Exploring what matters

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

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guide to improving teacher happiness and wellbeing

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Graham Newell

Graham has worked in education for 30 years as a teacher, manager and senior officer in a number of Local Authorities. In recent years he has been involved in a number of exciting and well regarded initiatives. He is responsible for coordinating our education advisory and school support team. Graham has a strong interest in professional development and has enjoyed providing training at all levels from mid-day supervisors to post-graduates and MA students.
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Recent Posts

School return: How do we talk about bereavement?

Posted by Graham Newell on 6 May, 2020

An interesting debate has started: return to school with a strong emphasis on ‘catching up’, or a return that has a greater focus on emotional readjustment?

Whatever the outcome of this debate, when pupils return to school they will be changed.

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No teacher autonomy without these skills [opinion]

Posted by Graham Newell on 28 February, 2020

Written by Graham Newell  @Graham_IRISC

I have been talking about professional autonomy for years as I believe it is an integral part of professionalism: autonomy is not the easy option, in fact it’s just the opposite. It demands a rigorous understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses and the willingness to objectively enquire about what actually works.

The recent research by the NFER in partnership with the Teacher Development Trust, ‘Teacher Autonomy: how does it relate to job satisfaction and retention?’ (January, 2020), provides a significant and important contribution to the debates about both what constitutes effective CPD and the importance of developing professionalism at the front line.

 

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Is collaboration the key to a successful Multi-Academy Trust?

Posted by Graham Newell on 6 October, 2019

 

In the Recommendations for MATs in Ofsted’s investigation into ‘Multi-academy trusts: benefits, challenges and functions’ (July, 2019) it is stated:

“MATs need to ensure that collaboration within the trust is used effectively and judiciously to maximise the benefits of shared expertise and mutual learning, while minimising the unproductive networking for its own sake”.

Throughout the report the value of collaboration within schools, across MATs and with other schools in the local area is clearly recognised.

Imagine if every MAT used the ‘power within’ to ensure that every school truly became a ‘learning community’ - a ‘knowledge creating school’.

“The power of collective capacity is that it enables ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things” - for two reasons. One is that knowledge about effective practice becomes more widely available and accessible on a daily basis. The second reason is more powerful still—working together generates commitment.” (Michael Fullan, ‘How the World’s Most Improved Systems Keep Getting Better” p 72)

 

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New Ofsted Framework 2019: Changes explained [incl. Video Interview]

Posted by Graham Newell on 4 July, 2019

The new Ofsted Framework will come in to affect in September 2019, so read on for all you need to know. 

In this video interview, Andy Newell, Managing Director of IRIS Connect interviews Daniel Muijs, Deputy Director of Ofsted about the new framework. The questions asked in this interview were selected by school leaders and cover topics such as evidence-informed practice, domain specific CPD and Ofsted’s latest approach to observations. 

Prior to this interview taking place, we had shared a breakdown of the Ofsted Framework 2019, highlighted what the four Ofsted judgements are, what's changed with the inspection guidelines and how it will affect your school. 

Watch the full video interview with Daniel Muijs or skip to a topic of your choice to hear Daniel’s answers.

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What's An "Educational Ecosystem" And Are You In One?

Posted by Graham Newell on 15 December, 2017

 

“Teaching quality also improves within a collegial, collaborative environment  ... the power of the collective capacity is that it enables ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things” - Michael Fullan

 

Do you work in a silo?  Do you collaborate? Do you share and grow?

The answer is probably ‘No’ to the first and a conditional ‘Yes’ to the other two.  The profession has moved on a very long way since I started teaching. Yes, OK, I admit it was a long time ago but not exactly the dark ages. One of the first things I did as a young teacher was to put a ‘display’ across my classroom window so no one could see in – my classroom was my kingdom.

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Innovations in professional development: real-time in-ear coaching

Posted by Graham Newell on 25 January, 2017

Executive summary of research by MirandaNet and De Montfort University

Results from a research study indicate that regular use of a web-based video CPD system had a profound impact upon confidence, collaboration, risk taking and professional learning for teachers. 

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