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5 things to think about this week

1. Heads up for a chat

1. Heads up for a chat

1. Heads up for a chat

Share your accumulated wisdom through the National College for School Leadership's (NCSL) newly extended Talk To A Head service. It helps NPQH graduates who want to progress to headship by putting them in touch, on the telephone, with a headteacher. For it to work, it needs serving heads to sign up for a 45-minute conversation with a wannabe. Register at, or email Key point: Heads in all sectors are welcome, but there is a particular need for special-school heads to volunteer. NCSL says there are NPQH graduates out there who are keen to be special-school heads, but as yet no serving special-school head has signed up for Talk To A Head.

2. Keep in touch with ICT

AbilityNet has been pushing the importance of ICT in promoting inclusion. It is also keen to remind school leaders that if you don't keep in touch with what is on offer, you may deprive some children of easily available help. Much of what it does centres on low-cost (or free) solutions. Sample titles: "Getting started with voice recognition", and "Meeting physical needs through low-cost solutions".

3. Get set for the Olympics

In primary, if you are developing cross-curricular work on the Olympic Games, in readiness for Beijing this year or London in 2012, look at the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). It has announced four units based on the Olympics, each for a different primary age group. Well established around the world, the IPC is now in nearly 300 UK primaries that wanted a thematic, internationally minded programme., 0207 531 9696

4. Click on to clique resolution

Are there cliques in your staffroom, excluding people and fostering negativity? Cliques are often mentioned by teachers who are unhappy at work. There is a good article on the subject on the American healthcare website MedZilla. It puts responsibility firmly on management - to set clear roles and responsibilities, run an effective induction process with assigned mentors, and establish a process for conflict resolution. Above all, though, says MedZilla, it is about awareness: "management tends to work in the past, adjudicating past issues, rather than looking ahead and determining or clarifying potential ambiguities".


5. Let Jess tell you her story in June

Do you have Traveller children in school? June, which is Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month, could well be an opportunity for your Traveller families to dispel a few myths. One of their best ambassadors is storyteller Jess Smith, whose website gives a flavour of her work. "The prejudice has been going on for 180 years, and that's long enough," she says. "We have a story to tell. Give us a stage and we'll tell it for you."

Key point: There are 12 million Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people in Europe, which makes them the European Union's biggest (and some would say most persecuted) minority.;

Send your contributions or suggestions for this column to Gerald Haigh at

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