Imagine a school where staff are energised and motivated by being in control of the work they do. Imagine they feel valued, in the school and beyond, for their professional expertise. Imagine they are trusted and given freedom, within clear guidelines, to decide how to achieve results. Imagine even that they are not snowed under by workload but have a decent work-life balance. Wouldn't you want to work there?
This has not been the direction schools have been going in. But perhaps, with the election looming, this is a time to say that another way is possible. As my colleague Fiona Millar has written
, perhaps the education issue should be Trust.
Next week we are holding a conference for school leaders
, with the Guardian Professional Network, to hear from inspirational headteachers who believe that the culture of schools can be different:
Creating happy and productive workplaces in schools
Friday 13th March, 9am-1pm, Kings Place, London. More here
And its free!
To register, contact: email@example.comYou must register in advance to be able to attend
Speakers include Tim Brighouse, Fiona Millar, Tom Sherrington, Chris Holmwood and Sir Alisdair McDonald
Can we create a democratic school culture, based on learning and reflection rather than an autocratic one, based on teaching and direction? How can we encourage creativity and innovation, and step away from a top-down approach? How can we create the schools we believe in rather than those we bleive Ofsted want to see? How can we build an educational cultures based on collaboration, trust and support?
What do teachers think?
A survey of over 5,000 teachers in advance of the event found widespread dis-satisfaction:
98% agree that students learn better if teachers are happy
- but only 39% feel happy at work
97% believe their teaching is better when they feel trusted
- but less than one in three feel trusted at work
Is it time for change? Is it time to move away from a focus on school structure and prescription and towards creating great school cultures, to enable the best possible learning? Feel free to come and find out how. Let's try to change the nature of the debate around education.