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Self-Improving Schools

I write this from Sydney airport, where I’m waiting to fly home after another fascinating and enjoyable trip working with a whole range of schools and speaking at conferences. The trip has reaffirmed my belief that the sustainable future of schooling lies, not in following top-down edicts, but in schools working collaboratively to self-improve. At the start of the trip I spoke at the New South Wales Conference for government schools held in Sydney’s former Olympic stadium. Alongside two great keynoters (Richard Gerver and Dan Haesler) I did my bit, and people seemed to like it. But, for me, the …

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Out Of Time In 2015

It’s been a bad week for music teachers. The jailing of Philip Pickett for the horrendous historic abuse of students at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, comes after 4 other instrumental teachers have been prosecuted during the past 12 months for abuses at the Royal Northern College of Music, and Chetham’s and Purcell specialist schools. Emerging allegations at other schools suggest that the abuse of students was far from exceptional during the 1980s and 1990s. Perhaps just as disturbing was the unwillingness of the conservatoires and specialist schools to react to allegations at the time – a family whose daughter was taught by …

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The Death Of The Dissertation?

I’m supposed to be a learning futurist, so allow me to make a prediction: within 10 years the university dissertation will be dead. Its death will be greeted with relief by academics who are currently turning a blind eye to the rising trend of ‘outsourcing’ of dissertations and essay writing. We’ve got a perfect storm of circumstances which leads me to think that dissertations will be totally discredited over the next decade: the rise in online courses making it harder to be found out; increased pressure upon universities to accept – and retain – more international students; and a glut …

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