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


Is technology the answer to effective inter-school collaboration?

Posted by Katie Eldridge on 16 May, 2018


The education system is becoming more collaborative. Arguably the profession has always been more open than most, but there is now an explicit expectation for organisations like Teaching Schools and academy chains to foster inter-school collaboration and for school leaders to drive high quality professional learning networks.

Teachers themselves have also been drivers of change. From spontaneous connections via social media to the more formal links via the Chartered College of Teaching, more teachers than ever before are working together to develop professionally and improve outcomes for learners.


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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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Why joint practice development is the answer to developing collective efficacy

Posted by Andy Newell on 10 November, 2017

Speaking at the recent Optimus MATs Summit I was preceeded at the podium by Sir David Carter, National Schools Commissioner. He highlighted that most MATs have now developed effective diagnostics for areas of strength and weakness but still have a long way to go in terms of systematically driving improvement. In his words, striking the right balance between “weighing the pig and fattening the pig”.

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5 steps to embedding JPD in your Multi-Academy Trust

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 21 September, 2017

Joint Practice Development (JPD) has a lot to offer Multi-Academy Trusts (MAT) and Teaching School Alliances (TSA). With the right culture, commitment and challenge in place, it has the power to take professional development and wider school improvement to a whole new level.

Here are 5 steps to help you embed JPD in your MAT or TSA... 

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Teacher leadership: the power of teacher and lead practitioner collaboration

Posted by Rosie Neill on 15 January, 2016

Collaboration between lead practitioners and teachers is a powerful professional development activity that can help teachers improve their subject knowledge, think about teaching strategies in different ways and learn new ideas to try in the classroom.

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Benefits of building a shared video CPD library and how to do it

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 30 April, 2015

How to build a shared teacher CPD library

There's more than one reason to build a library of best practice clips, here are five of them:

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