Five ways to damage a good school

Filling the pail

As teachers in the northern hemisphere reflect on the past school year and consider the new one to come, it falls to me to channel my inner Cassandra.

Imagine you are in charge of a good school; a school that is recognised as doing a decent job by the local community but also a school with aspirations to reach ever greater heights. This is a time of vulnerability; a time when bad ideas are as likely as good ideas to take hold of the imagination. Doing something is not always an improvement. Here are my top five howlers.

5. Focus on the furniture

Focusing on furniture and walls is a distraction from the real work that needs to be done. However, the effects are greater than simply those of wasting time and effort. The most efficient physical arrangement is to have individual classrooms with tables that are laid out, or…

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