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.