5 things to think about this week
When you report on or publicise pupil voice initiatives in your schools, do adults do the writing and talking, or do your students do it? If you're affiliated to the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, there's a new opportunity for your students to spread the word. Gap-year student Laura Lindsay is working with the trust on a publication written by young people involved in pupil voice in their schools. "Most of what's published about student voice is written by adults," she says. "We want student contributions, and we're hoping to hear about a very wide range of activities that we can all learn from." Express interest by April 1. The article's deadline is June 23.
2. Make your feet do the talking
Consider linking your school to Feet of Green, billed as the biggest British Arctic expedition focused on education. This summer, explorers Alan Chambers MBE and Peter Herbert will walk across Greenland. Meanwhile, they're visiting schools to talk about the project, covering issues across the curriculum from climate change and PE to risk management and communications technology. Their website will have a wealth of resources, and during the expedition there will be a regular blog and a video diary. Schools on HTI Leadership's Go4iT initiative are already linked to the expedition and have competitions of their own based on it.
3. More to leadership than sport
You probably already have some over-14s working for the level 1 Sports Leadership Award, especially if you're a sports college. Many schools find it a real turn-on for youngsters who need a bit of a boost to their motivation and self-esteem. Did you know, though, that there's now a modern foreign languages leader award, run by Sports Leaders UK in the same way? As Martin Cannon of Sports Leaders says: "It's not so surprising really. We're about leadership and social skills, not just about sport." Are other subjects on the way? Maybe. I understand maths is being looked at, for example. Look into it.
4. Nothing brief about debriefing
Do you debrief? Recently, I have heard two people use the term - one of them was Peter Herbert the explorer mentioned in No 2 (above); another was someone in the military. I realised as I listened that where you or I, after an activity or an experience - Ofsted, a training day, a school outing - might have a discussion and make a few notes, a real debrief consists of a long, persistent, perhaps tiring questioning and dissection of every detail of what's happened. "That's the only way you prevent the same mistakes happening again," says Mr Herbert. It's worth thinking about.
5. You're worth it
Think about professional development for your school business manager. The National College for School Leadership already offers a certificate and a diploma in school business management. Now, reflecting the rapid growth in the quality and the number of people in these key positions, the college has just announced a third level of qualification - the advanced diploma of school business management.
Send your contributions or suggestions for this column to Gerald Haigh at email@example.com.