A few years ago, I took on a failing school. After a lot of thought, hard work and tough times, my amazing team and I slowly and surely turned it around. It’s now one of the highest achieving schools in the country. But do you know what?…
The reputation and standing of my school was deemed good or bad based on external judgements and the exam results of a small percentage of children. It was frustrating that there were so few opportunities to share the things we were most proud of with others.
We did celebrate – but most of our conversations were about the mountain of things we still needed to do. It was stressful; and sometimes disheartening.
Throughout my time at the school, even right at the start when we were not in a good place, I knew that there were amazing things happening. But these seeds of positivity were overshadowed by the relentless need to continue to improve. We lived in a climate of fear and shame.
- How could we feel good about what we were doing when there was so much still to be done?
- How could we congratulate ourselves when we were not yet successful?
- Who could we talk to about things we were struggling with without feeling embarrassed?
That’s why I started Above & Beyond.
There’s so much that’s positive going on in every school that’s just not seen in external reports, or league tables. There’s so much to learn from, empathise with and show off about every day.
I want Above & Beyond to be a platform where schools just like yours talk about what you are doing well; without fear or shame.
I want to work beyond the climate of negativity to raise morale and help teachers and headteachers take pride in what we do.
I want to be an agent of change; standing up to the blind acceptance of the reported state of education in the UK.
Let’s be honest about what we’re doing well. Let’s help each other. And let’s ask for help if we need it so that all our pupils can shine and grow.