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When opposing tribes unite

Accountability pressures can set English and maths departments at odds. But heads of department Caroline Spalding and Graham Walton have found a way to foster a mutually beneficial relationship

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At many schools, if you get a head of English and a head of maths together in one room, things can go very badly very quickly. A lack of communication, a corrosive sense of competition and opposing approaches to leadership result in, at best, a dysfunctional relationship and, at worst, no relationship at all. They’re the two core subjects fighting for time, resource, a student’s undivided attention – it’s inevitable. Except it’s not. Over the past 12 months, the pair of us (a head of English and a head of maths) have found a way to navigate the stormy seas between two subjects that are seen by ...

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