Why collaboration with pupils can no longer be optional

Schools are already moving in a direction that prepares the ground for a change of culture. Never before has there been such a focus on the learning experiences of pupils; the social and well-being needs of teachers and pupils; of collaboration and sharing of ideas between and within schools for how to support learning; and…

About my book: what it’s about and why you should buy it

It’s Our School, It’s Our Time: a companion guide to whole-school collaborative decision-making A few years ago I carried out a research study as part of my doctorate; I explored the experience of three teachers who were sometimes sharing classroom decision-making with their pupils. Although there is evidence that this way of teaching has many…

Free 1-hour online workshop: Involving pupils in decisions about what goes on in their classrooms.

This 1-hour online interactive workshop is aimed at teachers in training and newly qualified teachers, although all are welcome. 2-3 p.m. (London) Wednesday 3rd February 2021 Places are limited to 40 and can be booked on Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/collaborative-decision-making-getting-started-tickets-136957251827  If there is enough interest, I will set up additional dates. Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash

Dear Postgrads: my Q&A session with 190 Primary PGCE students

Earlier this week 190 Primary PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate of Education) students from a leading London university Zoomed in to learn about the principles and evidence for collaborative decision-making (CDM) in the classroom. This letter is my response to their thought-provoking questions, a few of which I was able to address in my seminar.

Police offer educational courses as alternatives to punishment

About ten years ago I read that binge drinkers in Hertfordshire were being offered the chance to reduce their fines in exchange for a place on an alcohol re-education course run by Hertfordshire Police. I was working in Hertfordshire schools and took the opportunity to ask a school’s Police Liaison Officer about this practice. I…

The launch: a report of the online celebration of my new book

My book It’s Our School, It’s Our Time was published by Routledge towards the end of November and I held the book launch on 7th December. Because of the pandemic, the launch had to be a virtual one, run on Zoom. I used Eventbrite to publicise the event, and was pleasantly surprised to find that…

5 ways to start bringing pupils into the decision-making process

Anyone putting any effort into making some kind of change in a school wants to make it stick. Heads are not interested in passing fads. They want to embed practices that can become part of a strong, sustainable school culture, supporting those aspects of the school which are already recognised as valuable, and providing a…

Say “Hello” to the Educational Psychologist: seeking pupil consent for the involvement of outside professionals

Whilst recognising the importance of respecting pupils, schools very rarely seek the consent of pupils before requesting the involvement of professionals. Both schools and the Educational Psychology profession need to find better ways of addressing this. This article focuses on consent from pupils for the involvement of an Educational psychologist (EP), as that is my…

Arranging classroom seating to facilitate discussion and collaboration

Seating pupils in an inward-facing circle provides an inclusive and collaborative learning environment that overcomes disengagement and fosters peer-to-peer learning.

Teaching good learning behaviours

We may unwittingly be teaching our pupils that conformity leads to successful learning. Teacher and pupil roles need to move with the times, but this won’t happen without serious debate in the schools.