Tony’s Blog

Fed up with telling learners how to complete their portfolios?

Are you fed up with telling learners how to complete their portfolios of assessment evidence? If so, this ‘call for volunteers’ might be something you’ll be interested in.. There’s a name for what I’ve just mentioned above. Not specifically the ‘fed up with telling learners’ bit, but the time you have to spend working with a learner when they don’t get it right. It’s called ‘preventable contact’. This lovely term helps you get a grip on the ‘payoff’ you might […]


This post isn’t about ladders

This weekend, I took delivery of a set of 11m, triple-extension, rope-operated ladders. New, they’re over £800, but I bought them for the bargain prices of £65! (By the way, this post isn’t about ladders, it’s about self assessment.) So why only £65, you’re asking – well that’s certainly what I was asking.. Because they are ‘rope-operated’, each tier of the ladder runs in a groove in the one below, and it turned out that the top tier was pretty […]


Gardeners’ World: Plug-n-play planting

FE is not about getting people into jobs. Making ‘the job’ (and only a first-rung job, at that) the end of the FE rainbow is the equivalent of the 1970s careers advisor telling the boys to try the NCB and the girls to look into short-hand typing. We need to train our young people for the jobs of tomorrow – the ones that haven’t been invented yet; hell, we want our young people to be the ones to invent them. […]


Creating the conditions for success

Tomato plants

I love this photo, though you may have to look hard to clarify what you’re seeing. Because of lockdown this year, I couldn’t buy my tomato plants as usual, so I grew them all from seed. As ever with seeds, I grew too many. The six I needed were transplanted to the planter, and the others were either given away or left in their pots on the bench. They’ve all been watered the same, but as you can see, six […]


‘How planning for failure can help students succeed’

It’s that time of year again, to be thinking about Inspiring Induction Practices – and ‘online’ ones at that.. Do get in touch if you’d like our online training session that is guaranteed to challenge thinking and promote creativity.. ( And if you have five minutes, grab yourself a coffee and read what I hope you’ll find is a very thought provoking article – particularly about why you should ignore Ofsted: