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A WORLD LEADER IN SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

27 years providing high quality services to schools and other education organisations

 Many of our client schools are outstanding schools of excellence. This gives us the motivation to provide ambitious, creative and innovative support to all of the schools we work with. It makes us a very different school improvement partner to others. It enables us to challenge the thinking of all kinds of schools knowing the direction we can take together is part of a long journey to achieving excellence and sustained continuous improvement.

Tailored support, advice and guidance for all types of schools, academies, children centres, educational charities, educational facilities management companies and further education colleges 

Provider of specialist safeguarding audits including a national 'Excellence in Safeguarding Award'

Over  100 specialist consultants • Bespoke consultancy and training • SIP packages • Data analysis • Whole school and subject specialist reviews

and much more

NEWS • EDITORIAL

Living in the time of Rona: What Schools Need to Change About Health Education

Probably the words ‘unprecedented times’ have been overused but its hard to find another phrase that quite captures the singularity, and tragedy, of the times we are living in. The lens was already focusing on race and ethnicity with regard to the disproportionate number of people of colour catching the virus. Even more troubling was the number dying as a result of Covid-19. Amidst the general chaos of the situation, at home and abroad, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement spun into action following the murder of George Floyd, a black man living in Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; I know the numbers off by heart; I’ve never concentrated so hard to stay on one knee for exactly that length of time on a protest march myself – despite two dodgy knees, I was determined not to sit out a single second of this time.

What has this got to do with education? Well quite a lot – calls for a decolonised curriculum are coming from many quarters, and not least from the BLM movement. Everyone I know in the UK with roots in former colonies wants this too. Our (I say this as an Indian Sikh having had most of my education here in Britain) personal experiences of schooling made us more than a little aware of the hidden history; and in recent years, I’ve often been told by black and brown pupils in schools that their classmates and friends need to know ‘how we come to be here’. There have been articles, column inches, twitter feeds and insightful comments on other social media on what a decolonised curriculum might look like; what it might include. However, it appears to me that little is being said about what more we can do, indeed much more, to improve teaching about racial disparities in health – a topic that unequivocally connects the Covid-19 pandemic with the BLM protests.

The first thing we need to understand is that the differential outcomes from contracting Covid-19 for people of colour compared to their white counterparts are nothing new in terms of health inequalities based on race or ethnicity. Just as the BLM movement has firmly brought into our purview the hidden histories and hidden stories of Empire, colonialism and slavery, so the pandemic should bring firmly to the forefront of our consciousness the long ignored, but very well documented within decades of research, disparities in health outcomes based on race and ethnicity. For example, South Asian, African and Caribbean people are overrepresented  in the data for Type 2 diabetes - six time more likely to be diabetic for South Asians and three times more for African and Caribbean - and of course being diabetic is an identified risk factor in Covid-19 related deaths; if you are of South Asian origin, you are very likely to suffer from high cholesterol – our bodies are simply not able to manage the bad cholesterol and get rid of it as easily as our White British fellow citizens. The impact is pre-mature death from heart or cardio vascular disease.

Black people, especially men, are significantly overrepresented in the numbers suffering from mental health conditions – often these are not diagnosed until contact with the criminal justice system. This raises a huge question about what schools are doing to support black pupils’ mental health and well-being, and why they aren’t intervening early enough to make more of a difference. Examination of exclusions statistics, which show the disproportional rates at which black pupils are excluded, raises further questions about how well schools are interpreting behaviour needs i.e. not as a need for well-being or mental health support, but rather as ‘bad’ behaviour requiring punishment.

My own forays into schools and personal, social and health education suggest that very little is taught about health inequalities. And even more importantly, what children in our schools can do as a result of being better informed, the life-long messages they can take away with them. And I mean all children! Because this is not a problem for those of us of colour alone to resolve, not least because the reasons for these inequalities are complex. Many of the health inequalities that people of colour suffer from are not replicated in their countries of origin or heritage. For example, Black women in the UK are five times more likely to die during childbirth than their white counterparts. That is a statistic that should shock you. I listened recently to a talk given by a senior health professional who happened to be black. The first thing she said was that she was so grateful she had had her children in the African country of origin before she came to the UK. What does that say about healthcare in the UK for prospective black mothers? To what extent do racist tropes such as ‘angry black woman’ and ‘black people can bear more pain’ contribute to this astonishing statistic?

So, what do we need to do in schools? A key starting point has to be to identify the health issues that have a disproportionate impact based on race/ethnicity. More than this, we need to understand why we need to teach our pupils about these – clearly to help them to identify where changes in lifestyle will help prevent some, possibly many, of these conditions. For example, for many people of colour, currently, becoming a Type-2 diabetic isn’t a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’. For many of us, our eating habits from our countries of origin and the foods we like to eat are fine in a hot climate where the heat enables us to burn up the calories. But that’s not what happens here – instead we pile on the pounds. I’m trying hard to get my Congolese husband to reduce down the amount of ‘fufu’ (pounded yam) he cooks – yep, back in the Congo, he’d walk it off in 20 minutes, but here, the heavy carbs just send him to sleep in front of the telly! But it isn’t just the eating habits; it’s also the ready availability of the wrong food, fast food outlets, advertising…..and we haven’t yet touched on poverty, which often affects BAME communities disproportionally.

Knowledge is power. I have to admit, and I am red faced about this, that I wasn’t aware how easy, as a person of colour, it is to become vitamin D deficient if you live in a cold climate. I even used to follow the school’s advice on hot days and put sunscreen on my children when they were little – note here about checking on the advice in the letters we are sending out to parents when the weather gets hot. It’s worth noting that Vitamin D is important for healthy immune systems, bones and mental health. And there’s the link to Covid-19 again…strengthening immunity to colds and flu viruses…a number of groups are researching into the role Vitamin D may play in helping against the coronavirus.

Making our children more aware means that as they get older, armed with the right knowledge, they are more likely to make good choices around food and exercise. They are also more likely to ask for screening tests to check on things like vitamin D, cholesterol levels etc; black girls will grow up to be more demanding of health services as pregnant women in later life.  

Its not only the PSHE curriculum that needs to be inclusive of differential health needs. The curricula in subjects such as food technology and science could be more proactive in raising the issues around the health inequalities that our BAME pupils are likely to face, and be helping them to identify solutions. Many conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, strokes etc can, at worst, be delayed but, at best, even avoided through better self-care. Not all of the health inequalities will, of course, disappear because of better self-care and changes in life styles. There are other social and economic factors at play, not to mention unconscious bias, maybe even conscious bias. Within the mix, how the health and other health related services, including the food industry, are inclusive of race are important factors. This is why the education about health inequalities should be taught in all schools (yes, I can hear the cries, but we have no/very few BAME children in our school) to all pupils; it is exactly because we need everyone to make the wider social, economic and cultural changes to improve health outcomes for all of us; many of the children we are teaching now will be working in the health service, the food industry and the world of leisure and fitness in the not too distant future. They need to be armed with the knowledge and understanding to do a better job.

Finally, its worth talking about what schools, and pupils in our schools, can do to take a more proactive, civic stance. So, what does this mean in relation to health? For starters, check what your local annual public health report says about local health needs, and the extent to which it is inclusive of race and ethnicity. I was somewhat shocked to check the Public Health report in my local authority area. On the one hand, it seemed to be quite focused on children and young people – it looked at health through the eyes of children and young people living in my county. What about race and ethnicity? Well, this has failed completely. While acknowledging that 15.6% of children in my local area were from a BAME background, and that, proportionally, they were more likely to be obese than their white counterparts, the report completed no additional analyses or gave further consideration to the issue of health inequalities for BAME residents. It did not even state the obvious: that being obese was more likely to lead to Type 2 diabetes, heart conditions…. etc. – in fact, not another single word. Covid-19 played its role though – it put the health needs of people of colour on the map, metaphorically speaking; late in the day but at least those leading health services are talking about the inequalities and what they can do. But coming back to schools, wouldn’t it be great for pupils to feedback on the Public Health report in your area? They would be contributing to the local strategy for health. What a great way to be involved in local democratic processes!

Schools have a real role to play in improving health and especially health inequalities. As with any other subject, those in schools leading on PSHE or the health curriculum must make sure that they have the in-depth subject knowledge to guide other staff and make sure pupils are well informed.

Gulshan Kayembe

Associate Director for Incyte

www.incyteinternational.uk

 

Incyte has delievered more than 100 free bite seminars to its consultants in April, May and June 2020

Here is just one of the many comments that we have had that have praised the quality of the seminars

‘With the weather and the ever changing guidance from government this has been as challenging as it can possibly be but, as normal, you continue to support and professionally be present when required.

Now it’s time you chill and spend some quality time with friends and family keeping the distance but enjoying the weather.

So, again, thank you for your never ending support. 👍😊👍’

Ian Chappell, Chair of Trust, Rivermead Inclusive Trust

                     It is time to promote Learner-Centred Education more than ever

                                                                                   July 2020 

When I was training to be a teacher in the 1970's I was turned on to Jerome Bruner and his ideas. Since then I have dedicated my life to support an evolution of best learning practice. I have always found comfort in knowing that the constructivist philosophy does work in the classroom. Not only does it work it improves achievement through learner-centred environments. It is therefore not surprising that I have continued to be inspired through my organisation's school improvement activities when promoting and seeing the awe inspiring learning that takes place when learner-centred environments are fully embedded and flourishing in some of our schools. Across the last 27 years I and my colleagues have therefore done our best to promote this best practice learner-centred environments whenever we have had chance to do so. It has been immensely gratifying to see this practice grow through creative and innovative processes as well as the academic evidence to support the evolution. We work with many high-quality schools in England and overseas and therefore we have had the privilege of observing and evaluating the practice at first-hand and then, helping and supporting these teachers and schools to develop even further.

We often use the phrase, as we begin to see the cultural shift move from teacher-centred to learning-centred to learner-centred environments (Chris Watkins), 'You have to see it to believe it.' To really understand what a significant difference it makes to the quality of learning you have to visit classrooms and see it happen. However, going through this cultural shift is extremely challenging for so many different reasons and you need to apply Passion, Wisdom and Courage to make it happen.

Schools are facing so many different challenges at the moment and it is not surprising the government is wanting 'gaps' to be closed but do they really understand what 'gaps' are and are they any different to what they were before Covid? So, what is the government advocating? Well, in a nutshell, it is more and more of a shift in the direction of teacher-centred learning where the teacher really is the font of all knowledge and if the students don't learn through this process they have to be given more of the same in catch-up lessons. And we now find that these 'catch up' sessions are going to be delivered by an army of university graduates through the tutoring programme. What a great idea! We give the most challenging pupils to those with least experience - is this just a recipe for widening the gap not closing it? We then find out today that to qualify to be an NLE you will need to promote a teacher-centred brand of delivery. Of course, this should not be a surprise to any of us. The direction education has been directed and reinforced by the government has been long known but now the speed of the drive is gathering more and more momentum from so many sources.

As an organisation we are just coming to the end of delivering over 100 free bite size seminars and open forums across the last two months to our consultants, schools and teachers. It has given everybody a space to reflect and discuss. Many of the schools we work with are outstanding, and they are of high quality because they believe in starting from where the child is when they arrive and then build a curriculum delivery ('Intent' in Ofsted terms), turning this in to a personalised approach to meet the needs of all the pupils and ensuring they are all challenged and succeed within a supportive environment where they are respected as individuals primarily and learners essentially.

When this gets embedded into the classroom, we see pupils assessing and evaluating their own learning and the learning from others because they know what ‘small step success’ is and how it can be identified. This, itself, gives them the confidence to articulate their learning precisely, apply it into different contexts accurately and to become involved in in-depth discussion. Reflection time and formative assessment are skills they require which helps them to make learning decisions because they do know what they have learnt, understood and applied, where they are now on their journey and have a good idea what they need to move their learning on to next.

What Covid has given us the opportunity to do, because we really do need to do it, is to ensure that when pupils return to school, they have the opportunity to settle in and share their experiences. In other words, take them on from where they are and enable them to make crucial decisions about what they need to learn to try to get back into what learning is all about. It is a tragic but tailor-made situation to make sure the environment they enter is dominated by learner-centred practice.

It is therefore an opportunity to realise that the learner-centred approach is the way that lost months can be regained most effectively. We just cannot afford to turn the pupils off even more so that they have even less chance to survive as active, positive participants in the societies they are entering once they leave school.

We need to stand up and be counted and there has never been a more important time in education when this is needed. We must stop the direction in which education is taking us now and move it on to a path that we know works best for all. Encouraging cultural shift is hard at the best of times, it is not easy to change what people do especially if they, themselves, have been successful in a teacher-centred environment. With the direction the government is taking us it will get harder and harder to do. We are already losing one hundred years of evolution at a fast pace, reverse gear is now on full throttle, we have no time to waste. Collectively we need to challenge the direction, support the schools who know that learner-centred environments achieve the best outcomes for all and give them the confidence that they are taking the right journey and encourage them themselves to put the vehicle in to reverse.

Malcolm Greenhalgh, Director, Incyte International Ltd

 

 

 

 

The number of schools and organisations commissioning the

Incyte International ‘Excellence in Safeguarding Award’ increases significantly.

The first school to achieve the Platinum award was Winton Academy in Andover in February 2018. Since then the number of schools using the award to ensure high quality safeguarding provision has spread across the country and has included not only schools but social justice charity organisation NACRO and educational facilities management organisations including: Amber, Kier, Engie, OCS and G4S.  

 

Winton

This is an award that demands the highest attention to detail in ensuring that a school’s community is safe and aware of all possible safeguarding concerns. There are 2 levels of award, Gold and Platinum. Schools wanting to achieve this award will need to undergo a day’s audit from one of our safeguarding specialists. A detailed report will result with highlighted strengths and areas for development.

Who is this for?

  • Any organisation that is responsible for children, young people, students or vulnerable adults

How long is it current?

  • 2 years with an option for a yearly light touch visit to upgrade from Gold to Platinum or to confirm continued excellence

Benefits?

  • A visit to your place of work where all key workers and a representation of stake holders will meet with the auditor.
  • A report is generated from the visit which highlights the best practice and identifies action points for improvement
  • The body or institution is able to use the excellence in safeguarding Logo
  • Access to newsletters and updates
  • Access to our safeguarding experts’ advice
  • Access at discounted rates to RESET’s comprehensive online training for staff in safeguarding, mental health, Prevent and anti-bullying

What makes this award stand out from other awards?

  • There is a high focus on the application and impact of policies on the ground
  • We recognise innovative and creative practice that really makes a difference to young people and those most at risk
  • We put children and young people at the heart of our award by ensuring that they are educated well especially their critical thinking skills, so they know about risks and how to manage them effectively
  • We focus on the culture that leaders create to keep young people safe
  • We do not expect institutions to collect a wide range of evidence to present to the panel prior to the audit. We work with what you already do, day in day out.

 

 A two -year or three year ks4?

The article below is worth a read as it raises the issue of judgements made around a two year/three year ks3 and ks4.

What seems to be clear is the need for us to be clear about whether a curriculum meets the needs of the students or not and the reasons for the judgement that you may be coming to.  I think it is important to provide a balanced view based on the evidence collected and whether this supports the school’s curriculum aims or not and whether the delivery of the curriculum is effective.

Ofsted re-rates Harris school, admitting error in report

James Carr - SchoolsWeek

Ofsted has amended the report of a school run by one of its most high-profile critics after inspectors wrongly applied new transitional measures. Harris Academy St John’s Wood, in north London, was rated ‘good’ by the schools watchdog in January – including ‘good’ judgments for ‘quality of education’ and ‘leadership and management’. However, the inspectorate has now upgraded the school’s ‘leadership and management’ rating to ‘outstanding’. They also removed the caveat of transitional arrangements which it had originally applied to the ‘quality of education’ judgment. Ofsted has said it will now provide additional training to inspectors on when to apply such arrangements after a complaint by the Harris Federation, which runs the school. Inspectors use their “professional judgment” to decide whether to apply transition arrangements as a temporary measure under the new framework where a school has taken “appropriate action but is still in the early stages of developing a curriculum”. In the wake of the initial judgement back in January, Harris chief executive Sir Dan Moynihan told The Times the report showed the school was “excellent in every way” but “makes clear inspectors took issue with the three-year programme for GCSE”.  In the same interview, he slammed the new framework as favouring middle-class pupils – launching a row which has led to the Department for Education preparing to intervene. In a letter to parents, Harris Academy St John’s Wood principal Graeme Smith said the trust felt that “aspects of the inspection process were flawed” and Ofsted has since apologised for the error. The school’s overall ‘good’ judgment has remained the same. But Ofsted said the school’s “leadership and management should more accurately be judged outstanding than good”.

They added the evidence from the inspection also suggested the curriculum in place supported a ‘good’ judgment in ‘quality of education’ “without the need to factor in transitional arrangements”. A spokesperson for the inspectorate added: “Our robust complaints process is in place to allow our judgments to be challenged and then undergo appropriate scrutiny so that everyone can have confidence in our final judgments.” Ofsted is currently consulting on plans to withhold publication of inspection reports until it has resolved complaints about them. This would mean that schools would have to submit a formal complaint within two days of receiving their final report, rather than the current ten days. In the St John’s Wood report, Ofsted stated there were year 9 pupils who do not study history, geography, art or music. It added: “Leaders, governors and trust directors have not ensured that all pupils in year 9 receive their entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum that is at least as ambitious as the national curriculum.” However, Moynihan said the extra GCSE year was central to the success of getting good grades for deprived children and called the new regime “a middle-class framework for middle-class kids”. St John’s Wood was in special measures before Harris took over. Ofsted has consistently denied having a curriculum preference, yet has criticised schools for shortening their key stage 3 to two years. Elsewhere, the inspectorate has also upgraded a provisional ‘good’ judgment into ‘outstanding’ at Bedford Free School after complaints. Ofsted said none of the school’s specific complaints were upheld but “our review of the inspection did conclude that the quality of education was outstanding”. Schools Week reported in January that Ofsted apologised and overturned a provisional ‘inadequate’ judgment at Park Academy West London after a complaint that inspectors had not understood its “innovative” new curriculum.

 

PLAN B

Benjamin Paul Balance-Drew – English hip hop recording artist, actor, film director and producer

MUSIC THERAPY

Whilst the government is trying to take us back in time to the system of grammar school academia for all that failed so many of our children so badly, Plan B has different ideas. He is trying to ensure pupils who are attending his old PRU get the same if not better opportunities to the ones that helped him to transform his life.

During his interview with Jools Holland in the first programme of his new series he (Plan B) revealed how he is working to ensure the needs of those pupils he can influence are met whilst there are so many unwanted distractions that could take them in the wrong direction.

This is a transcript from the comments he made to Jools:

‘I was expelled from school and went to a PRU.  We had a chap there called Cliff Hurley. He used to bring all his own music equipment into the school and he used it as a therapy to get us to come out of our shells because you get instant gratification from music.  The minute you give a kid a drum stick and they start hitting them on the snares he’s getting a sound out of it. You don’t get that with other subjects.

We were all at the school because we were expelled from other schools because the academic approach wasn’t working for us. So we needed vocations and everyone loves to hear music, even if they can’t play it they enjoy it.

So when I came back to my old PRU to do a documentary after Cliff had died I saw that he hadn’t been replaced.  And I knew I had to put a new music room there. I hooked up with Atlantic and Big Music and put a music studio there and a full-time music teacher. Since we have done that we have had 25% of the kids getting enrolled back into mainstream education which is unprecedented.’

 

 

The first school to achieve the Platinum award is Winton Academy in Andover.

February 2018 

 

Winton

 

This is an award that demands the highest attention to detail in ensuring that a school’s community is safe and aware of all possible safeguarding concerns. There are 2 levels of award, Gold and Platinum. Schools wanting to achieve this award will need to undergo a day’s audit from one of our safeguarding specialists. A detailed report will result with highlighted strengths and areas for development.

Who is this for?

  • Any organisation that is responsible for children, young people, students or vulnerable adults

How long is it current?

  • 2 years with an option for a yearly light touch visit to upgrade from Gold to Platinum or to confirm continued excellence

Benefits?

  • A visit to your place of work where all key workers and a representation of stake holders will meet with the auditor.
  • A report is generated from the visit which highlights the best practice and identifies action points for improvement
  • The body or institution is able to use the excellence in safeguarding Logo
  • Access to newsletters and updates
  • Access to our safeguarding experts’ advice
  • Access at discounted rates to RESET’s comprehensive online training for staff in safeguarding, mental health, Prevent and anti-bullying

What makes this award stand out from other awards?

  • There is a high focus on the application and impact of policies on the ground
  • We recognise innovative and creative practice that really makes a difference to young people and those most at risk
  • We put children and young people at the heart of our award by ensuring that they are educated well especially their critical thinking skills, so they know about risks and how to manage them effectively
  • We focus on the culture that leaders create to keep young people safe
  • We do not expect institutions to collect a wide range of evidence to present to the panel prior to the audit. We work with what you already do, day in day out.

 

 06.10.2017 -  All aboard the 'Skills Revolution'!

You may be aware of the changing emphasis from Ofsted on schools ensuring they provide a curriculum that is suitable and relevant in meeting the needs of all the pupils.  There is now a growing momentum in the secondary field to bring back a broader curriculum.  The lack of logic behind recent government initiatives started by Gove has probably led to the country’s darkest hours in making it nigh impossible to do our best for all those children in our care.  It is therefore refreshing to read the editorial in Schools Week  by Laura McInerney:

'The conservative Party has got a major problem when its own secretary of state for education is on the stage announcing a ‘skills revolution’, but the schools minister won’t let civil servants write the word ‘skills’ in any of his correspondence.” Making this point while sat alongside a former Tory minister and in front of 150 party members was not exactly comfortable, but it felt important at a fringe event I attended at conference on Sunday. It was important because it’s true. For three days the same questions were on party member’s lips: Why aren’t we giving children opportunities to do vocational subjects? Why are we killing off the arts, and music, and design & technology? How come the message about apprenticeships is always so negative?..'  Read more

10.04.2017 - INSPIRE..2..TEACH – International recognition

Incyte has, for a long time now, advocated the need for a much better link between leadership and the quality of teaching and learning. It is well recognised world-wide, that the quality of teaching and learning is the most important factor that leads to improved outcomes. However, this can only happen if the quality of leadership which drives the improvement in teaching and learning is also of a high standard.
The Inspire..2..Teach programme, a mixture of self-improvement, coaching and mentoring (internally and externally), directs its energy towards improving teaching and learning in a practical way but also drives improvement in the leadership of teaching and learning. The programme identifies the best teachers in the school, develops their practice to ensure the quality of teaching and learning is consistently outstanding and, at the same time develops the leadership skills of this initial teaching group (Leaders of Learning) so that they are able to self-sustain improvement in teaching and learning across the school.
The programme is a powerful driver for sustainable improvement in outcomes over time. However, it is not designed to be a quick fix, as cultural change cannot be turned around overnight, but is designed to ensure the bedrock for future improvement is solid and secure.
The article in ‘Teach Middle East’ illustrates the impact of the programme and how it can begin to transform the culture within a school to ensure all students achieve the best outcomes possible.

27.03.2017 - What is an appropriate curriculum?

Why are the curriculum expectations in England changing?  Who is deciding that the path we are taking is the right one? Are we following a path that had the wrong assumptions against which we started a different journey? Are we looking at how a curriculum is delivered in a different country with a different culture and tradition and saying that is the pathway we need to go along without really understanding the implications of this?
Designing a curriculum is a significantly difficult task – we had all sorts of contentious national discussions when we developed the National Curriculum in England in the 1980s. So, what is the fundamental starting point for this design process to be successful?
The problem in modern society is that we really don’t know what life in the future is going to look like and we do not know precisely what skills future adult citizens will need to achieve the community goal.
What should we therefore be doing in our schools to ensure we all, in the future, contribute to a society that encompasses all the basic moral values that we need to understand and the skills we will need to make a positive contribution to our communities in the future? In our editorial we analise these and other qustions. Follow the link below to 

Read more

23.02.2017 - Emirates International School applying Incyte's 'Inspire..2..Teach'

Inspire2Teach Emirates

We are delighted to have partnered with Emirates International School Jumeirah. Our Inspire..2..Teach programme is designed to provide high quality support to improve the quality of teaching and learning in lessons to a level that would be identified internationally as outstanding practice.

Twenty four EIS teachers have joined the Inspire..2..Teach programme in this first instance, working to develop their teaching to consistently Outstanding levels. Alongside the focus on teaching they are also honing their skills of dialogue and feedback as they become recognised Leaders of Learning within the school - empowered and enabled to share their expertise working with other teachers.

Inspire..2..Teach in EIS Jumeirah direct link

09.01.2017 - 'Inspire..2..Teach' working effectively in the Middle East

AjmanAcademy Tassos page

Teach Middle East magazine in its January-February 2017 edition published an article written by Dr Tassos Anastasiades, Director of Ajman Academy , the United Arab Emirates.
In his article Dr Tassos highlights the importance of leadership and the role of Incyte International intensive school improvement support. “We empower our teachers,” said Dr Tassos, “they are trained to become Leaders of Learning, using the Inspire..2..Teach strategy and working very closely with Incyte consultants.” Incyte is a proven methodology, which Dr Anastasiades has used for four years in a number of schools.
“It has been consistently recognised, that the quality of teaching and learning can only be improved over time, if all stakeholders ‘buy in’ to the concept of ‘grass roots’ improvement”, Dr Tassos shared.

Access the Teach Middle East magazine to read the article online (page 32).

03.10.2016 - Unions to advise a boycott of next year’s SATs?

The most recent message to members from Russell Hobby, NAHT General Secretary, highlights the concerns of headteachers across England about the current situation of assessment and outlines what the government needs to do... 

Read more

18.09.2016 - Inspections, Exams and Test results

End of 2015-2016 exam and test outcomes: Congratulations to all of the secondary schools that Incyte supports as a school improvement partner (RI to Outstanding)...
The high quality support we provide has been acknowledge in a recent Section 8 visit. We would like to thank all our consultants and schools for all their hard work and our school leaders who respond extremely well to what are sometimes difficult messages and challenges. We look forward to working with you all in the current academic year.
Our schools in the Middle East have also either maintained or improved their inspection grading...

Read more

16.08.2016 - Creativity or Uniformity

Since education began there has always been much debate about what children need to learn and how they should be taught to learn.

It is quite clear that the current government is looking more at conformity/uniformity rather than creativity and diversity. The new national curriculum and assessment initiatives are an example of this as is the constant push towards trying to improve our position in the PISA rankings by promoting the use of things like Singapore maths.
Within all of this, however, Asian countries, including China, have been coming to the UK to find out how we manage to create a better balance between uniformity and creativity which leads to a wide range of talents distributed across our adult population. Our primary school education has, for a long-time, been held in high esteem and is something that should be replicated widely.
The article below provides an interesting take on this whole issue.
We would be interested to know your views on this whole debate. If you find the time to respond please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more

12.05.2016 - Ofsted update presentation

Key Points:

  • What are some of the key focuses and approaches?
  • 'Pebble in the pond'
  • Key Approaches from Early Years to +16

Due to technical hitches we were unable to record this presentation but you can download it here. We have added to aspects of the PPT so that there is more information.
Click the following link to download Ofsted update May 2016

29.02.2016 - Open Letter to Nicky Morgan by Emily Gazzard

Dear All
Below is an open letter written by Emily Gazzard passed on to me from Gulshan Kayembe. In the light of the publication of the exemplification materials by the DfE, Emily utters her complaint about the standards now expected of Y6 pupils at the end of KS2. The letter opens up many of the concerns expressed to us directly by the schools that we are working with.  Although we may not agree with everything that Emily is saying there is much food for thought...

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23.02.2016 - The Early Years Foundation Stage Baseline Test

Incyte has consistently expressed a view about the new baseline assessment and promoted the Early Excellence baseline as the one that was most likely to fit with best assessment practice conducted by schools.  Our main concerns, therefore, are not with the actual baseline test itself, as we do believe in having national baseline assessment consistency which can be externally moderated to improve accuracy of assessment, but with how this information is going to be used...

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09.02.2016 - Enabling Children/Students to Develop the Skills needed to Learn Effectively

Dear Nick Gibb
There are times when non-professionals begin to believe that they are professionals with many years of experience of evaluating the quality of teaching and learning in depth. In the best schools, there has always been an appropriate balance between knowledge, skills and understanding. All of us who are trained as teachers will remember the wealth of academic research and evidence that pointed out the importance of this balance. To suggest that schools in their curriculum design and teachers in delivering the school’s curriculum have forgotten the importance of knowledge within this balance is just nonsense.
But, I would just like to thank you for bringing your view from the thousands of lessons you have evaluated (??) to the forefront because it has reminded me of the vast amount of educational research that supports effective learning – how pupils of any age learn best. The article below is just one that Jan Lomas, one of our directors, brought to my notice. It is certainly worth a read if only to enlighten us all in the belief that young people will always surprise us if we give them the credit and respect as intelligent human-beings that they deserve. After all, they do learn an incredible amount without any professional teacher support in the first few years of their life – the danger for us as teachers is that we forget this and box up their lives thereafter wondering why, by the time the leave school, academically, they have forgotten how to think for themselves, be creative and take risks.

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11.01.2016 - Workload and Effective Learning and Teaching

Unions and Academies/Schools can work together to provide high quality education within working conditions that are acceptable to all parties

...Assessment is probably the most crucial skill that any teacher can possess.  Without good assessment taking place informally and formally within and around every lesson or series of lessons how can teachers plan effectively and personalise the curriculum to meet the needs of the pupils?...

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 Assessment Changes for September 2015 and their Potential Impact on Social Mobility

There is continued confusion about assessment without levels and it is likely to get worse before it gets better. There is also increasing concern about the Reception baseline assessment to be piloted early in the autumn term. A recent article by John McIntosh in the TES expresses concern about schools re-vamping assessment systems under a flawed Levels system... The article found by Incyte Director Jan Lomas – is great in identifying the pupil perspective (backed by significant research) on what they need in terms of feedback which enables them to learn well and make good progress...

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1. Malcolm Greenhalgh - Managing Director

Malcolm JoomlaMalcolm is responsible for Incyte International's business development strategy and growth which has helped the company to expand rapidly in recent years in ICT and face to face solutions in the UK and overseas. He is also responsible for quality assurance systems to ensure the company continues to provide high quality services to its many clients. These include LA schools and academies in all phases, education authorities and national and local associations. The company is also forging links into quality assurance and self-evaluation in the health sector and has been appointed as Auditors for the Association of Registered Colonic Hydrotherapists. He is also Managing Director of MGA Education Ltd the accounting and IT research and development arm of Incyte and Managing Director of Incyte Kft, a Hungarian company working in the vocational sector forging closer links between school and the workplace.
He was the initiator and Chairman of Bench Marque Ltd which was formed in 1992. He was responsible for developing the company's business into one of the largest education companies in the UK before being taken over by Tribal Education in 2004. Bench Marque's client level included the DfES, QCA, the Greek Ministry and the British Council. Its operation of Ofsted inspections in the school and nursery phases made it one of the country's biggest inspection operators.

 

2. Caroline McKee - Director

Caroline JoomlaCaroline is responsible for school evaluations and support. She created the Incyte Review programme and builds the teams to meet the specific needs of the schools and academies that Incyte works with. She has also taken a major role in developing the company's IT self-evaluation support systems which are working very effectively in many schools in the UK and overseas. These databases are at the cutting edge of new technology and provide easy to manage data analysis processes which help to enable schools to have high quality self-evaluation systems.
She has significant experience as an Ofsted lead inspector building on her experience of teaching and leading in a wide range of schools in the private and public sectors. She delivers high quality training, consultancy and review and her recent activities include: supporting the development of academies, middle leadership training, teaching pupils in challenging circumstances in inner city secondary schools, providing advice and support on school improvement, training teachers, writing core tasks for QCA, developing assessment programs to track pupils' academic progress and approaches to learning, and inspecting under the new inspection framework. She has trained inspectors in self-evaluation skills and LAs on the inspection framework.
She is also a Director of MGA Education Ltd and Incyte Kft.

 

3. Rob Wilby - Technical Director

Robert Wilby JoomlaRob has significant experience as an ICT expert within education. Before joining the team at Incyte, he worked for ten years with Wessex Associates and Bench Marque Ltd. Those years were spent replacing paper based school inspection systems with offline and online databases that improved the speed and efficiency for inspectors and the teams that supported them. Much of the work for Wessex Associates involved assessing school systems directly, offering advice and technical support and in many cases replacing a schools network completely. He has been responsible for the development of the data programs that are used to generate the web-based school self-evaluation programs.

Contact via Skype: Rob Wilby

4. Gelena Wilby - Research and Development

Gelena JoomlaGelena has a Master’s Degree in Science, graduated in chemical engineering.
Worked over 10 years in private education as a tutor in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry for secondary school students in the Republic of Panama.
Before moving to the United Kingdom in 2011, Gelena worked for 5 years as a Managing Director of a Real Estate Company.
She is proficient in Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian languages.
Since 2012, Gelena is part of the Incyte team working in research, web development and social media management.

 

5. Jan Lomas - Director for the North Eastern counties

Jan JoomlaJan carries out consultancy, school/academy reviews and CPD for Incyte and is currently school improvement partner for a new and rapidly developing multi-academy trust in Humberside.
Jan has substantial previous experience of providing high quality consultancy, developmental review, inspection and support for schools in this country and internationally. With a background in primary headship, she has been part of teams implementing major national contracts for the DfE and the GTC in the UK and for state and city departments of education in USA. Whilst a primary specialist, Jan also has a background of successful support for secondary schools in this country and overseas.
Jan has provided many years of well received support and training for schools at all stages of their development particularly in relation to improving teaching and learning and the journey to enabling outstanding learning, effective leadership and management, performance management, developmental lesson observation and developing teachers and teaching assistants as proactive, reflective practitioners.

6. Anna Holzmann - Director of Operations for Eastern Europe

Anna JoomlaAnna studied at the Budapest Business School and at the Szent István University and became an economist specialising in Marketing in 2008. She has international experience and has worked in the UK for several months before starting her career in Hungary. She has diverse experience from working at SMEs to big multinationals. She has been working for Incyte since 2007 and has grown Incyte's Eastern European business. Her main responsibilities are ensuring projects in Eastern Europe operate to a high quality, marketing, customer care, event organisation and supporting UK-based projects. She has been the main driver in developing Incyte's vocational education projects in Hungary.

Contact via Skype: Anna Holzmann