How to keep investing in staff development in schools - what people are saying and some amazing organisations you should know about

The one budget that keeps going up - Dr Chris Tomlinson, Director of Harris Secondary and soon to be CEO of Co-op Academies Trust

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

A quick update from me to: share some Sunday positivity, keep a promise I made to you last weekend, and update you on some news from the community - including, an incredible new initiative delivering on a ‘cradle to career’ vision.

If you’ve not listened to Chris Tomlinson’s We Are In Beta Podcast interview yet, it provides a rare and fascinating insight in how the Harris Federation is led and how he is able to keep investing in his staff. His story about how a student helped him out, when his new accountability measures weren’t very popular, really is excellent!

Check it out here.

If you’re a new subscriber, thanks for joining us. Catch up on previous We Are In Beta interviews here.

What are you saying about it?

Check out Chris’s interview

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

👀 Read the full transcription 📖

Leave us a review and I’ll give you a shout out in the next episode

The resources Chris mentions

I promised I’d share the links to the organisations and resources he mentions in his interview. So here they are. There are some amazing orgs here, run by brilliant people. Well worth checking out.

  1. The social enterprises he’s worked with and recommends:

    • The farm that enables disadvantaged young people to thrive academically, socially and emotionally through farming, family and therapy residentials

    • The school cookery club that nourishes the potential in every child through feeding their tummies

    • The programme that inspires and motivates young people by delivering face-to-face coaching and tailored interactions and events with professionals

    • The charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly selective universities

    • The national charity, whose training Chris recommends and has supported all of these orgs to grow their impact (including We Are In Beta’s!)

  2. The coaching and leadership consultancy he recommends, who’ve supported his teams to find their own solutions

  3. The book Chris says gave him the permission to be far more creative and innovative in the classroom earlier on his career.

  4. The school lettings company who help Harris balance the books

  5. The Harris Teaching School whose leadership programmes he recommends

  6. The academy trust Chris is joining for the next academic year

We Are In Beta Guest News

Clare Rees, inspirational Headteacher at Havelock Primary School is hiring. More here.

Ed Vainker and Reach Academy Feltham have launched two phenomenal projects:

  1. The Reach Children’s Hub - a new and innovative organisation reimagining how to serve the community around the school and delivering on their ‘cradle to career’ vision. Thread here.

  2. The ReachOutCurriculum - sharing their DfE Curriculum funded History, Geography and Science curricula. More here.

Catch up on their We Are In Beta Podcast interviews here.

If you want to share what you’re up to or job opportunities, let me know.

That’s it for now. Thanks for making education the place we all know it can be.

Speak soon.

Thanks for reading!


Get involved

Thank you to everyone who has nominated colleagues to tell their stories on the podcast recently. I really appreciate it and am humbled by your willingness to share them. I can’t wait to record and release them.

But the podcast would be nothing with out them and there are lots more tell. So…

🙋🎙️ If you’d like tell your story or nominate a school with an incredible story to tell on the podcast check out the topics we’ll be exploring or let me know what you’re working on here.

🙋📰 Not ready to share your story on the mic but still want to share what you are doing in your school with the community? Let me know and I’ll include it in community news.