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Mind the Gap, Episode 11 — Tom and Emma Discuss Exams, Quality Assurance & the Pressure on Leaders

In this “Tom & Emma” episode of Mind the Gap, the hosts begin by reflecting on their recent interview with Mary Myatt (0:50). In particular, Myatt’s ability to demonstrate and demand excellence in the profession has proven resonant.

Next, Tom shares takeaways from the recent “Teaching for Distinction” course he presented (5:18) before sharing some recommended reading, including Daniel Willingham’s Why Don’t Students Like School?, What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Psychology by David Didau and Nick Rose, and Dylan Wiliam’s Embedded Formative Assessment. These books are all important parts of the course.

Tom and Emma then discuss the state of exams in the UK (12:30). What’s being done right and what should be done differently? Next, they talk about quality assurance in schools (27:02), a topic that invites many perspectives. How is it done well? Should leaders be doing walk-throughs in the age of COVID? What support do new teachers need?

The final topic is the pressure on principals and head teachers (38:52). Tom and Emma have an important discussion about the challenges and stresses facing leaders.

To find all video episodes, featuring additional segments from Tom and Emma, subscribe to Mind the Gap with Tom & Emma on YouTube.

To listen to the audio version, subscribe here on your preferred podcast app: https://anchor.fm/mindthegap-edu 

About the participants:

Tom Sherrington is a co-host of Mind the Gap: Making Education Work Across the Globe. He has worked in schools as a teacher and leader for 30 years and is now a consultant specializing in teacher development and curriculum & assessment planning. Through his consultancy – teacherhead consulting – he is interested in working with educators to explore and implement contemporary educational ideas that deliver an excellent all-round education for young people. His books include Teaching WalkThrus, Rosenshine’s Principles in Action and The Learning Rainforest Fieldbook.  Tom is a regular contributor to ResearchEd events and other conferences for teachers and policymakers. He regularly contributes to conferences and CPD sessions locally and nationally and is busy working in schools and colleges across the UK and around the world. Follow Tom on Twitter @teacherhead

Emma Turner is a co-host of Mind the Gap: Making Education Work Across the Globe. After 20 years in primary teaching, Emma joined Discovery Schools Academy Trust where she is currently the Research and CPD lead, devising and writing training for staff at all career stages, but specializing in continuous professional development (CPD) for early career teachers. She is the founder of ‘NewEd – Joyful CPD for early career teachers’, a not-for-profit approach to CPD to encourage positivity amongst the profession and help to retain teachers in post. Turner is author of Be More Toddler: A Leadership Education From Our Little Learners. She is an advocate of balance in leadership and family life and regularly speaks at events across the UK on how part-time leadership and flexible working can be a hugely successful model in organizations. Follow Emma on Twitter @emma_turner75

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