Rethinking assessment; 29 challenges on leaders' minds; How *you* can solve them.

Hello everyone,

I hope you’ve all had relaxing holidays, which weren’t ruined too much by the algorithm, like poor ol’ Gavin. If you haven’t seen *that* tweet of his, you really should; I’ve included it at the bottom for you.

I also want to say a massive congratulations to you and your students on their A-Level and GCSE results. And to everyone in primary schools, who set them on the right paths when they started school.

Here’s to 2020/21! 💪


This week:

🎥 Webinar: Rethinking Assessment - Panel Discussion With Heads Forward

🌐 Community News: 29 challenges being discussed by the community. Which ones are they prioritising?

🎧 Podcasts: Your story *will* inspire others. But what makes a good story?


🎥 Rethinking Assessment - Panel Discussion With Heads Forward

Join us and our partner Heads Forward* to discuss…

“Rethinking assessment”

📅 Tues 25th August (today)

🕕 6pm

💺 Chair: Oli de Botton (School 21)

🎤 Panel of school leaders: Helen Ralston (The Rise School), Ann Donaghy (Noel Baker Academy), Will Mackinstosh (The Forest Academy), Nick Edwards (Kensington Aldridge Academy), Manny Botwe (Tytherington School).

* Heads Forward is the network of serving Teach First Ambassador Heads.

Save my spot

Following the exams fiasco, assessment has never been higher on the agenda. The divide between school leaders and the DfE has never been more stark.

What opportunity do we have to think again about what and how we assess in schools? What can we change, lose or improve? How can we encourage dialogue with policy makers?

With a dual focus on the action we can take in our own schools, and how we unite our voice to drive change in national policy, the questions we’ll cover are:

  • What are our fears for the year ahead?

  • What has been laid bare about how current assessment policy and practice falls short of ensuring all students achieve the results they deserve?

  • What are we - as individuals, schools and a profession - going to do differently to avoid a new or repeated crisis in Summer 2021?

  • How can schools connect and collaborate with others to safeguard fairness and be confident in our own judgements?

  • What do Gavin Williamson and Nick Gibb need to hear and understand so the right decisions are made, at the right time and communicated effectively?

Save my spot


🌐 29 challenges being discussed by the community. Which ones are they prioritising?

We are on mission to connect schools and solve problems.

But which topics shall we research as the basis for webinars, articles, or resources to support you, our members, solve the challenges your schools are facing?

Here’s the list.

The handful of challenges consistently getting the most votes are fascinating.

See which ones top the list


🎧 Podcasts: Your story *will* inspire others. But what makes a good story?

Stories are memory aids, instruction manuals and moral compasses. They constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal. Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.

We are preparing for Season 4 of the We Are In Beta Podcast. It will be a return to the narrative format of Season 2. We are on the look out for diverse, powerful stories to tell.

You might not think you have a story to tell. But you do. Your experiences can and will help others overcome the challenges they face. And maybe even help you find your next team mates or collaborators…

Find out more


🙏 Big thanks to our friends at BAMEed, The MTPT Project, WomenEd, The New Schools Network, The Difference, The FEA, TeachFirst, Ambition Institute, The Teaching Schools Council and all of our previous guests for their support calling for submissions.


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

Speak soon.

@NiallAlcock

Oh yeah, the tweet I promised earlier... Here it is.


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🆕 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.