What are you up to? #4

We Are In Beta Community (sad) News: 17 events/training, 10 blogs, 3 pods, 6 books, lots of jobs

Hello everyone!

I’ve been doing a fair amount of asking lately. I’ve been asking you to nominate colleagues with inspiring stories to tell on Series 3 of the podcast and asking which of these challenges you’ve tackled in your school.

But today is about giving back. The podcast would not have grown like it has without our guests being on it and without you sharing it. As always, thank you 🙏.

If you’re a new subscriber, I run a (slightly less regular than I’d like) Community News Section - like today - celebrating what our guests, listeners, subscribers and partners are up to.

If you want to know more about getting involved in Series 3 of the podcast, excellent! Head to the bottom of this post.

So here it is…

We Are In Beta Community News

I hope you find something useful. But first I’d like to reflect on some incredibly sad news that you may well have already heard.

Sir John Rowling, Founder of PiXL, has sadly passed away. The comments under this tweet are the most heart warming celebration of an incredible educationalist.

It’s been a huge honour in recent weeks for We Are In Beta to produce the PiXL Pearls Podcast to ensure his voice lives on.

Listen to him discuss ‘Two key questions’, which are all the more poignant in light of his passing.

🎧 Listen & subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

Events and training

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.

Rob Carpenter and Mary Myatt are contributing to Curriculum Coherence Seminar: Exploring the Principles of Effective Curriculum Design at Learn AT Teaching School. £995. 13th Feb. Enrol here.

Marie Gentles and Katie L’Aimable have launched Magic Behaviour Management. They’re running Behaviour As Communication training in February. Book here. Catch up on their We Are In Beta episode here.

Mary has places available for her ‘Curriculum Conversations’ in Ipswich, Newcastle and Brighton in Jan and Feb. Tickets here.

Lisa Fathers has 3 places left on the AFL Teaching School Advanced Safeguarding Training. 31st January.

Nav Sanghara, Vic Goddard and Stephen Tierney - members of HeadTeachers’ Roundtable - will be at the Summit 2020. 7th February. Tickets here.

Emma Turner invites you to ‘Be More Toddler’ at her practical and humorous CPD event based on her book at Sir Jonathan North Teaching School. 28th Jan. £30. Tickets here.

Diana Osagie asks: “How do you establish yourself as a leader?'“ in her Video Toolkit for leaders. She’s also published a book.

Kat Howard invites you to join her at the MTPT Project Leicester Spring Coffee Morning. Wed 19th Feb 10am.

Kat is speaking at #REdRugby both as part of the leadership strand and debate panel. 16th May. Tickets here.

Kat is very busy at the moment - she invites to the launch of her new book ‘Stop Talking About Wellbeing’. 22nd Feb. £10-20. Tickets here.

James Pope will speaking at Pioneer Presents, 23rd March. Tickets here. £32.54.

James is also running Heads Up 2 - for Headteachers - aspiring, current and former. 28th March. Tickets here.

Rachel Bostwick invites you to be part of ‘Developing a whole school approach to LGBTQ+ Inclusion workshop. 6th March. More here.

Karen Giles and Nadine Bernard discussed: ‘Is vulnerability the new hero leadership?’ at the Big Education Dialogues. More dates on the horizon.

Evelyn Forde is speaking at Women Empowerment Summit 2020. 20th February 2020. Tickets here. Catch up on her We Are In Beta interview here.

Professor Paul Miller is facilitating on the Excellence Leadership Programme. Apply for the 2020 cohort.

Services to help your school

Dr Muna Abdi brings voices of the community around schools into research. She offers coaching, co-led research and workshops to change practice.

She also wrote an incredible 1400 blog about the last episode of Series ‘White Ally’.

Dennis Simms, former Head and Co-Chair of Teach First’s Headteachers Network is looking for schools to be involved in a fascinating research project about how emotions affect behaviour in schools.

He also offers coaching and consultancy to schools with a specialism in alternative provision.

Baasit Siddiqui delivers national workshops for KS2 & 3 pupil premium students.


Patrick Ottley O’Connor is recruiting for a number of roles including Vice Principal, Lead Practitioner, Subject Leader and teaching roles at North Liverpool Academy. Catch up on his We Are In Beta episode here.

Will Smith is looking for an Executive Head of Shared Services, among several other roles at Greenshaw Learning Trust. Closing date 3rd February.

James Heale invites you to join him working across Tower Hamlets schools. Apply to be Director of Secondary Education and Partnerships. 11th Feb Deadline £80,000.

Holly Power is helping one of her flexible friendly schools, Hammersmith Academy, host a careers fair. 6th Feb. Tickets here.

Sue Plant is hosting a staff recruitment event at John Taylor Free School. Sat 1st Feb. Register here. Catch up on her We Are In Beta story here.

Ed Vainker is recruiting for a number of roles at Reach Academy Feltham including SENDCo, Maths Teacher, AHT (Primary), AGT (Secondary), HoYear, 2i/c Maths & 2i/c Science, Primary, Maths, English, Science, Psychology and H&SC teaching.


Ed Vainker also picked up an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list. Congrats. Catch up on his We Are In Beta interview here.

Blogs and pods

Raj Unsworth writes about what she wanted to see in in 2019. What does it look like now a year on? She also features on this ‘10 must follow Twitter accounts for school governors’. Follow her here.

Rob Carpenter has just got back from an ASCL trip to Apple HQ in California. He discusses questions about the purpose of education and the role accountability plays in defining priorities. ‘A Tale of Two Ideologies: Our Gutenberg Moment’. Cath up on his We Are In Beta interview here.

Caroline Barlow’s staff at Heathfield Community College share how they work with English to deepen knowledge in History.

Jon Hutchinson lays out the three best arguments against a knowledge rich curriculum. And why he thinks they’re wrong.

Pran Patel asks: ‘What is Privilege?’ in his piece for Ambition Institute. Catch up on his We Are In Beta episode here.

Lucy Flower writes this heartfelt piece about being ‘just a teacher’ and leading without a title.

Mark Enser explores solutions to a familiar problem: “pupils need to cover the content of the specification. However, the specification doesn’t itself give us a curriculum, as it doesn’t allow pupils to make wider progress in the subject”

Stephen Tierney tackles a similar question: is it time to stop shallowing the curriculum?

Tom Rees explores a different perspective on school leadership in 2020.

Dr Emma Kell has launched the Em & Clem Podcast for teachers, made by teachers, which doesn't sound like a pedagogy INSET!

Some Twitter

Angie Brown hits the nail on the head with this thread about how we should conduct ourselves as educators on Twitter.

Bukky Yusuf is looking out for us Science teachers. Check out this Periodic Table of Science Education Tweeters.

Shonagh Armstrong has set up BAMEed East Mids. Connect here.

Sarah Mullin is calling for authors to submit 500 words for a new book - a collection of narratives about your experiences in the classroom. Top tips, advice, reflections, laugh out loud anecdotes, the disasters, the sad times, the little wins.

Newsletters and research

Hannah Wilson has some updates for you via the Oxfordshire Women Leaders Newsletter: International Women’s Day, Dinner Club and more. Catch up on her We Are In Beta interview here.

Professor Damian Page is making Carnegie School of Education - Leeds Beckett University - research as accessible as possible. They’ve created a new series of open access research summaries. The first one from him: ‘Family engagement in Alternative Provision’.


Paul Dix offers effective tips and strategies that serve to end the search for change in children and turn the focus back on the adults in his book ‘When The Adults Change, Everything Changes’.

Zoe Elder explores how educators in all settings construct the ideal conditions for effective learners to grow and develop in her book - Full On Learning.

Anni Poole has written a guide for choosing a stress free life. Minimum effort, maximum gain - aimed at teachers and case workers.

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’s happening in education 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,


Get involved in We Are In Beta Series 3

Nominate an inspiring colleague with an incredible story to tell about how they tackled a specific challenge in their school.

Nominate someone

Submit your own story about how you tackled a specific challenge in schools because you’d like others to learn from it.

Tell us your story

Learn more about why your story is worth telling, why we want to tell it and what helps us do it justice here.

You can also see some examples of stories we are looking for here.

We’ve had lots of submissions already and we’re only collecting them for Series 3 for just one more week. So get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Catch up on We Are In Beta Series 2

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

👂 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.