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This session began with an input from Baroness Estelle Morris who presented a recipe for schools to achieve long term success. She reflected on how success can be realised through focusing on learning, meeting the needs of students and making the most of teachers through informed professionalism, engaging with pedagogy and effective collaboration.
The session progressed to interviews, firstly with Primary School Head Carl Jarvis who took his school from Special Measures to Outstanding in two years with the same staff and the same students through a radical approach to learning that really engaged his students. We explored with Carl what gave him the courage and determination to embark on this extraordinary journey. The second interview took place with Deputy Head Chris Holmwood - who leads his teaching school alliance - and two of his students. In this case study the school was already Outstanding but had a grade 2 for teaching and learning. Instead of just chasing the Ofsted criteria they decided to “lift the lid” and do something quite different. Again the interview explored what they did, why they did it and what made it successful in both conventional and other ways. In the final part of the interview we explored and reflected on the lessons learnt from from their experiences, and how we can each have the confidence to pursue a similar approach, leading to long term sustainable success. Wendy Berliner of the Guardian also joined us and reflected on what she has heard.