By Dr Morris Charlton, Voice Regional Officer (personal view)
Future-proof Your School: Steering culture, driving school improvement, developing excellence
By David Hughes
Critical Publishing ISBN: 978-1- 912508- 44-0 Available on Amazon at £15.99 or £14.81 Kindle
This is book is written by a practitioner – it works. If I was still working as a headteacher, in senior management, local authority or a school governor, this would be a must-read.
Although different in style to most books, I found it easy on the eye and read it in one sitting, then kept going back to it.
It is packed with ideas and provides a basis for planning Inset, school development planning, departmental planning, staff development and reflective work on school processes.
The format of each chapter lends itself to staff meeting discussions and to personal and professional development. Why are so many staff meetings staid passing-out-information sessions when they could be developmental?
The Critical Issues andTriangulation Points in each Chapter are a great help, as are the references and further reading suggestions.
Each chapter heading gives a focus through a critical issues box – Chapter One, Culture and School Improvement.
Critical issues – some exemplars
- Understanding your school at a cultural level.
- How a teacher becomes part of your school: the induction process.
- What can we do to ensure a new teacher becomes successful and a productive team member?
- Negative old hands and the damage that they can do in school.
- Reflections as a research and development methodology for your school.
As an exemplar – Chapter One, the Triangulation Points focus on the following questions / issues re Staff:
- Do you have a mentoring and support structure in school?
- Is the induction programme an ad hoc or structured programme?
- Are mentors volunteers or is mentoring a defined responsibility of a named person(s)?
- How long does the mentoring programme last and what is its content?
Each chapter is supported by case files and summary.
We have long realised that we live in dynamic and changing times – particularly in schools. The educational world has gone from complicated to complex. Complex leads to a lack of predictability. Therefore, high quality review and planning is required – this book provides an excellent framework for such a task.
About the reviewer
Dr Morris Charlton is Regional Officer for Yorkshire and Humber with a brief for SEND. Prior to working for Voice, part-time, he was a headteacher of residential special schools for SEMH for 30 years. His school had a PRU attached. As a headteacher, he was seconded on 11 occasions to schools and PRUs in crisis. He is still inspecting and delivering Inset.