Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Nine in 10 School Leaders Oppose Compulsory EBac

"The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) last month surveyed almost 1,000 of its members and almost 90 per cent disagreed with the reforms, due to come in from next month for year 7 pupils."

I wonder, what percentage of Headteachers have to oppose a DfE plan before that plan is altered?

What percentage of Headteachers have to oppose a plan before their professional associations actually do something to make the government listen?

Is there a point when being polite just gets you walked over? If Headteachers believe that this is bad for students, surely they have a moral obligation to act.

Evidence from the last few years tells me that ASCL and NAHT will just roll over and be ignored. These associations are like negligent parents who say "no" to their whining children but quickly give in and do exactly what the badly behaved child wants, just to keep them quiet. Eventually the naughty child become completely out of control demanding more and more.

Inaction just leads to ever more outrageous demands.

I hope I am wrong.

Monday, 24 August 2015

The Assembly Challenge


Thirty seven years teaching in large Comprehensive Schools, including 21 years as a Deputy Head, have taught me that creating engaging Assemblies is harder than most people realise. 

Anyone with enough bravado can stand in front of several hundred teenagers and bore them for 10 minutes. 

But how do you engage students' interest, given that they now have easy access to a personal audio visual bonanza: the mobile phones in their pockets?

Visually Stimulating

It takes a long time to source suitable material for your Assembly. There are Assembly websites. But I was not looking for fully developed Christian Assemblies selling their theology. I particularly wanted visually stimulating ideas. I wanted source material that I could adapt to my own style and audience.

The Birth of AssemblyTube

I always hoped that someone would create a website which identified the sort of potential Assembly materials that I needed. I never found what I was hoping for, so I decided to create my own site to help all Assembly Leaders. AssemblyTube was born.

AssemblyTube now has more than 3000 free Assembly ideas that any Assembly Leader can use. New materials are added every day. The site caters for Primary Schools and Secondary Schools. There is even a free Android AssemblyTube App.

Other Problems

Sourcing appropriate Assembly material was not the only challenge. I found that presenting Assemblies with audio-visual content, was prone to the appearance of technical gremlins that could send my stress levels through the roof.

The video would not play. The internet was playing up. Someone had changed the laptop. I did not have the correct password. I needed to find a solution to lower my stress levels.

Gadget Solutions

I decided to create a device which would play my Assembly videos, and display any of my Assembly content, on any Assembly screen. The AssemblyTube EasyPlay was born, quickly followed by the TeacherStick.


Assemblies can be created at home or in fact anywhere. With the contents copied to the TeacherStick, you only need access to a USB port on any Windows PC, to know that you can deliver your Assembly without problems. A great solution to the Assembly Challenge.