I’m going out for a while… I may be some time


I think the time has come to move on.

I’ve been @ThePrimaryHeading on Twitter since 2012. Generally, Twitter has been good for me. I’ve interacted with some fine folk, avoided a few more and learnt that the only way to really enjoy a TwitterStorm is from the outside looking in.

I genuinely feel Twitter professionally developed me which, as a new headteacher, I welcomed. It is still a great place to dive into if you wish to explore the world beyond your own echo chamber. Twitter also helped me promote my blog to a wider audience – something I was passionate about for a few years, but now…meh!

Recently though, my feelings about Twitter have changed. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those blogs where I carp on about the ‘dark side’ of Twitter. It’s the internet, people, not the wonderful world of Oz. I just can’t be bothered. I haven’t had my feelings hurt. I don’t consider myself a victim. I haven’t been shamed into silence. It’s just… I feel like I’ve seen it all.

There are only so many gifs, hashtags and selfies that a man can take. I feel like if I see one more picture of a book one of you is reading, or card that you received from a kid, or ironic twitter poll that hilariously skews the educational debate of the day, I am liable to throw my phone out of the window and, at present, I really can’t afford a new phone.

Oh, the irony! The smug anonymous Head Tweeter who has bounced around Twitter with his hilarious quips about modern educational life, is now sick of his own medicine. I know, funny ain’t it?

But the truth is, I’m bored. I’m bored of everything. The endless debates that go nowhere. The faux outrage – I’m even a bit bored of the real outrage! But more than that, I’m bored of @theprimaryhead and his predictable timeline. And I’ve tried following different people but those damn twitter algorithms, they do not want to support a man who’s trying to spice up his timeline.


Well, here’s the kicker… I’m not actually leaving.


Despite what you all thought when you started reading this, I’m not going to deactivate my account. I’ve got over 15k beautiful followers you idiots, you think I’m going to throw that away? Not a chance. Especially when I’ve got more @brainEDcomedy to promote*.

But I’m going to start afresh somewhere else. I’m going to set up a new Twitter account, just like I did in 2012. I’m going to build it up from scratch and see where it takes me. I might cast my net a bit wider – goodness knows we all need 14% more diversity than we think is good for us in our lives.

Maybe we’ll end up following each other. Maybe we won’t. Maybe you won’t engage as readily with me when I don’t have all that follower capital backing up my legitimacy. Maybe we’ll even get into an argument, won’t that be fun?

I hope so. Maybe, one day I’ll come back to this old blog and tell tales of my adventures.

In the meantime… tweet you later!

*Seriously people, please follow, listen to and subscribe to @brainEDcomedy. We haven’t put anything out for a while but we will do soon and you’re going to love it!

Important Curriculum Memo

Memo: From Head Office

RE: Curriculum


As an organisation we’ve always prided ourselves on being ahead of the curve, and by ‘curve’ we mean twitter and by ‘ahead’ we mean stumbled across a blog. So, it will be of no surprise to many of you that we have recently decided to take an interest in curriculum.

For too long we have ignored the wider curriculum; unless of course an inspection was going well and we had nothing else to talk about, or an inspection was going badly and we thought it would be fun to stick the boot in. And, as schools seem to be getting the hang of securing higher and higher standards (off-rolling the thickies), managing challenging behaviour (off-rolling the poor) and meeting children’s needs (off-rolling the specials) we thought now would be a good time to give them something else to worry about.

We were going to choose research. That seems quite popular at the moment. You can’t hardly move without some thought-gibbon promoting their latest research discovery – apparently noticing stuff you like in your own classroom qualifies as robust research nowadays. But, given the surge in books being written by anyone who has once taken a register, we thought better of it.

Then we thought we could focus on work-life balance. This is a thing, apparently. Honestly, teachers nowadays. I remember when PPA was the time it took your pupils to down a milk and have a nap in the afternoon.

No, the thing to focus on is the one thing schools haven’t thought about for years: curriculum. For those new to us, curriculum is the thing that happens in schools after maths and English, in between PE and home time. It should be the bedrock of a pupil’s time at school, where children learn everything, and I mean EVERYTHING…to do with Henry VIII, photosynthesis and the war.

Now, the moment we leaked the possibility we’d finally be giving a Farage & Johnson* about what schools are teaching children, the education world went into meltdown. As predicted, we saw three types of reaction:

  1. Our school has spent the last five years establishing a well-defined and carefully implemented schema based on a deep analysis of our school community and the needs of our children.
  2. Our school has just bought a curriculum that promises to be a well-defined and carefully implemented schema which also comes with its own homework app.
  3. What the hell is a schema?

In order to support schools with their curriculum design it is important that, as an organisation, we have a clear and consistent line about what it is we expect to see in schools. We must be transparent and offer schools a consistent and easy-to-understand message that cannot be misinterpreted or misconstrued. To do this we will use words. Three of them to be precise: Intent, Implementation and Impact. These three words – Intent, Implementation and Impair – will help guide schools and make it clear what we want to see. In no way could these three words – Iguana, Icarus and Imbecile – be given to misinterpretation or confusion.

Already, we have seen schools make leaps and bounds with their curriculum design, but there are a few pitfalls that we need to be aware of. The first is Artificial Symbiotic Schema (ASS). A curriculum with a hefty ASS is one that is likely to contain a range of links and curriculum call-backs that are dafter than a DfE pledge to increase school funding. In short, the more convoluted the links (We learn about the madness of King George III in Year 5 which links back to our work in Year 1 on identifying nut trees) the bigger the ASS the school will make of itself when we come to visit.

With that in mind, please remember that we do not expect schools to have their curriculum ready by the beginning of next year. No, that would be ridiculous. Any outstanding school has an infinite number of years to get their curriculum in order, any good school should seek to have their curriculum ready within the next four years, and RI schools must have a brand new curriculum in place within the next half an hour. Inadequate schools don’t deserve a new curriculum so just continue giving them hell as per.

That concludes this memo. I have condensed all the key points into a knowledge organiser (word bank) for you to memorise before lining your cat litter tray with it. I’ll also be uploading a vlog, where I will be jogging through my local high street whilst recording my sweaty face speaking confidently to you about everything I believe to be right.

What a time to be alive.

*two sh*ts

Heading for Headship

I thought you might be interested to learn that the entire first series of the spoof professional development programme Heading for Headship is now available as an album.

The clever swines at @brainEDcomedy have put them out, as a collection, on SoundCloud and on their website.

This way you don’t have to wade through all of that Inside the DfE and HFH HQ special report nonsense. You can just head straight to Heading for Headship and enjoy six episodes in one go.

Each episode is sure to have you in at least one stitch per show. So that’s six entire stitches across the series.

E01: Well-being . Our intrepid reporter, Jonathan Monkton, witnesses some whole staff yoga which doesn’t exactly help teachers manage their workload.

E02: Behaviour. Listen to the parent reactions when they learn about the new ‘no excuses‘ policy being implemented in their children’s school.

E03: Teaching. Be amazed at the technical innovation one Headteacher brings to lesson observations.

E04: Accountability. Find out how one school’s appraisal system ensures that everyone has the same target.

E05: Community. What does it take to plan a school summer fayre. Sadly, one headteacher is going to find out.

E06: The end. The HFH HQ switchboard is buzzing as the team try to support schools in coping with the end of the year.

All that, plus… so much more!

So get cracking and head on down to www.brainedcomedy.com or listen to each episode via SoundCloud.

Don’t forget to follow @brainEDcomedy on Twitter and subscribe to their podcast. It’s available on i-tunes, SoundCloud, Google podcasts, and any other podcast server you wish to mention.

But most of all listen and enjoy!