One of the things that always strikes me is the strength of our network, the stories of support and lifelong friendships we hear from our participants.
This blog is part of Ambition:Feed's Raising Aspirations challenge.
more tips and discussion on the Ambition:Feed homepage.
Last year I saw one of our headteachers implementing a new family dining initiative after seeing it at another participant's school. I heard two middle leaders talk about how they had supported each other to continue on the journey out of 'special measures'. And I witnessed the joy as participants reunited at residentials, a year after starting the programme together.
In the spirit of this inspirational collaboration we see time and time again, we’re launching Ambition:Feed today. This is a brand-new platform for school leaders to explore and share strategies to help every child succeed.
Every month over the next year we’ll bring a challenge to the table – decided by leaders in our network and beyond – for discussion on the platform. We want to bring together the skills, knowledge and resourcefulness that leaders across the UK have by providing a place to have honest conversations and share the ways they lead with others in challenging contexts.
Ambition:Feed kicks off looking at the very reason so many of us are in education: raising the aspirations of children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. When we surveyed school leaders at all levels in 2017 on the challenges they face, an overwhelming proportion cited this as one of the biggest, and it’s at the very heart of our mission as a charity.
The challenges are great and growing, but so are the solutions. Nationally the gap between children from state schools accessing ‘top’ universities compared to independently educated children has actually widened to 43%. However, one of our leaders is spearheading work to find and share new solutions and raise awareness for how we get more of our most disadvantaged children into these institutions.
There are brilliant ideas like this on Ambition:Feed to raise aspirations and make sure every child feels they can succeed. But the platform needs you – to share your own experiences, talk about your creative solutions to setbacks, and to ask your own questions about raising aspirations.
"We know how busy leaders and teachers are day to day – so now you can get involved on your commute by tuning into the podcast"
Ambition:Feed is all about leaders crowdsourcing the latest thinking and we know that every leader is different, and has a different approach to learning and sharing. That’s why we’re launching some exciting new formats to bring the conversation to you in a variety of ways.
As well as solution-focused thinking over on our blog from experts and leaders, we’re also launching our very first podcast series. We know how busy leaders and teachers are day to day – so now you can get involved on your commute by tuning into the podcast.
Each episode will bring leaders from all over the UK together to discuss the challenges they face in schools in challenging contexts. You’ll hear their leadership strategies, their breakthrough stories and the lightbulb moments of their careers.
We want you to be part of this conversation, too. You can get involved over on Twitter using our new hashtag, #ambitionfeed, and we’ve also launched a new Facebook group for in-depth discussion and debate – everyone is welcome, but the group is closed to ensure you can have honest conversations in a private sphere.
Ambition:Feed is for leaders, so we want it to be shaped by you. Every month we’ll be asking you to shape future topics to ensure the challenges being discussed are useful to you. We also want your suggestions for challenges – you can make your suggestions here.
I’m looking forward to seeing great minds come together to tackle these challenges every month – we hope you enjoy being involved.