By Richard Gill and Neil Warner
Headteachers, the Arthur Terry School
John Donne’s famous line ‘No man is an island’ rings true within the educational world as much as anywhere else. The current government agenda of all schools joining together in a cluster, a trust or a federation is nothing new or ground breaking – it’s been there for years, it’s now just more formalised.
Those schools who have been outward-facing, receptive to innovation, open to adapting their current practice and opening their doors for others to see theirs have generally flourished. Then there are some who are insular, inward-facing and content to accept that their way is the best way. Self – sufficiency is a great strength, but it can also be an enemy as it can lead to complacency, inflexibility and acceptance of the norm. There is strength to be had by working with others.
We all know children have only one chance in education and we owe it to them to ensure that their teachers, their support staff, their governors are exposed to as much cutting edge thinking and innovative ideas to refine, shape and develop their own practices and always strive for the very best.
Collaboration, partnership and teamwork leaves schools stronger and able to face challenges ahead. Children don’t need islands of isolation, they need communities of cohesion where they, their futures, their life chances are shared by everyone and given the best possible opportunity to thrive.