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The day I got the worst results

Senior leader Simon Postlethwaite explains how to respond constructively when your students underperform

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As with most senior leaders, 24 August 2016 was prominent on my calendar, especially since this was my first year with responsibility for whole-school GCSE outcomes. Sleep was fitful the night before, as the data team downloaded results from midnight.

The head’s email came in at around 8am. “Cautiously positive – comfortably above floor targets,” it said. “Get in there!” I thought.

It was a light-hearted drive to work and I was excited to see my students’ results, as I had picked up a Year 11 group in my PE specialism. This had given me a chance to put into practice the strategies that I was ...

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