Why I ignore the research and do it my way

Chris Dyson took over a struggling Leeds primary with soaring exclusions and transformed it into an ‘outstanding’ school in four years. He reveals the secrets of his success: listening to pupils, all-singing, all-dancing assemblies – and not following the crowd

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I have never been one for doing something just because research finds that is how people learn. Some headteachers and teachers do that, and I can’t criticise them for following their ideals. But in my experience, backing myself and trusting my judgement have been key to our pupils’ success.

I started at Parklands in September 2014. It is the most deprived primary in Leeds, with 72 per cent of children eligible for the pupil premium. Five different heads had been in and out of the doors in the 12 months before I joined, introducing a different behaviour policy each time. Exclusions numbered 150 ...

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