So, the school year is coming to a close. As we start to dream of our summer vacations, SATs and even SATs results day seems a distant memory. Don’t let it be! Of course, you have so much to celebrate and, believe you me, I know how much you deserve a break! But, only 59% of children in England are at the expected standard in reading, writing and maths. Turn that on its head and we have 41% of our children going into the holidays behind where they should be, and we all know they have even more challenges ahead! 41%! Convert these percentages into numbers and then picture the faces…we can’t sit back! The profession needs to think hard without translating that into simply more workload.
So, my plea to all teachers is to rid yourselves of any insecurities, any competitiveness, any defensiveness and strive with everything you have to develop your expertise, and your team’s expertise…do it for that 41% (not forgetting the others of course!). Knowing there is so much to learn and practise comes naturally in other professions but less so in teaching. Come on, let’s embrace professional learning and turn it into practice and impact in our classrooms. Let’s be like that doctor who reads professional journals before bed, let’s be like that athlete who would never dream of being without a coach (apart from Kyrgios for those into Wimbledon!), let’s be like that student who we encourage to practise, practise, practise when learning their times tables!
We also all know the impact of leadership! Leaders, be brave to ensure you have the best teachers in your classrooms. Hire well…we cannot allow 41% to slip the net. Invest in your staff…they are the ones who are going to impact the lives of that 41% forever. Be determined to lead a NO EXCUSE culture (no more Covid talk!) and be unapologetic about getting those basic skills absolutely nailed.
For now, enjoy your well-deserved summer holiday but, when the time is right for you, get planning and then execute like a boss! Collectively, we must ensure we do not have 41% of children (imagine the numbers and faces) left in this position ever again. We are all on the same side! Let’s do this! 💜💛