40 episodes

The Headteacher Update Podcast is dedicated to supporting best practice in the primary school – with practical advice, discussion and tips for teachers and school leaders across a range of topics relevant to your daily practice

The Headteacher Update Podcast Pete Henshaw

    • Education

The Headteacher Update Podcast is dedicated to supporting best practice in the primary school – with practical advice, discussion and tips for teachers and school leaders across a range of topics relevant to your daily practice

    Headteacher Update Podcast: Marketing your primary school

    Headteacher Update Podcast: Marketing your primary school

    In this episode we discuss how headteachers can “market” their primary schools effectively – not least to prospective parents and their wider communities.
    Pupil rolls are due to fall notably in the coming years, meaning that promoting our school’s ethos, culture and educational track record will become ever more important – especially for small primary schools.
    But how do we go about doing this well? We speak to two experienced headteachers of small primary schools and ask why marketing our schools is essential and get their insights, ideas, and tips.
    We discuss general principles of good practice and proactive marketing work as well as some “quick wins” for schools. We talk both short-term and long-term marketing strategies, how to make tight marketing budgets stretch, and how to ensure you capture and communication clearly and effectively your school’s unique selling points and ethos.
    We talk about how we can “compete” for pupils from our local communities in the right way and touch upon involving our pupils in promoting the school as well.

    • 50 min
    Headteacher Update Podcast: Leading change and interventions in schools

    Headteacher Update Podcast: Leading change and interventions in schools

    This episode looks at how schools and school leaders can lead change and make sure new approaches, interventions or improvement practices have the biggest possible impact.
    Inspired by the publication of the Education Endowment Foundation’s updated implementation guidance – Putting Evidence to Work – the podcast features advice, examples, and ideas from three experienced school leaders.
    The EEF’s new guidance distils the latest research into effective implementation and is aimed at helping schools to ensure new approaches, interventions and practices are successful.
    Our episode kicks off with some general tenets of good practice when leading and implementing new approaches and we discuss how school leaders can structure and implement new initiatives.
    We ask how the new EEF guidance can be woven into school practices, not least to ensure our interventions are meeting the needs of our most disadvantaged pupils. We also ask what we need to do when interventions are not working.
    We also ask how we can respond if members of school staff are reluctant about the changes we are proposing.
    Finally, our guests share case studies of successful implementation along with lessons learnt and top tips/takeaways.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Headteacher Update Podcast: Supporting pupil mental health & wellbeing

    Headteacher Update Podcast: Supporting pupil mental health & wellbeing

    In this episode we discuss a range of ideas and strategies for how primary schools can support the good mental health and wellbeing of their pupils.
    We chat to three guests who work in three different schools. We hear their tenets of good practice when it comes to supporting good pupil wellbeing in school before discussing what wellbeing challenges they are seeing on the ground and at the chalkface in their schools.
    We delve into some of the work taking place in our guests’ three schools and hear anonymised case studies of successful interventions they have had with pupils who have struggled.
    We talk extensively about their approaches to mental health and wellbeing education – within PSHE but also more generally across the curriculum and in the classroom with lots of ideas big and small.
    We look in particular at what we can do to support our pupils, including while they are waiting for CAMHS referrals, and we discuss what support we can access via other outside agencies.
    Elsewhere, we discuss how we can build positive relationships with pupils and families so that we can better recognise the warning signs of emerging problems and intervene quickly.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Headteacher Update Podcast: Protecting headteacher wellbeing during Ofsted inspection

    Headteacher Update Podcast: Protecting headteacher wellbeing during Ofsted inspection

    In this episode we discuss tips, ideas, and strategies for protecting the wellbeing of headteachers – and other school staff – during Ofsted inspections.
    Our guest is Paul K Ainsworth, who has held director of school improvement roles in four multi-academy trusts in the last nine years and in that time has experienced more than 40 Ofsted inspections.
    We get Paul’s practical insights – both small ideas and more substantial advice – about how we can protect our mental health and wellbeing, and that of our school team, during inspection.
    We get lots of tips for reducing and managing anxiety and hear useful anecdotes from Paul’s experience of inspection.
    We hear about what inspection has been like this year in light of changes brought in after the suicide of headteacher Ruth Perry.
    Ofsted has brought in a number of reforms, including new complaints procedures, mental health training for inspectors and better support – we find out what this looks like on the ground and ask what headteachers can expect to see when they get inspected in 2024.
    Paul offers insights for how we can prepare for inspection in such a way that will build resilience and confidence, including how best to prepare for the pre-inspection phone call.
    Other topics include where headteachers can turn to for support during inspection, how to challenge inspectors effectively, and how to handle the emotional rollercoaster and exhausting nature of inspection.

    • 48 min
    Headteacher Update Podcast: Supporting Pupil Premium and disadvantaged children

    Headteacher Update Podcast: Supporting Pupil Premium and disadvantaged children

    In this episode, three schools talk about the impact of the cost of living crisis and their work to support Pupil Premium and disadvantaged pupils.
    Our guests identify their key tenets of effective Pupil Premium practice and talk about specific approaches they are using in their schools. We delve into a range of strategies and ideas for addressing the consequences of poverty in the primary school, including tips for success and lessons learned.
    We hear about what is happening on the ground in our guests’ schools and the particular impacts they are seeing of the cost of living crisis and increasing levels of poverty.
    We look at different aspects of school life through the lens of poverty, including the day-to-day running of the school, curriculum design, wider school systems, and more.
    We discuss how to track Pupil Premium interventions and strategies, how to evaluate our spending, and the key ingredients of an effective, high-impact Pupil Premium Strategy.
    Other topics under discussion include pupil voice, raising aspiration, attendance, quality first teaching and more.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Headteacher Update Podcast: Effective use of teaching assistants in the classroom

    Headteacher Update Podcast: Effective use of teaching assistants in the classroom

    This episode looks at the effective deployment of our teaching assistants in the primary school classroom, offering advice for whole-school practice and individual teaching and lessons.
    We ask how teaching assistants can enhance pupils’ outcomes and support inclusion and how teachers and teaching assistants can communicate and work together effectively.
    We discuss school systems and structures that can support their effective deployment. And we discuss the training and development that must be in place for our teaching assistants.
    We consider how teaching assistants should and – vitally – should not be deployed, both in the classroom and when leading interventions.
    We look at the role of school leaders in establishing the appropriate systems, structures and working practices that ensure consistent and effective deployment.
    We also consider the merits of the DfE-funded Teaching Assistant Deployment Review Guide and consider other useful resources, including the Teaching Assistant Standards, the EEF teaching assistant research evidence and the MITA (maximising the impact of teaching of assistants) project.
    And amid a cost of living crisis when many other jobs offer better remuneration, we discuss the recruitment and retention of teaching assistants.

    • 57 min

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