This month, in our regular look at authors working in the field of UK education, we hear from JEANIE DAVIES, author of “The Trust Revolution in Schools”.

Teachers are some of the kindest, most altruistic and smartest people on the planet yet despite the best of intentions, fearful atmospheres can arise organically within schools, leaving people feeling disempowered, anxious, isolated and frustrated. Why is this? What are the impacts? And, crucially, how do we resolve it? The Trust Revolution in Schools

looks at the reasons behind many teachers leaving the profession and suggests that the root cause is that many schools are unwittingly generating fear-based staff cultures. It explores the impacts and indicators of cultures mired in fear and offers up The Trust Revolution Model and a roadmap to move schools to a culture of trust. Having worked in education for nearly two decades in the guise of

teacher, school senior leader, coach and teacher trainer I have become fascinated as to why caring and good teachers often create such difficult cultures within which to work. Over the past six years I have worked with schools specialising in

coaching, culture change, team building and school improvement to promote a trust-based approach to school leadership. In my role, I get to hear issues that arise in schools from the different players’ perspectives. As I coach each person, I get to understand that every member of staff sets out with the best of intentions, the pupils at heart and the purpose for good. Yet along the way, due to the inability to access one another’s thinking and knowledge, assumptions are made, narratives are created, and trust is eroded which leaves people feeling fearful, isolated and worried. This book explores what underpins these patterns and how we can

change them. It establishes the theory and then addresses the practicalities, providing a foundation and blueprint to enable fundamental change in schools. The book comprises eight chapters moving from outlining the current

educational landscape in Chapter One, through the psychological and evolutionary biology that affects us in schools outlined in Chapter Two. Chapter Three pinpoints the signs of fear and trust-within a school. Chapter Four offers up the model to enable trust to flourish, outlining the outcomes, culture, preconditions and catalyst concepts required. Chapter Five looks in detail at the model’s preconditions for trust, exploring why they are so vital and Chapter Six interrogates the catalyst concepts that facilitate the preconditions to enable trust to flourish. Chapter Seven gives a suite of concrete and usable tools and examples to launch and perpetuate trust throughout your school. And finally, Chapter Eight addresses what sort of leadership is needed to enable success in your revolution for trust. My greatest hope for this book is to provide language for the

unspoken elements within schools. It is a platform to talk about how we want to be with each other and what the rules for engagement are so we can all feel the trust and wellbeing needed to thrive in our roles and our lives.

The Trust Revolution in Schools is available from Routledge to pre-order ahead of its 17th July publication date at: High-Performance-and-Collaborative/Davies/p/book/9780367362676


Time to reflect and look forward

This month in her regular column for Education Today, JULIA GARVEY, Operations Director at BESA, looks at the fallout from COVID-19 for schools and learners and asks what we can learn from it.

The end of the school year is usually a

time for celebration and reflection, as we seek to close one chapter and move on to the next. When we reflect on the school year just past what will be our key takeaways? There is certainly no escaping the tsunami of disruption brought about by COVID- 19 and the resulting school closures.

But what history and the experiences of other countries has taught us

is that when external events impose change on an organisation, then that change is often accelerated and more widely adopted than it would otherwise have been. Education will most likely prove to be no exception.

School closures have moved us on from debating whether printed

textbooks or online learning are better learning tools, to discussions of how best use technology to enable pupils to learn from home. As we reflect on the year, how can we learn from those schools who have managed remote learning well and from those teachers who have faced genuine challenges to bring learning online. What are the key obstacles we face in moving to a truly blended online/offline home/school learning experience?

One factor is indisputable - without a decent broadband connection

much of the rest of this discussion is redundant. In 2020 access to functioning internet is an essential utility in the same way as electricity or a phone line.

Even with functioning internet, pupils need access to a suitable device

on which to access their resources. Sharing a computer with three or four other members of a household is a common scenario being played out in households across the land. Whilst we might want to move to 1-to-1 device provision, how achievable is that as an objective even with the government’s much heralded laptop scheme? Is it possible to have truly blended learning without it?

When it comes to software or online content, there is no shortage of

resources available either for free via the BBC or Oak Academy, or through tried and trusted suppliers, but the challenge here may be too much choice. How do schools who are transitioning to online learning know who to trust or where to turn for the best source of advice? Many of our member organisations have temporarily provided schools with free access to their online resources during school closures, but these short- term measures will soon come to an end, leaving teachers to decide which resources they value and wish to continue to use next term.

It is for these reasons that we are planning to reinstate our LearnED

Roadshows, with five events scheduled for the autumn term in Liverpool, Oxford, London, Birmingham, Ashford. Whilst complying with social distancing rules, we aim to bring together teachers who can share their practical experiences of what has worked for them; as well as shining a light on the challenges they faced along the way. With everyone having been on such a steep learning curve since March, we expect there will be much to discuss and a greater understanding of the challenges ahead. We are looking forward to sharing experiences, exploring new ideas and reflecting on a year quite unlike any that has gone before it.

Find and register for the event nearest to you: u

July/August 2020 13

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