5 lockdown shifts that can change the way we run schools

How the current crisis has created opportunities for powerful new approaches

Oli de Botton Headteacher, School 21


Schools are not known for their pace of change. Between the tyranny of the timetable and the short recruitment window, major shifts are often limited to the first half of the summer term (right about now actually). But over the past few weeks schools have become hyper dynamic. During one weekend in March they split into two (onsite and virtual) and developed a host of new functions: voucher delivery, community builder, public information provider.

Schools are alive with change. And despite the grimness of the situation, there is a bolt of energy coursing through the virtual corridors.  Three things are accelerating fast:

  1. Decision making
  2. Leadership growth
  3. The desire to make the school as good as it can be when our community comes back together

So in some senses schools have more capacity to change now than they did before. Gone are the school improvement plans, reviews and SEFs, now the impetus to develop is being powered by an external crisis and a renewed sense of purpose. This is leading to five big shifts that should be hardwired in by the time we’re back:

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