18/01/2018

The only way is up...

‘The only ways is up’ was Number 1 on the day that I started teaching in September 1988.

 

It had also been the theme tune to all my preparations over the previous weeks.

 

Pretty prophetic in hindsight.

 

Personally, a decision to change career is one that I have never once looked back on; you know when you have found your vocation.

 

Professionally, the song’s also been a metaphor for the schools that I’ve been privileged to work in and, subsequently, to lead. Schools that are culturally committed continuous improvement.

 

And it’s in this context that I’m so excited about last week’s announcement that we will now be working in partnership with Achievement for All to develop a Multi-Academy Trust...

 

www.parkhouseschool.org/News/achievement-for-all-multi-academy-trust.aspx

 

I suppose I can best explain a commitment to continuous improvement - and this specific decision for the benefit of all our students - in terms of management guru Charles Handy's concept of the Sigmoid Curve in business...

 

Sigmoid Curve

 

The most successful, ambitious and truly innovative companies reinvent their product as near to the top of its present 'life cycle' as can be predicted; before the peak when the product loses its popularity or becomes outdated and things start going downhill. I’m sure we can all think of some that haven’t...

 

Blackberries
Kodak Film

 

Put at its most simple simple, you launch your next path to success while you’re still on the up, benefiting from the present moment’s achievements, and cultural momentum...

 

Let’s apply that thinking to the school’s trajectory...

 

Sigmoid Curve 2

 

Since converting to Single Academy status in May 2011, we have...

 

Achieved two Good Ofsted Inspections, with an emphasis on our values-driven ambition for students...

 

Secured continuous improvement in exam results, with a letter of congratulation from Nick Gibb, Minister of State for Education, congratulating us on being one of the country’s top 100 State schools..

 

Nick Gibb

 

Received a letter of congratulation from David Laws, Nick Gibb’s predecessor, commending the way in which we have closed the progress and achievement gap for disadvantaged students...

 

David Laws letter

Achieved our best ever GCSE results last summer, significantly above local and national averages.

Prize Giving

The school has never been in a better place. We constantly strive for it to be even better.

 

Achievement for All captures that ambition.

 

afaeducation.org

 

We know that partnership works...

 

www.parkhouseschool.org/News/royal-visit-recognises-achievement-for-all.aspx

 

And in now choosing to formally work together with one of the country’s most successful school improvement partners to build on and further develop best practice, share thinking with other schools and deploy resources for maximum benefit to learning in the classroom, I believe we are making a landmark commitment to ensuring that for all our students the only way really can continue to be up...

 

 

 

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