Cassidy's Comments: A Former Head's Views on Current Educational Issues

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Features

How to Handle Difficult Conversations in School

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 13/03/2017 Being a school leader inevitably brings difficult encounters, particularly with parents and staff. Getting these conversations right is a crucial part of successful school management. During my time as Regional Officer with ASCL this was a topic which came up a lot in casework and it was clear that...
Features

The Future of Executive Heads in Northern Ireland?

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 13/02/2017 The Times newspaper on Saturday December 31st published a story headed, “School crisis as hundreds of heads quit”. Their research revealed that one in ten schools in England is losing a head each year and there are serious problems in recruiting new heads. NAHT General Secretary Russell Hobby is qu...
Features

Managing Staff Morale in Austere Times

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 16/01/2017 With the 2016 -2017 academic year now reaching a winter of discontent in terms of industrial relations, school leaders are left to try and manage the situation as best they can, torn between sympathy for teaching colleagues and responsibility to parents and pupils to keep things running. All of thi...
Features

Pastoral Management of Cyberbullying in Schools

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 14/12/2016 Getting the pastoral dimension right in a school is a vital cornerstone in building a successful, high achieving educational community. In trying to describe and explain the essential features of such a community I can find no better analogy than the pond ecosystems we all studied in Biology class....
Features

Classroom Observation - Dilemmas and Opportunities

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 11/11/2016 I have written in my previous articles in this series about the fact that school leaders often find themselves “between a rock and a hard place” in their quest to run a successful school. This is particularly true in the case of the vexed question of classroom observation. In this age of increasing...
Features

Homework and uniforms in schools – blessings or curses?

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 13/10/2016 Being honest, I did not enjoy homework as a pupil myself. While I loved reading for pleasure, particularly historical novels, I resented the time that homework took and at boarding school during mandatory study in the evenings I remember rushing the maths to get back to the latest novel. The issue ...
Features

Balancing Devolved Autonomy and Centralised Financial Control in Education

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 19/08/2016 Cassidy’s Comments is a new series of articles on education for Legal-Island which will be written especially for school leaders by former principal and ASCL Regional Officer Frank Cassidy. During his time representing the interests of head teachers and school leaders, he has acquired experience of...