Can it really be this simple?

What really sets a school apart?

Although this is another in a very infrequent series of posts based on lists, it highlights the simple message at the heart of a successful school.  Colin Harris, writing the TES last November, recognises that it is love – for and of school – that lies at the heart of a successful school.

Paraphrasing Mr Harris, below is a distillation of the seven things that he feels make a good school and underpin the sense of love that pervades successful schools.

  1. Positive relationships throughout the whole community – teacher-pupil, pupil-pupil, teacher-parent, etc.
  2. Key values can be seen all around
  3. High expectations are pervasive, from the quality of the building to the quality of work being presented
  4. Teachers are dedicated to those in their care
  5. Behaviour is excellent, because the structures are understood by everyone.
  6. Staff are allowed to take risks to get the best from the pupils
  7. Strong leadership is present – in the literal sense as well as the figurative



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