February 29, 2024Comments are off for this post.

Top 10 (plus 2!) Education Leadership Books for School Leaders

As a school leader, you're probably often on the hunt for books that can provide recommendations and insights regarding wellbeing, leadership advice, and general education information. At Edurio we regularly produce research related to school improvement, staff and pupil wellbeing, EDI and more, so we’re always on the lookout for the best books talking about education.

Here are some excellent books (in no particular order) that have been published on school improvement recently, surrounding school improvement and leadership. As an added bonus, we’ve included a book for teachers and one book to look out for this year!

1. Outstanding School Leadership by Peter Hughes (2023)

Through a series of case studies and interviews with successful school leaders, Hughes identifies the core principles and practices that lead to outstanding outcomes for schools and students alike creating a blueprint for excellence in educational leadership. This book is an essential resource for anyone looking to elevate their leadership skills and drive meaningful change in the education sector.

2. Diverse Educators: A Manifesto by Bennie Kara and Hannah Wilson (2022)

The importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in schools is more important than ever. This book takes the structure of the Equality Act and lays out chapters on each of the Protected Characteristics with contributions from various people in the sector speaking directly to their experience. An enlightening read for anyone dedicated to creating a more inclusive environment in their organisation.

3. Terms of Engagement: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations by Richard H. Axelrod (2010)

Although not one of the newest books on our list, Terms of Engagement is a must read for any leader working to make changes happen in their organisation. The key to successful change is communication and Axelrod lays out a framework that will guide you through roadblocks when communication stalls or miscommunication happens, getting you to involve the right stakeholders and building true solutions no matter what type of organisation you work in.

4. Women Navigating Educational Leadership by Jana L. Carlisle (2024)

What’s it like to be a woman working in educational leadership today? Interviewing 37 women leaders between 2020 and 2022, this book takes a look at their experiences in a broad range of settings and experiences. This speaks to the underrepresentation of women in educational leadership positions today and invites discussion around what can be done to support women more effectively.

5. Humble Leadership by Edgar H. Schein (2018)

In "Humble Leadership," Edgar H. Schein, with his extensive experience in organisational psychology, explores the power of humility in leadership. Schein argues that the key to effective leadership and organisational success lies in building deeper, trust-based relationships with team members. By fostering an environment where vulnerability and openness are valued, leaders can unlock the full potential of their teams. This book is a compelling read for anyone interested in transforming their leadership style to cultivate a more inclusive and collaborative workplace culture.

6. Imperfect Leadership in Action: A practical book for school leaders who know they don’t know it all by Steve Munby and Marie-Claire Bretherton (2022)

A practical resource based on Munby’s previous book, Imperfect Leadership, is designed to help leaders reflect on their role and embrace the imperfect aspects of leadership. A great resource for anyone wanting some more directed prompts and practical case studies to grow as a leader in challenging situations.

7. School Leaders Matter by Helen Kelly (2023)

Drawing on research and real-world examples, Kelly highlights the strategies and qualities that distinguish effective school leaders, emphasising the pivotal role of leadership in shaping the success of educational institutions. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities in educational leadership, offering valuable insights for current and aspiring school leaders aiming to make a significant impact on their communities.

8. New School Leader. What now? By Neil Renton (2023)

This is the definitive guide for newly appointed school leaders navigating the complexities of their roles. This book covers everything from setting a vision and building a supportive culture to managing finances and handling difficult conversations. Renton's practical advice and real-life anecdotes provide a roadmap for making a positive and lasting impact in your school.

9. The Authentic Leader by Andrew Morrish (2022)

Morrish challenges conventional leadership wisdom, advocating for a leadership style rooted in authenticity and integrity. Through personal stories and examples from a range of sectors, Morrish illustrates how authentic leaders inspire trust, foster innovation, and drive performance. This book is a must-read for leaders seeking to develop a leadership style that is true to themselves and effective in today’s dynamic world.

10. My School & Multi Academy Trust Growth Guide by Al Kingsley (2023)

This is an essential manual for educational leaders looking to navigate the complexities of expanding their schools and trusts. With a practical approach, Kingsley shares insights on strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, financial management, and sustainable growth practices. This book also delves into the importance of leveraging technology and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. A must-read for any leader aiming to scale their educational institution while maintaining quality and integrity.

If you’re looking to support teaching and learning, get teachers to read this:

Just Great Teaching by Ross Morrison McGill (@TeacherToolkit) (2019)

Ross Morrison McGill, known online as @TeacherToolkit, distils decades of teaching experience into "Just Great Teaching." This book delves into practical strategies and innovative approaches to overcome common classroom challenges. With a focus on enhancing pupil engagement, curriculum design, and assessment methods, McGill offers insights that are both practical and inspiring. A go-to guide for teachers seeking to refine their practice and make a tangible impact in their students' learning journey.

Coming soon: Schools of Thought by David James and Jane Lunnon (2024)

We’re excited for "Schools of Thought" by David James and Jane Lunnon, an upcoming exploration into the diverse educational philosophies and practices that shape today’s schools. By examining the theories and ideas that underpin various educational models, the authors aim to provide educators and school leaders with a deeper understanding of how they can adopt and adapt these practices to benefit their students. Anticipated to be a thought-provoking read, this book is expected to spark debate and inspire innovation in the field of education.

February 20, 2024Comments are off for this post.

5 Key Insights for Addressing Behaviour and Safety Challenges

This blog post will explore five interesting new insights from our Behaviour and Safety:  Key Trends and Challenges report. Comparing the responses from over 400,000 staff, pupils and parents from the last five years of data collection, the data in our Behaviour and Safety report explores the current educational landscape in relation to Behaviour and Safety in English Schools.

  1. Staff Report levels of Emotional or physical violence from a pupil back to pre-pandemic levels. 

Throughout the academic year 2022/23, a startling statistic emerged as 1 in 5 members of staff reported experiencing emotional or physical violence from a pupil.  

Although experiences of safety and support related to pupil behaviour improved during the pandemic, the most recent data indicates a return to, or even surpassing, pre-pandemic levels. 

2. Classroom Disruption at the highest levels since the Staff experience and Wellbeing survey began.

During the COVID-19 pandemic (2020/21), while home learning was more prominent, staff reported a lower rate of work disruption due to poor pupil behaviour (25%). As schooling has returned to normal, the data highlights a year-on-year increase in the levels of disruption being reported by staff members, now higher than pre-pandemic levels.

2022/23 data shows that 37% of staff experienced their work being disrupted constantly or often, 37% sometimes experienced their work being disrupted by poor pupil behaviour, and only 26% of staff reported their work is rarely or never disrupted by poor pupil behaviour.

3. Behaviour a Key Contributor to Staff Resignation

As we saw in our Staff Retention Blog,  43% of all staff considering resigning sometimes, often or constantly in 2022/23. In responses collected between May and December 2023/24, since introducing the question “What has made you consider resigning?” into the Staff Experience and Wellbeing Survey, pupil behaviour was the 4th most frequently reported reason for considering resigning for those who are considering resigning.

4. The majority of pupils report behaving well during class.

The report revealed that most pupils (92%) believe they behave well during class, linking positive behaviour to higher wellbeing and happiness in school. Conversely, those reporting less favourable behaviour are more likely to express dissatisfaction with their school experience. 

55% of pupils who reported behaving well in class “always, very often, quite often” were happy to be studying at their school, as opposed to 27% of pupils who reported behaving only “sometimes, rarely, or never.” 

5. Pupils' feelings of safety worsened year on year between 2020/2021 through 2022/2023.

Over the last three years, there has been a steady decline (-8%) in how safe pupils feel during class. Only 65% of pupils reported feeling “Very safe” or “Quite safe” in 2022/2023.

Additionally to the lower levels of perceived safety among pupils, 42% of pupils in 2022/23 reported feeling their learning was disrupted very or quite often by someone’s behaviour. Only 1 in 4 (27%) felt their learning was rarely or never disrupted. 

What can you do as an educational leader...

While the increasing statistics surrounding classroom disruption, the deterioration of pupil feelings of safety, more staff considering resigning than previously recorded, and pupil behaviour is one of the top reasons they report considering resigning. This data should motivate us to look for solutions, many of which already exist. 

Policy and Best practice advice from the sector

NASUWT highlight that Behaviour management strategies and policies are a crucial element of a school’s culture. They offer advice on developing behaviour management policies, and share what they believe are eight principles that underpin effective behaviour management. They highligh that the principles should be considered in conjunction with the NASUWT’s guide to Developing a Behaviour Management Policy.

The Department for Education also have a range of resources and guidance to support with behaviour in schools.

Education Endowment Foundation outline a Guidance report published in 2021, which holds valuable advice and learnings for the sector. From this report, there is a simplified recommendations poster, which has advice on proactive and reactive measures to employ in order to improve behaviour in schools. 

Resources to support pupil behaviour

When it comes to physical resources that may be helpful for behaviour management Twinkl has a great range for primary settings, with reward incentives, values-based displays, and behaviour prompts for around the classroom.

Similarly TES have a wide selection of primary and secondary based resources that can offer inspiration for your own schools/classrooms.

What's next?

If you are interested in having a closer look at Behaviour and Safety and want to understand how it impacts pupils' educational experience:

Get in touch with us at: hello@edurio.com

February 7, 2024Comments are off for this post.

Enhancing Governance: Supporting Academy Trusts in Aligning with Governance Standards

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, ensuring effective governance within academy trusts is paramount. Central to this endeavour is alignment with regulatory frameworks such as The Academy Trust Governance Code and guidelines laid out in documents like the Academy Trust Handbook 2023. Among these standards, Section 1.10 of the Handbook places a particular emphasis on engagement, highlighting the need for strategic oversight of relationships with stakeholders. Here, Edurio emerges as a valuable ally, offering a suite of tools and resources designed to facilitate meaningful engagement and streamline governance processes within academy trusts.

Facilitating Stakeholder Engagement
At its core, Edurio serves to empower academy trusts to enhance stakeholder involvement and foster transparent communication throughout education organisations. By collecting and analysing stakeholder feedback on various issues, boards can effectively oversee relationships with key stakeholders, including parents, schools, and communities. This strategic approach ensures that decision-making is informed by diverse perspectives and supported by genuine engagement.

Gathering Insights through Feedback
Feedback surveys are one form of data available to academy trusts to measure the quality of education by understanding the viewpoints of its stakeholders. By collecting and analysing qualitative data (feedback surveys), and comparing the subjective views of stakeholders alongside quantitative data (outcomes, retention rates, etc.) boards can identify areas for improvement and tailor their governance strategies to better meet the needs of all stakeholders. This data-informed approach not only enhances accountability but also fosters a culture of collaboration within the trust.

Promoting Transparency in Decision-making
Communication with stakeholders is vital for the successful implementation of the strategic feedback cycle. By working to set goals and actions collaboratively, trusts cultivate true partnerships with stakeholders who trust the feedback process and believe that their honest feedback will have an impact on the school. This transparency not only builds trust and credibility but also empowers stakeholders to actively participate in governance activities and beyond.

Monitoring Performance and Demonstrating Compliance
Strategic feedback implementation supports academy trusts in meeting the broader governance objectives outlined in The Academy Trust Governance Code. By providing tools for data analysis and reporting, the Edurio platform enables boards to monitor their performance against national benchmarks and demonstrate compliance with governance standards. This proactive approach not only minimises risks but also drives continuous improvement within the trust.

Academy trusts seeking to align with governance standards and enhance their governance practices should look at all of the data available to them, especially stakeholder feedback. By facilitating stakeholder engagement, promoting transparency, and enabling evidence-informed decision-making, stakeholder feedback empowers boards to fulfil their governance responsibilities effectively. In an era of increasing complexity and scrutiny in education, stakeholder feedback surveys are one of the key tools academy trusts need to navigate challenges and drive positive change for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.

We’re here to help! Explore our free Stakeholder Feedback Hub to learn more about how to implement strategic stakeholder feedback for your organisation.

January 24, 2024Comments are off for this post.

5 Free Resources Your School Can Use to Improve Pupil Wellbeing

Pupil wellbeing is crucial for academic success, personal development, and mental health. According to the University of Oxford Impact Study, pupil wellbeing is influenced by various aspects of school life, such as curriculum, assessment, relationships, environment, and support. Therefore, a holistic and evidence-based approach is advisable for schools and trusts seeking to promote wellbeing.

In this blog, we will introduce five resources that you can use to improve pupil wellbeing: 

These resources are based on the latest research and best practices in the field of education and mental health. They are designed to help schools implement effective strategies and interventions to support pupils’ emotional, social, and psychological needs.

Oxford Impact

Based on the findings of a recent study by Dr. Ariel Lindorf from the University of Oxford, here are some evidence-based approaches to planning a pupil wellbeing strategy for your school or trust: 

  • Adapt to and consider your specific school context: Conduct proper self-evaluation before implementation to identify and address the school’s strengths and assets as well as the issues that need to be solved 
  • Adopt a whole-school approach (integrated, cross-level): Make sure that broader school policy aligns with implementation
  • Involve the wider community, including parents and families 
  • Emphasise professional development for teachers to assist them with implementation 
  • Establish monitoring systems to track and modify implementation as required 
  • Provide adequate time and resources to facilitate implementation

A key part of this framework is encapsulated in adopting a “whole-school approach,” and the next resource provides tangible information for schools that want to adopt it.

5 Steps to Wellbeing

The 5 Steps to Wellbeing resource from Anna Freud is a practical guide for schools to promote a whole-school approach to positive mental health. The resource is based on a framework which suggests five steps to improve wellbeing: 

  • Leading change: having a school-wide ethos that ensures that wellbeing policies are aligned
  • Working together: including parent and pupil voices when working on wellbeing
  • Understanding need: measuring wellbeing and developing interventions
  • Promoting wellbeing: integrating wellbeing across curriculum and school culture

Supporting staff: surveying, supporting, and training staff on wellbeing

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Source: Anna Freud

The 5 Steps to Wellbeing resource provides examples, tips, and activities for each step, as well as links to further resources and support. It can also help schools to identify and address the barriers and challenges that may affect wellbeing, such as stress, anxiety, and isolation.

Classroom Wellbeing Toolkit

The Classroom Wellbeing Toolkit from Anna Freud is a collection of resources and activities for teachers to use in their classrooms to support pupil wellbeing. The toolkit provides guidance on responding to stress, low mood, and anxiety and preventing bullying. Each section contains various resources and activities suitable for different ages, abilities, and contexts.

Source: Anna Freud

The Classroom Wellbeing Toolkit can help teachers integrate wellbeing into their everyday teaching practice by providing them with easy-to-use and engaging resources and activities. It can also help teachers to foster a positive and supportive classroom environment where pupils feel safe, respected, and motivated.

YoungMinds Stress Bucket

The YoungMinds Stress Bucket is a simple and effective tool for helping pupils understand and manage their stress levels. The resource uses the metaphor of a bucket that can fill up with stressors, such as homework, exams, peer pressure, family problems, etc. The resource also introduces the concept of coping strategies, such as relaxation, exercise, hobbies, talking, etc., that can help to empty the bucket and reduce stress.

Source: YoungMinds

The Stress Bucket can help pupils recognise and express their feelings of stress in a visual and interactive way. It can also help pupils practice healthy and positive ways to cope with stress by encouraging them to find what works best for them. YoungMinds provides lots of free tools for pupils of different ages, and this resource is just one example.

Britain Get Talking

The Britain Get Talking is a campaign and a resource that aims to encourage pupils and families to talk more and listen better to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The resource is a simple exercise that asks: “What’s on our minds can be the hardest subject. So what’s on yours?” By filling out a free downloadable booklet, parents and their children can participate in a shared activity that opens the door to improving wellbeing.

Source: Britain Get Talking

Schools can recommend the Britain Get Talking homework exercise to parents who are interested in supporting their child's mental health and wellbeing. It can also help schools strengthen their links with families and communities by supporting them to have more meaningful and positive interactions.

What’s Next?

We hope this blog has inspired and guided you on improving pupil wellbeing in your school or trust. If you found this blog useful, it is clear that you are interested in evidence-based approaches to addressing pupil wellbeing. As part of next steps, consider:

  • Investigating the data your school or trust collects on pupil wellbeing and selecting the resources most appropriate based on your needs
  • If your organisation does not yet collect data, learn more about what you could gain by running our Pupil Learning Experience and Wellbeing Survey
  • Reading Pupil Wellbeing in Schools to understand national trends in pupil wellbeing from 2020 to 2023