5. Things to think about this week
1. Promote minorities
Black and ethnic minority teachers are under-represented in senior leadership. Do you have colleagues in middle leadership with a few years' teaching experience who might benefit from the National College for School Leadership's equal access to promotion (EAP) programme?
The college says: "The EAP programme acknowledges that barriers to promotion exist in individual schools and the wider system but focuses on individual strategies and tools to overcome such barriers."
Originally part of the college's Leadership Pathways programme, EAP is now available separately. Applications for the next cohort (January 2009) close on November 21.
2. Exclusions seminar
New legislation on pupil exclusions says schools must provide adequate education after the sixth day of exclusion. So when I noticed a seminar entitled "Sixth Day Cover: Using Technology to Tackle Exclusion" at Bett 2009, the education technology show, I looked into it and discovered it is being given by Peter Baker, head of Mount Grace High in Hertfordshire.
The title tells you what it's about and there's a good case study on the web detailing Mount Grace's approach by Accipio, the firm providing the technology in question.
Mount Grace also features on the Department for Children, Schools and Families' website for its good practice in improving attendance.
www.bettshow.com; www.accipio-learning.com; www.dcsf.gov.ukschoolattendancegoodpractice
3. Aquire a manager
Do you have a school bursar? Perhaps it's time you had a school business manager instead. It'll be the same person, of course, and it will line up with the fact that in November the National Bursars Association will become the National Association of School Business Management.
The change reflects how far this side of school life has come in the 11 years of the association's existence. (The first bursar in the big school near me - appointed with the arrival of delegated budgets - was a scary retired wing-commander.)
Its website is always worth keeping up with, especially for NBA Schoolquote, where business managers keep in touch with each other on their purchasing and finance experiences.
4. Seize that headship
The Association of School and College Leaders has the happy knack of running courses that hit just the right spot.
"Home Run for Headship" in Barnsley on November 27 (hurry!) is about that final heave to the summit for people who have done the National Professional Qualification for Headship, have the right experience, but for some reason aren't finding it easy to land the job.
The course covers all the necessary angles - interviews, researching school needs and local authority perspectives.
5. In memoriam
If you ever wonder if you're making a difference, take inspiration from how one head's life is being remembered.
In March 1998, I wrote in The TES about Robert Szpalek, a Walsall head with a parallel life as a champion weightlifter. Sadly, on October 9 he died suddenly at 57, having served Darlaston Comprehensive for 20 years.
Now there's an "RIP Mr Szpalek" Facebook group with hundreds of touching tributes, mostly from grateful former pupils recalling his support for them through troubled times. Very typical is this example: "I have Bob to thank for the hardworking, decent family man I have become. RIP, Sir."
Send your contributions or suggestions for this column to Gerald Haigh at firstname.lastname@example.org.