Whilst politicians and others desperately try to convince everyone that schools are back to normal, the reality is very different. They are back to the new normal.
One headteacher I know had planned a day of activities designed to lead to the creation of a school vision in which all staff felt fully engaged, only to be hit with a Covid ‘local decision-making framework’, the ‘hierarchy of controls’ and ‘updated operational guidance’ - resulting in the fact that she could not have all the staff in one hall and needed to replan to do it virtually. There are many benefits to the increased use of online meetings as a result of Covid, but let’s not fall into the trap of ignoring the limitations. For full engagement in the forming of a new school vision, ideally the staff needed to be in the same room.
As that headteacher was working remotely with her team, I attended an online conference focussed on Curriculum for Wales. In terms of the realisation of a new curriculum, I frequently see a chasm between what some believe to be happening in Welsh schools and the reality in some of the schools I visit. The ‘why’ we need to change and the inspiration to do so has been done to death. Most are engaged and up for it. The ‘how’ has been less forthcoming. I did see glimmers of hope during the conference, with some speakers sharing processes that schools could follow to realise Curriculum for Wales for their learners.
Mike Glavin is a professional, committed educationalist with extensive experience of school improvement within a wide range of contexts, including local authority, consortium and a range of schools -faith schools, schools challenged by social factors and a prestigious international school.
Mike transformed the three schools he led as a headteacher, ensuring that the focus remained on the learners and what they needed. He went on to be a transformational leader as a senior officer in a local authority and as the Assistant Director and then Managing Director of the largest educational consortium in Wales.
In addition, Mike has significant experience of preparing candidates for Headship and in supporting/challenging schools as a system leader/primary adviser.
Mike is now Managing Director of his own company, Mike Glavin Catalyst Limited. Though he claims to be partially retired, he seems as busy as ever in supporting others to make a positive difference for learners.
Few have secured the credibility and respect that he is afforded in the world of education. His integrity and honesty, combined with the judgement required to know when to listen and when to speak out, ensures that his communication is clear, appropriate and effective. Mike is a hard working professional with a proven track record of thriving in challenging situations, whilst ensuring that the focus is on learners.