Sir Tim Brighouse and Professor Mick Waters

Wednesday 8 June 2022 (16:30-18:00)
Sir Tim Brighouse and Professor Mick Waters
Sir Tim Brighouse and Professor Mick Waters

The Education Leadership Academy is delighted to welcome Professor Sir Tim Brighouse and Professor Mick Waters, the joint authors of About Our Schools: Improving on previous best 

The book was born out of their shared love for education and their appreciation of how schooling can be a transformative element in the lives of children and young people. Through revealing and forthright interviews with 14 secretaries of state – from Kenneth Baker to Michael Gove and Gavin Williamson, together with many other leading figures in education – Tim Brighouse and Mick Waters provide fascinating insights into the various evolutions and revolutions that have taken place in English state education since 1976.

In so doing they highlight key areas for improvement and assess where we should go from here to enable teachers and schools to improve the learning and broaden the horizons of each and every one of their pupils – whatever their talents, challenges, advantages or problems.

Split into four parts, the book shares a range of perspectives and informed viewpoints on education, covering areas such as curriculum, pedagogy and assessment; school improvement and leadership; admissions, attendance, exclusions and behaviour; special educational needs and disabilities; and governance and finance of schooling.

The authors offer insights into how education policies are made, what helps and what gets in the way – and explore how institutional barriers and obstacles to pupil fulfilment can be overcome. And, crucially, the authors conclude by outlining 39 steps to success that can help the education sector build forward together and foster more collaborative partnerships towards a brighter future.

This event will be chaired by Ava Sturridge Packer CBE.

The audience will be able to ask questions of both the speakers and Chair.

About the speakers

Sir Tim Brighouse

Tim Brighouse has been a teacher and senior leader and has worked in local authorities and higher education. Tim was twice a Chief Education Officer, in Oxfordshire (1978-89) and in Birmingham (1993-2003), each for a period of ten years. He was Professor of Education at Keele University in the four years between these posts. He was Schools Commissioner/ Chief Advisor for London from 2002 till 2007, where he led the London Challenge. He was knighted for his achievements in education in 2009. He has fulfilled many other roles over the years, including advising various governments, chairing the Teaching Awards and setting up the University of the First Age to encourage out of school activities to enrich school children’s learning. Tim has written many books, drawing on his vast experience and, he claims, learning most from his many mistakes as a teacher, teacher educator and administrator. He believes in the power of teachers and schools to change the world for the better.

Professor Mick Waters

Mick Waters has consistently been a down-to-earth voice in the increasingly complex world of education for many years. He has regularly endeared himself to school communities in the UK and overseas by talking the sort of sense they needed to hear – practical, challenging, inspiring, insightful, engaging. His unique perspective, closeness to the classroom and ability to see innovation in terms of its impact on learners mean his views are always worth listening to. Mick has been involved in every level of Education. He began as a primary school teacher in Nottingham, and subsequently was a Head at two schools in the North West. He then worked in teacher training and moved into local government in Birmingham LEA and then the City of Manchester in 2002 as Chief Education Officer. In 2005 he joined the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) as Director of the Curriculum the role he is best known for, and where he gained an heroic reputation amongst teachers while consulting on and explaining the new curriculum, making it relevant and meaningful for professionals working directly with children and young people. The intention was to give children a meaningful foundation of education, specifically to give them knowledge that would give them help in later life and not just generic academic knowledge for the sake of it. Mick is passionate about the role of education in improving life chances for pupils and is still very much involved with teaching and learning. He is a founding member and patron of the Curriculum Foundation and is a charismatic speaker who pushes the boundaries to improve learning and make schools better. Mick continues to work with schools in several parts of the UK and abroad. His work as Professor at Wolverhampton University with the Black Country Challenge, extended and developed innovative approaches to learning and initiatives to push the boundaries to make learning better.

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