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Crown Buildings, Bancyfelin, Carmarthen, SA33 5ND,
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Peter Radford

Peter Radford is a teacher, trainer, public speaker and coach with a wealth of experience in leadership, management and personal development. He began his career in youth work before entering teaching and advancing into the position of assistant head teacher. Peter has also played a key role in helping two large secondary schools achieve Unicef’s Rights Respecting School Award.


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https://www.beyondthis.co.uk/

Publications by Peter Radford

Love Teaching, Keep Teaching:

A practical guide to staying well in a high-pressure profession.…

Author Blog

#doingschooldifferently

April 10 2020

I will add to this blog on a regular basis over the next few weeks. I will be tweeting my additions at @PRadfordSpeaker on Twitter. Please follow me there:  but I will also keep adding them here so that it’s easy to see the thread. Please post your responses/ comments on twitter. My hope is that this time of confinement might prove a long-overdue opportunity to re-think what we are doing in schools and how we are going about it. The education system is ripe for change and it’s down to no-one but us to change it. We are responsible. We are the ones in front of students every day. We can change what we do, how we do it and build a better future. Doing School Differently One. Start with the end in mind. What are we trying to achieve in education? When was the last time you and your team or staff gave time to paint a clear, vivid picture of what the aims of the education we offer are? Because it’s not to ‘get to outstanding’ nor to achieve your best GCSE results ever. These are by-products that we will never achieve unless we have our focus right. The focus has to be each child. Start with a blank piece of paper, draw a human outline on it, then imagine what you want that child to be and be like by the time they finish in your care. Post your thoughts here when you’re done. Once we have clarity about what we are aiming at we will be in a much better position to map out a coherent plan of how to get there! Once you’ve done that, take a look at the goals of education as defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 29.  Again – thoughts?? TWO. Establish a Rights Respecting foundation for everything you do. The Unicef Rights Respecting School Award is the single best vehicle for school improvement I have come across. It provides a coherent, unifying framework for a holistic approach to education that places the rights of the child at the centre. This is not a bolt-on or ‘another thing’, this is an underpinning rationale for the way we do education. “Our Rights Respecting Schools Award embeds these values in daily school life and gives children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.” (Unicef) As an Assessor for Unicef, and having led two schools to achieve the award, I can testify to the impact of a Rights Respecting approach. Find out more at https://www.unicef.org.uk/rights-respecting-schools/ THREE. The first responsibility of leaders is the staff & colleagues you lead. This is a mind shift. Your role as a leader is to create the conditions and context for your brilliant team of teachers and support staff to do their best work. THEY will make your school brilliant, not you. I truly believe that the Headteacher’s job is to lead the teachers and staff not the school. A school is not a thing by itself, it is primarily a community of people united by a common […]

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What COVID-19 is teaching us about Capitalism

March 19 2020

‘Greed is good,’ stated Gordon Gecko in the film Wall St. He was describing an ideology that has long been held to be both obvious and essential to human and economic development – namely the ‘trickle down’ effect. Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations espoused the view that when a business makes a profit it is not simply good for the shareholders, it is good for everyone since the profit and subsequent growth will translate into more jobs, more spending, more revenues through taxation which translates into better public services etc. The benefits literally trickle down. Therefore profit is the ultimate (indeed only) goal. Now, however, we are seeing how fragile this ideology is. The trickle down effect of big business getting bigger is massively dependent on a broad range of factors. The closure of schools demonstrates this so clearly: without teachers, schools can’t function, without schools people with children can’t go to work, without that work people have no surplus income with which to make purchases or pay tax which leads to the implosion of revenue across the board. This in turn impacts the value of goods and services across the globe. If people can’t or won’t buy something then it ceases to have monetary value. And if you can’t actually use your profit to buy goods and services because the businesses are closed and the products are not currently in production, then it becomes pretty useless. Which brings me to the not-so-new-but-definitely-revolutionary insight that has been obvious to many for a long, long time, namely, that the only real ‘capital’ out there is people. This realisation lies in stark contrast to the accepted wisdom of free market capitalism which assumes that capital comes in the form of material assets. For many centuries this belief has fuelled war and social inequality (the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’). Nations have invaded other nations in order to take control of the material assets of those countries, whether in the form of gold, fertile land, raw materials, oil etc. Our entire economy has been built around this idea. In recent years, given the information revolution and the gig economy there has been a growing recognition that value is, in fact, far less tangible. Yuval Noah Harari in his excellent book Sapiens makes the point that global conflict is today less likely than at any other time in history because it is far less lucrative. For example, China would gain very little by invading and taking over Silicon Valley in California because the wealth being generated there does not spring from any material asset located there but from the innovation and collaboration of the people who work there. The powerful nation states of today are realising that there is far more wealth to be generated by collaborating together and finding ways to interconnect our markets rather than simply land-grabbing. On the same basis Capitalism has traditionally advocated that self interest leading to competition is what drives higher standards, generates growth and fuels innovation. This view of the economic man – homoeconomicus – sees humans as rational beings who pursue wealth for their own self-interest. […]

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