Category Archives: Uncategorized

If the headship cap fits… to lead is to learn how

Hilary Moriarty reports from the Boarding Schools’ Association’s deputy heads conference

When the National College’s chief executive Steve Munby addressed deputies at the Boarding Schools’ Association’s annual deputy heads conference recently, he referred to people “assuming the mantle of leadership”, a garment which, he asserted, fitted some people very well from the off.

Other people grew into it, and made it a comfortable fit. And some people found that it was never a good fit. Continue reading

Pastoral Work: And those who practise it

Book cover

Nineteen writers with a wealth of varied experience provide invaluable advice on the social and educational context in which we work; pastoral issues and the law; pastoral strategies, teams and tactics; pastoral care of younger children; the essentials of pastoral care in prep schools; the boarding houseparents; running a girls’ house in a coeducational school; from housemaster to Headmaster; pastoral care of staff; developing people and developing yourself; nursing and pastoral care; head of the sixth form; the role of the chaplain; advising on the next stage: an important pastoral issue; caring for international boarders; pastoral issues in a world of global communication; dealing with challenging teenagers.

Edited by: Dr Nigel Richardson, Head of the Perse School, Cambridge from 1994-208 and Hilary Moriarty, National Director of The Boarding Schools’ Association

Available to buy from the website.

Thank God it’s Friday

Something lovely about Thursday night – there seems to be a ‘Nearly there!’ party on the pavement outside every London pub, with young people in their 20s and early 30s knocking back enormous glasses of white wine – every glass a third of a bottle no doubt.  Long term damage of no account when it’s a warmish autumn evening and there’s only a day of the weekly grind to go.

Tonight, for me, an actual embassy party – up a couple of steps from a London street and you are in a foreign land, with people jabbering in a foreign language and a rather fierce lady complaining about the loos to 4 men –  to see the launch of a teacher’s pack all about their country for use in schools.  The pack seemed to  do everything on its own – teacher input?  perhaps they don’t anymore.  One Pupil Task – the pack even set the homeworks –  was “Define the word ‘sustainable’ ” and you think, ‘How long could that possibly take?  Long enough to be a task?’

Met a primary teacher who told me in her school there was no class with more than 30 pupils because of the ‘cast iron contract between the authority and the NUT.’  Is that how such things are decided?  Asked about admissions and appeals – her school doesn’t have such things, ‘We’re full.  And we’re always full because we’ve had two outstanding judgements from Ofsted.’  So why no clamour at the gates, with pupils being turned away and parents appealing?  ‘Because we’re full.’  Right.

Yesterday to the HMC conference in Liverpool, and a glimpse of Roger McGough, and his so-true poem, ‘The Wrong Bed.’  Worth the trip for that needle-sharp comment on us all – ‘Life is like a hospital ward and we are always in the wrong bed.’  And a line that said something like, ‘Soul would always be happier anywhere rather than here.’  And, ‘We did not make our beds, and we do lie in them.’  Still wondering if he intended a pun there.

Trip blighted by leaving coat on train.  And lo! they found it, but it will cost me a trip to Euston and £5 to reclaim it.  If I don’t, in 90 days they will burn it.  Why not give it to a charity shop?  How wasteful of them.  And stupid of me.

Sadly, discovered when I realised not wearing the coat that I wasn’t even wearing a suit – in the dark, or the haste, or the new glasses being less strong than I thought – that I had, to coin a phrase, put on the wrong trousers..

There’s probably a story there.

Hilary Moriarty on Radio 5 Live

On 29 May Hilary was interviewed on the BBC Radio 5 Live Richard Bacon show in a discussion about boarding schools – “are boarding schools good for children”.  She was in a discussion with a number of callers, Simon Partridge (a member of Boarding Concern) and the host Rachel Burden (sitting in for Richard Bacon).

If you have any comments on the discussion please feel free to post them on this site, or contact Hilary using the contact link on this site.

How do you like your fruit?

If I asked you to talk about apples, what would you say? They grow in Kent? There are lots of varieties? They’re good for cooking? If any of these come to mind, you are probably a left-brain thinker – analytical, knowledge-based.If, on the other hand, you were to talk about the supremacy of Golden Delicious because of intensive marketing, the importance of preserving ancient varieties, the use of the apple in mythology – well, all of that indicates a right-brain thinker, less interested in facts and better able to think laterally and widely.

Next question: does it matter? Answer: probably, as the latest thinking is that people who are able to access the whole brain, who know the facts but think more widely, are likely to be the most successful in whatever they do. And right-brain thinkers have a greater chance of success as simple knowledge becomes more the preserve of computers and the internet – and thus of everyone.

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Welcome to my blog…

A very warm welcome to my blog! I’m Hilary Moriarty, and I’m the National Director for the Boarding Schools’ Assocation and State Boarding Schools’ Association.

I’ll be using this blog to post articles and comments relating to the education sector, and in particular, about the boarding sector.

Please subscribe to the feed if you’re interested in what I have to say – and get involved through the comment facility to let me know what you’re thinking!