1. Read the Howard League report on child victims
"Children as Victims: Child-sized Crimes in a Child-sized World" has had lots of publicity, but to get the full emotional impact you need to read it. It is a sobering experience. On every page, the voices of children come through asking for the simple things that the adult world, including school, should be providing - safe places, active listening and, above all, confidence that something will be done about their problems.
Key quotes from children. "Give children a chance to explain because it is very hard." "You need to talk and help children more. I know you're trying to, but make every child involved in these discussions."
2. Check out the International Leadership and Management Programme
Well established in international schools, it is now available here. ILMP-UK is suitably adapted, but retains its global dimension (the first residential workshop is in Brussels, for example). The programme consists of a combination of online learning, e-tutoring and residential workshops and is accredited by the University of Bath. The first UK cohort starts later this term.
3. Consider coaching as a CPD tool
Some have seen coaching as a gimmicky borrowing from industry, where it has been standard practice for years, but schools with serious experience of it are generally enthusiastic. The National College for School Leadership's Leading from the Middle programme is strong on coaching and participant middle leaders report they are increasingly able to encourage their team members, thus freeing up more time for their own higher-level responsibilities. There is lots on coaching on the NCSL website. www.ncsl.org.uk
4. Brush up on science
Is anyone in your school planning something for the next British Association's National Science and Engineering Week (March 7-16, 2008)? Yes, it is some way off, but the BA is currently running a nationwide programme of free briefing events, running up to Christmas. Last year, more than 300 schools received a small grant to help them with NSEW events. Seems an obvious one for specialist science and technology schools, but lots of primaries got involved last year too.
5. Take a party to the School Proms
To be among 5,000 young and exuberant, yet always supportive and good-hearted people is a heady experience with many dimensions - educational, musical, emotional, social. The Proms are at the Albert Hall in London on November 12, 13 and 14. Details and tickets at
Send your contributions or suggestions for this column to Gerald Haigh at email@example.com.