Tony’s Blog

Do you wish your team was better at target setting?

The good news is that the issue might not be your team’s skills, but the technique used for writing the targets. Have you ever had someone metaphorically wagging their finger at you saying something like: ‘These targets must be SMARTer!’ That person might even be you.. As with all conversations around pedagogy, everything boils down to just two words: the ‘stuff’ we do, and the ‘difference’ we make. The end goal is not to be seen to write targets – […]

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Are Connectivists the People’s Front of Judea?

I do like an enigmatic title.. Do you remember studying the Learning Theorists as part of your teaching qualification? I have to admit, that by the time I’d handed in my assignment for my Cert Ed back in 1992, I’d had quite enough of them. I just wanted to crack on with learning how to teach. I’ve no doubt that some of it influenced me profoundly, but some of it left me cold, and some of it made me angry. […]

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6 weeks to change a learner’s life?

I remember helping a training provider with self assessment and our attention turning to Induction. “We used to run a two-week induction, but when we surveyed learners, they wanted it to be shorter”, I was told. “So we cut it down to one week. But when we surveyed this next lot of learners, they said the same – that it should be shorter. So we’re going to get it over with in two days next time.” This was a lovely […]

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The 5 major issues that will stop your SAR working its magic

Years ago, when I took over management of the inspection Nominee training events, I introduced a post-it exercise which simply asked: ‘What are you most worried about?’ (Obviously, we’re still talking inspection here..) The answer was immediately clear: self assessment. The job of the Preparing for Inspection (P4Is) events was important and rewarding – to make sure providers weren’t tripped up by the process of inspection. So in the next round of events, we started our first attempts at self-assessment […]

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92% of latest Ofsted reports criticise progress reviews

It’s a really provocative title, isn’t it. To find the number, I simply downloaded the last 15 Ofsted reports as at 24 May, 2021, and looked for any comments on learner progress and/or progress reviews. There was no mention in two reports as the inspection themes were elsewhere, but in 12 of the remaining 13 ‘progress’ was criticised. This isn’t new, of course, and so it seems a provocative opening question I’ve been asking for years still stands: ‘How often, […]

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