As a gung-ho young head, Rob Carpenter was in love with systems. It was, he discovered, a big mistake. He now believes that the core of leadership should be based around relationships with staff and children.
Schools need more than a good wi-fi connection and ICT lab to ensure students have opportunities to thrive and compete in today’s digital economy. Anna Doody and Ann-Marie Whelan report on a new initiative in Scotland that is helping schools maximise their digital potential and develop a whole-school digital framework to support innovation in learning.
Kulvarn Atwal became head of Highlands Primary school in east London in September 2012. At the time, the school had just received a Requires Improvement rating from Ofsted. By the end of the year, pupil progress at Key Stage 2 was in the top 3% of schools nationally; by the end of the second year, they were in the top 1%. When Kulvarn took over, he firmly believed that by developing teachers within an expansive and collaborative learning environment, teachers will have the confidence to innovate and develop their practice. The simple premise was that through the empowerment of staff, children would flourish and their learning would accelerate. In this article he describes why he decided to create a dynamic learning community and considers the impact on staff.