As delivered at ResearchED National as part of the "Walking the Tightrope" presentation: Meden quadrants provides a framework through which students can be assessed for their need and suggest the right intervention to be delivered at the right time. Thus supporting a high aspirations culture that seeks to engage all students to meet their career goals.

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After years in education, with roles from Teaching Assistant to SLT, Zoe Enser is stepping away from the classroom - So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. Zoe has been instrumental in encouraging me to blog, and explore things I never thought I would do in education, so with The Bard in mind:

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The issue with class in the classroom is the lens through which we view those we serve, and what is the right route in to the profession. Teaching needs to drop the "them that know best" speaking for "them that know no better" approaches to setting the world to rights.

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After 19 years of teaching, Mark Enser is stepping away from the classroom. This is me paying my respects in a way that I hope Mark will appreciate, and mumble something like "Get the beers in you soft git...".

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High Expectations should be core to school culture; covering everything from behaviour in lessons and around the school, to our community’s expectations of the outcomes and futures our students will achieve. This is something that applies to all within the school community, students, and staff alike. By setting the bar high, students of all abilities feel inspired, motivated, and challenged to be the best version of themselves that they can be. The Early Career Framework covers this in two areas; it is crucial that teachers get these right.

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A reflection on Zoe Enser's "Breaking Out of the Box" blog. Why do we pigeon-hole people, and not make the most of their talents and interests? How can we use knowledge of these biases to challenge our own behaviours?

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If we look at commentators across Twitter, we are told that the academics in charge of these courses know what they are doing, there’s expertise and research that underpins the work being done in their establishments, which feeds into the ITT provided in them. Us teachers on the ground needn't worry about such things, despite many voices saying change is needed, because NQTs (ECTs) aren’t feeling prepared for their first school role, a shared view supported by many mentors. None of this detracts from the hard work being put in by ITT trainers, trainees, and mentors. So why are the voices of those on the chalk-face being ignored, even dismissed in a manner that removes the collegiality of our profession? This is a genuine question – I have no answers for this, just suppositions.

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After what has been a challenging year, to say the least, I am reminded of how morale is key to keeping your team around you pulling in the same direction. In the words of the former Lockheed Martin Executive chair, Marillyn Hewson – “You can’t forget that organizational success flows from the hearts and minds of the men and women you lead”, this is true in any walk of life. However, in education we have been relentlessly beaten up.

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Steve and I spoke recently over the phone and realised; for all the collaboration we do in our work and on NetworkEdEM, we have never collaborated on a blog piece before. We speak often of how life has moved on since our training year, our NQT year and now through the seemingly deep precipice as we approach the dreaded ‘5-year mark’ of our teaching careers that so many colleagues seem not to cross. This can often be attributed to feeling lost, or not knowing where the path lies for your future.

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Is leadership and knowledge in schools as unique as we are led to think? School leaders often talk about domain specific knowledge and how running a school relies on having gathered this knowledge in a school. Some assert that schools provide the domain where the knowledge required to successfully lead in this sector is learnt. This is a premise that I challenge. The school is not the domain, it is the setting in which domain specific knowledge is applied – this is fundamentally different.

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How does sweating the small-stuff make for a better environment for all in our schools? Read on to see how dealing with the broken windows in our school communities with consistency will provide us the breathing space needed to focus on improving our practice in the classroom.

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What are the qualities one needs to be a leader? This is a question I have reflected on much in the past, and more so now I am in education. Just as in the corporate world, education has its own share of “leaders” who can quote the latest book they have read; which often comes from someone who has shared a bunch of twee Pinterest quotes pulled together like “Live Laugh Love” transfers on the wall of life. The best leaders will be the ones that embody these values, and strive to be better through constant reflection.

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