As you might expect, I dip into lots of different content. I thought I’d offer a kind of ‘directory’ including websites, blogs, Twitter feeds, etc. This page has some of my favourites, roughly organised as education, politics, policy and other miscellaneous gems:
Ian Leslie – a varied blog by a very entertaining writer. Also does a good newsletter (which now sits largely behind a Substack paywall) called The Ruffian.
Oliver Burkeman – I find Oliver’s transition from a productivity guru to someone with a much more philosophical approach to life and time management really interesting. His book, Four Thousand Weeks, is one of the most thought-provoking I’ve read when it comes to thinking about how I use my time, set goals and evaluate how I’m doing. Oliver also does a newsletter called The Imperfectionist.
Farnam Street – this Canadian operation, focused around founder Shane Parrish, looks at a whole host of topics including leadership, decision-making and mental models, to name but three. Farnam Street also does a weekly podcast called The Knowledge Project and a newsletter called Brain Food.
The Marginalian – another eclectic website, originally called Brain Pickings. The site is a one-woman operation and covers topics ranging from culture, to philosophy to literature and so much more. As is the standard for this General Interest section of links, The Marginalian also does a couple of newsletters.
Kat Howard – Says Miss – while Kat covers more than curriculum, it is her work around curriculum which I have found the most useful. Kat is also co-author of the brilliant book Symbiosis.
John Tomsett – This much I know… – I came across John’s blog through Twitter and subsequently read his first book (which I review here), which remains one of my favourite educational reads. His posts offer so much wisdom gained through experience that I always find his writing to be thought-provoking and reaffirming of the importance of teaching. Also follow him on Twitter: @johntomsett
Tom Sherrington – Teacher Head – another blog from a headteacher (I know, ideas above my station…) which offers so many tried and tested ideas. Like John Tomsett’s blog, I also appreciate the humanity which Tom shows through his writing and welcome his courage in challenging the status quo. Also follow him on Twitter: @teacherhead
Class Teaching – a blog written and curated by Shaun Allison and his colleagues at Durrington High School. Shaun and his colleague Andy Tharby wrote the brilliant Making Every Lesson Count.
Geoff Barton – head of school leaders’ union ASCL, Geoff is almost always on point with analysis of the latest changes in the education landscape.
POLITICS & CURRENT AFFAIRS
General coverage of current affairs
The Spectator – having avoided it for years out of some sense of loyalty to the New Statesman (see below), I dipped my toe last year and have enjoyed the range and brevity of the magazine. They also do fantastic podcasts.
The Economist – I have had a longstanding on/off relationship with The Economist, subscribing when I realise I need to be better informed and then dropping the subscription when I find myself unable to find time to read it. Now I try to persist and find the time. The Intelligence podcast is excellent.
New Statesman – excellent website covering current affairs and culture. I particularly enjoy reading work by Helen Lewis, Ed Smith and John Gray. As well as the main website, City Metric also satisfies my interest in all things urban.
Perhaps it’s the geographer in me, I have long been fascinated by planning and this interest crosses over with my involvement in local politics. I have come across a couple of insightful blogs:
Lichfield’s Planning Matters – a blog from the large and prestigious planning consultancy Lichfields, covering all manner of planning matters.
Planning Advisory Service – this unofficial blog from the Local Government Association’s Planning Advisory Service is also wide-ranging and informative.
Royal Society of Arts – a couple of years ago I was sat at the lunch following a meeting of the Court of Lancaster University. I was chatting to a couple of fellow members and one suggested that I join the RSA. Having come across some of the articles and videos on their website before, it didn’t take much to persuade me to join and I have been a Fellow since then. For the web materials alone I find my Fellowship to be great value for money. If nothing else, I am fascinated by the breadth of ideas and issues which so many brilliant people are working on, which is represented by the events and writings organised by the RSA. The use of digital media goes some way to addressing the London-centric nature of much of the society’s activities. If time permitted I would get more involved in regional networks and activities.