2019 Spring Term 2

The know zone

  • Policy refresh
    ASCL's newly appointed Pay and Conditions Specialist Louise Hatswell shares top tips on making sure that your pay and appraisal policies are up to scratch. More
  • Internal data
    Ofsted is consulting on its plans for a new inspection framework, due to commence in September 2019. As part of the draft proposals, the inspectorate is proposing not to look at schools' internal data. Here, Stephen Rollett explores the reasoning behind this proposal, why some leaders are concerned and what members might do in response. More
  • Social partnership
    Colleges across the UK currently educate and train around 2.7 million people and are calling for 'a new social partnership' with students, employers, unions and governments. Kevin Gilmartin examines how this partnership can enable us to become a successful, productive and lifelong learning society. More
  • Nature nurture
    ASCL Council Member Lilian Taylor-Bell is Headteacher of Leyland St James' (Aided) Primary in Lancashire, where much of the learning takes place outside the classroom. Here she shares her school's insights and talks about being on ASCL Council. More
  • Recruitment retention
    What are your thoughts on the government's Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy: Will it help to alleviate recruitment and retention pressures at your school or college? Does it go far enough? Here, ASCL members share their views... More
  • We're here for you
    Contacting the Hotline: ASCL members who are concerned about leadership issues should call 0116 299 1122 or email hotline@ascl.org.uk More
  • Tempus fugit
    Schools obviously operate in their own unique time zones. How else can you explain why the exam season comes around so quickly, why pupils grow facial hair seemingly overnight and why it suddenly takes longer for experienced teachers to climb the stairs? More
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ASCL Council Member Lilian Taylor-Bell is Headteacher of Leyland St James’ (Aided) Primary in Lancashire, where much of the learning takes place outside the classroom. Here she shares her school’s insights and talks about being on ASCL Council.

Nature nurture

Tell us about your role and your school

As a head of a single church school, I am probably a bit of a rarity these days, among the many MATs and trusts that other colleagues run. However, my 230-place school is actually deemed as a medium-sized school here in Lancashire.

We are a distinctly Christian school where everyone is valued. The school is a highly inclusive mainstream primary and also runs provision for Behavioural, Emotional and Social Disabilities (BESD) and autistic children. We fervently believe that every child can benefit from a flexible mainstream education where learning is based on resilience, practical problem solving, respect and care. We are also a forest school and much of our learning takes place outside the classroom – we climb trees, build dens and shelters, light fires and use bow saws. All our parents ever need is to have joy in their children, faith in our skills and a good washing machine!

What made you get into teaching?

Going into education and child development was always ‘going to be’ – both in terms of a calling (it was always what God intended for me) and as a way to improve lives. Even from the earliest age, I can remember knowing that learning was my route and my passion. I didn’t know what my career would look like, but I knew that it would always involve hope, endurance and justice.

Why did you decide to become an ASCL Council member?

Coming from a highly inclusive school, I was naturally drawn to the Inclusion and Equalities Committee with a remit covering inclusion, equalities, closing the gap for pupils and staff and performance of groups. I believe that we all have a clear purpose and it is a privilege to be part of a committee that levels the playing field for those who may be more vulnerable.

I truly believe in the power of the professionals around that committee table and have faith in what they can achieve on behalf of others. So far, the committee has discussed, debated and responded to several key topics, including special educational needs and disability (SEND) funding, mental health provision, school admissions, social mobility and violence against girls.

Read the position statements from the committee online at www.ascl.org.uk/position-statements

What do you do to unwind?

I love my work, but I also love my holidays. I will travel wherever the will takes me but, as I get older, the call of Dubai and all its luxury has over-ridden my student days backpacking and travelling around India.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself

Well, I quirkily re-write songs to celebrate individual birthdays and celebrations. You could say I’m kind of like Paul McCartney but without the talent (or the money).

What’s your favourite book and favourite film?

I could cheat and say The Lord of the Rings trilogy on both counts, but I won’t; my favourite book is The Name of the Rose by Italian author Umberto Eco. It’s a historical murder mystery set in a monastery in 1327. One of my all-time favourite films is The Shawshank Redemption – a film that stands the test of time.

What advice would you give someone starting a leadership position today?

Listen to that inner voice. It may not tell you exactly where you are going straight away but it will drive you to all that is good within you as a leader.

ASCL Council

The greatest strength of the Association is that it is run by members for members. ASCL’s policymaking body is formed from a group of elected members collectively known as Council. All categories of members are represented and the ratio of Council representatives to members is more generous in ASCL than in any of the other teachers’ professional associations.

See more about Council online at www.ascl.org.uk/council To find out how you can become a Council member and about what the role involves, please email ASCL Director of Policy Julie McCulloch at julie.mcculloch@ascl.org.uk We are particularly keen to encourage people from currently under-represented groups, including women and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, to put themselves forward.