone who is doing interesting things around engineering in primary schools for a story she’s working on.

Be kind ❤️

Chris Richards - Villiers High School - will be running the London Marathon supporting AKTCharity - safe homes and better futures for LGBTQ+ young people - because no young person should have to choose between a safe home and being who they are. Give generously.

Want to share your news?

Let me know here. I’ll include it next time and tweet if I can.

If you like staying up to date with what the doers, makers and creators in education are up to but don’t have much time to do it hit the button below to get these updates direct to your inbox. Then check your spam to see if the welcome email lands there.

Thanks for reading.

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

Speak soon,


Catch up on We Are In Beta Series 2

While you’re here, catch up on Series 2 of the podcast:

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

🔔 Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss series 3 when it’s released.

️❤️ If you found all this useful give it a cheer, hit the like button.

🎙️Like discovering new podcasts? Check out Find That Pod. Nominate us while you’re there.

What I've learned about you; what I don't know that I really should; & why I'm sorry

Hello listeners and subscribers,

This half term I’ve been spying on you… But only bit.🕵️

I hope you don’t mind but last week I took a d̶e̶e̶p̶ ̶d̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ look at the We Are In Beta subscriber list to learn a bit more about you all. 👀

Why? The better I know you, the more relevant, interesting and valuable I can make podcast and newsletter for you. 😃

It’ll also help me find and celebrate what you’re working on and make even more useful connections between you all. 🤝

What I learned about you

At a glance, we’ve got all kinds of brilliant folk - headteachers, exec. leaders, MAT and charity CEOs, teachers, teacher trainers, funders, investors, local education authority leaders, authors, publishers and a handful of colleagues from the DfE.

Half of the lovely people on this ever expanding email list are heads, exec heads or MAT leaders.

What I don't know about you that I really should

A lot of you subscribe with personal emails. So there are things I didn’t get to know about you that would be super useful. Like your school or organisation, what phase you work in or where you are in the country.

As important as they are, funnily enough those weren’t the things I found myself wanting to know about you the most. I want to know your first names! Names are SO important.

I spend a lot of time thinking about you, writing to you all and figuring out how to make the podcast the best it can be for you. So I really would love to be able to address you individually by name.

So if you like what We Are In Beta stands, the community of educators it serves and want to help me serve you as best I can, I’d love it if you told me a bit more about yourself by hitting the button below.

Hello, my name is...

Thanks for reading.

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

Wishing you a productive second half of term.


PS - New subscribers, I’m sorry. Here’s why.

If you’re a new subscriber, you’ll know that I don’t like making an ‘ask’ before I can offer a ‘give’. I’m sorry the first edition you’re getting is an ‘ask’.

To make amends, I’ve linked the last two editions of the We Are In Beta Community News here and here.

They are treasure troves of events, professional development opportunities, blogs, books, pods, free resources and more all led by We Are In Beta listeners and subscribers. Let me know what you think.

Catch up on We Are In Beta Series 2

While you’re here, catch up on Series 2 of the podcast:

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

🔔 Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss series 3 when it’s released.

Listened to them all already? Listen again or…

The latest episode of PiXL Pearls (which We Are In Beta produces) was released this morning.

The late Sir John Rowling reflects on the idea that not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.

👂 Listen on Apple Podcasts Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

What are you up to? #6

We Are In Beta Community News: events, drinks, CPD, jobs, press, reads, pods, a platform & connection.

Hello everyone,

The sad news yesterday about yet another high profile suicide amid a bombardment of mainstream negativity is a timely reminder that we need to focus on what’s good and do more of it.

That’s why I do the We Are In Beta Community News - finding and sharing what you lovely subscribers, listeners, guests and partners are up to make a difference. I love learning about your work. I hope sharing it helps.

Thank you to everyone who submitted their news. If you haven’t shared it before, you can do it here anytime.

New comments section

You can now comment on these posts down below. So please do let me know what you think and how I can improve them.

A story of connection

If you’re one of the flurry of new subscribers who joined after the last edition, the chances are you haven’t listened to how Sue Plant - Head of School at John Taylor Free School - is building a school from the ground up with flexible working in mind.

Or how Claire Cuthbert - CEO at the Evolve Trust - used difficulties in her past to design blind recruitment processes and implement ‘Reading Days’ to give her team the time and space to look to other sectors for answers to education’s questions.

And you’re probably wondering why I’m telling you this.

Well, this week, after they listened to each others’ We Are In Beta stories, they decided to meet face to face to discuss leadership and culture at their schools.

I cannot tell you how much joy that gives me. That their stories made a such a deep connection that they are now supporting each other is awesome! Can’t wait to find out how it went.

We Are In Beta Community News

While we’re working on Series 3, like last time, I’ve curated a bunch of great stuff you’re up to. To thank you for being a part of this journey. To fuel growth and connect people throughout the community.

This week you’ve served up:

  • 9 events

  • 3 chances to talk shop over a drink

  • 4 CPD opportunities

  • 20+ job opportunities

  • a press mention

  • 3 good reads

  • 3 pods

  • 1 service that’s transforming teaching

  • 3 chances to be kind / connect

Events not to be missed 📅

Sara Gaines and Dame Sue John are busy organising the Challenge Partners 2020 Annual Conference…

…Keynotes from Baroness Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Matthew Syed and 25 carousels and workshops on subjects including: Embedding therapy provision through multi-agency working (Special); Breaking the cycle of disadvantage (Secondary); Nurture Provision (Primary); Curriculum (Cross-phase); Mental health; RSE. Tickets here. 27th February.

Rachel Bostwick is running ‘Better professional conversations; enhancing education one conversation at a time’. 23rd June. Jonny Uttley and Hywel Roberts will be speaking at the event.

Anni Poole invites you to come and spend a weekend away to awaken to your wellbeing, light heartedness and your inner joy. 24th May.

Jonny Bailey is presenting at London Grid for Learning ‘Let’s Get Digital Curriculum Conference’. 23rd April.

Will Mackintosh has planned, and invites you to the Teach First Heads Forward School Leadership Summit. We Are In Beta guests Ed Vainker and Elroy Cahill will be speaking too. 7th March. £30. Catch up on their We Are In Beta Interviews here.

Hannah Wilson and Patrick Ottley O’Connor are organising ‘Go Where You Are Celebrated- DiverseEd North’. North Liverpool Academy. 13th June.

Rachel Tomlinson and Patrick Ottley O’Connor are speaking about creating a culture of staff wellbeing. Manchester 25th March. Catch up on Patrick’s We Are In Beta story here.

Claire Stafford is organising the Transform Trust Leadership Summit with keynotes from Steve Radcliffe - Leadership Coach, Author and Creator of the FED approach, Mike Barker - Transformation Director, Ministry of Defence and Yvonne Pawlin - Welsh Government, Integrating FED. 13th March.

Claire Stafford also invites you to Transform TSA’s School Direct Primary Experience Day. 25th March.

Pedagogy and pints 🍻

Sarah Mullin is speaking at BrewEd at The Goodness Brewery in North London. 14th March. Join her and everyone from From Admin to Teaching Support, Teachers to School Leaders - there are many voices within schools.

Kathryn Morgan, Sajid Gulzar and Kat Howard are presenting at BrewEdSolihull. April 25th. Tickets here.

Cassie Young is hosting pints and pedagogy at BrewEd1066. 13th June.

Professional development 👩‍🏫

Lucy Rose and Lindsay East invite you to their CPD for Headteachers who are interested in exploring the benefits and overcoming the barriers to flexible working in their school context. 12th March 2020.

John Camp and the Compass Partnership offer a range of CPD for TAs, NQTs, subject teachers and leaders in Greenwich.

Lisa Fathers is calling Senior Leaders who lead CPD/ Teaching & Learning. Alliance for Learning TSA are running a full day on effective leadership of CPD. 3rd June. £190. Book here.

Dr Muna Abdi offers organisations looking for bespoke, research-informed training and development on Inclusion, Diversity and Equity.


Aziza Ajak is recruiting for a lead teacher for RE and Subject Lead of History at Goresbrook School in Barking. I recommend her blog to find out more about her leadership.

Evelyn Forde is recruiting for an IT Technician, Pastoral Administrator, Examination Invigilators and a Teaching Assistant at Copthall School. Join her here. Catch up on here We Are In Beta Interview here.

Dan Morrow and the Woodland Academy Trust have launched their new recruitment pages with an innovative Talent Pool feature.

Stephen Chamberlaine is recruiting a headteacher at Hillside Primary School and Nursery. Supportive team, fully funded Masters Degree and scope for moving towards and beyond Exec. Headship on offer.

Kat Howard is on the look out for Regional Advocates to represent Lit Drive in their counties.

Science 🔬

Elroy Cahill is recruiting for a passionate Science teacher and Director of Science, who’s interested in working at a school with centralised behaviour systems, a hard working and supportive science team, hands on and proactive SLT and polite and well behaved students.

Gemma Penny is recruiting at Woodlands Derby and would love to hear from scientists keen to grow the generation. Get in touch with her to arrange a visit.

Ben Layzell is recruiting for Science and Design Tech teachers at Atherton Community School. DM him for details and tours.

Maths 📊

Sue Plant is recruiting for Maths teacher to join her team at John Taylor Free School at Easter. Flexibility baked in to the application process. Deadline Monday 24th February. Catch up on her We Are In Beta story here.

Anne Cobbles is recruiting Maths teachers at Noel Baker Academy where that "Friday feeling" means the head and deputy at your door serving tea and coffee.

Will Mackintosh is recruiting for, amongst other roles, a KS3 Maths lead, Head of Drama, Deputy Head of Science at Ark John Keats.

Kat Howard is helping recruit a teacher of Maths with recruitment & retention allowance), English, Vice Principal (Head of Primary) at The Duston School Northants.

In the press 📰

Jon Hutchinson picks his top education blogs of the week: teaching writing, ranking schools, structuring curriculum and powerful knowledge for leaders.

To read 🔖

Angie Browne has put together this free workbook to help with difficult conversations.

Dr Emma Kell has written about ‘Meeting the needs of all of our learners’ offering 7 ideas on inclusion.

Kat Howard suggests there are 4 things we need to do to achieve ‘Autonomy in all the right places’.

Newsletters ✉️

Sue Plant invites you to sign up to the Staffordshire Research School newsletter where you can access the latest guidance reports, guest blogs and training events. The latest issue has a free training voucher.

Pat and Sarah Fielding run the Nottingham Schools Trust ‘Heads Up!’ newsletter. If you’re Nottingham based subscribe for support, resources, network meetings and more.

To listen👂

Cathal Lynch discusses his experiences of establishing & leading a school for pupils with SEMH needs.

Phil Naylor talks to Chris Moyes about growing great teachers.

Sir John Rowling asks, 'What does professionalism mean to you?’, in the latest We Are In Beta production for PiXL.

Transforming teaching 👨‍🏫

Josh Goodrich is helping teachers and coaches accurately and quickly select the highest-impact action steps, resulting in a powerful effect on the quality of teaching and learning.

Be kind / connect…❤️

Muna Abdi and volunteers have set up a community-led parent's advocacy group to support parents of children at risk of exclusion Parent Advocacy Group. Help them reach their £5000 target.

Will Smith would like to hear from groups of schools and MATs who are A** on attendance. Get in touch to share your insight.

Allan Glover is leading behaviour across Star Academies. He’s always on the hunt to make himself more effective. Connect with him here.

Want to share your news?

Let me know here. I’ll include it next time and tweet if I can.

If you like staying up to date with what the doers, makers and creators in education are up to but don’t have much time to do it hit the button below to get these updates direct to your inbox. Then check your spam to see if the welcome email lands there.

Thanks for reading.

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

Speak soon,


Catch up on We Are In Beta Series 2

While you’re here, catch up on Series 2 of the podcast:

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

🔔 Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss series 3 when it’s released.

️❤️ If you found all this useful give it a cheer, hit the like button.

🎙️Like discovering new podcasts? Check out Find That Pod. Nominate us while you’re there.

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