Earlier this week, I chaired a panel discussion at a conference
at the Stephen Perse Foundation Girls' School and met Chris Mallaband, who is the Principal at St Mark's Academy in Merton, outer London
, who was also speaking at the conference. I found him to be a modest, honest and humane man who has been teaching since the 1980s and seen many, many changes. He was speaking at the conference because the sponsor's of his academy, the CfBT Education Trust
, have been encouraging with bursaries, together the school itself, teacher-based research. This is something dear to my own heart since I am conducting my own teacher-based research myself, being supervised by the amazing Dr Rosalyn George
at Goldsmiths College, for part of my PhD. Increasingly, I think this is the way forward with education, schools do need to become more like teaching hospitals, with teachers really researching their own pedagogy in depth.
Mallaband was eloquent about how much ALL state schools have improved -- and spoke to camera about this. Like most teachers, he seemed rather aghast at the recent pace of change, and questioned the value of much of it.
You can listen to what he says down below.