Review by JL Dutaut

Commissioning editor, Schools Week

18 Jul 2021, 5:00


12 books to look forward to this summer and beyond

By Various




JL Dutaut ends the academic year with a look ahead at the books on education publishers’ slates that are likely to make a splash in 2021/22

[If you would like to review one of these or any other education title for Schools Week, email JL)


Habits of Success: Getting Every Student Learning 

Harry Fletcher-Wood (August 2021) 


A regular contributor to our research feature, Ambition Institute’s Harry Fletcher-Wood is a methodical thinker and clear communicator about all topics educational. Here, he sets out in long form to support teachers to use behavioural science techniques to increase motivation and improve behaviour. 

The book takes readers through a process to transform learning habits from choosing what change to prioritise to ensuring students keep going ̶ and all the steps in between. With workshops, checklists and real-life examples, it promises to be a valuable resource for new and experienced teachers alike. 


Culture Rules: Creating Schools Where Children Want to Learn and Adults Want to Work  

Jo Facer (November 2021) 


Always original and insightful, and seldom uncontroversial, Ark John Keats Academy principal Jo Facer follows her first book, Simplicity Rules, with an exploration of school culture. Mindful that there is no single correct school culture, she draws on her personal journey to leadership and lessons learned from top-performing schools to suggest practical and sustainable ideas for short- and long-term change.  

Taking in the different factors that affect a school’s culture and mindful of workload, behaviour, marking and professional development throughout, Culture Rules includes a host of impactful case studies and promises to be essential reading for primary and secondary leaders. 


The Mindful Teacher’s Toolkit  

Kevin Hawkins and Amy Burke (September 2021) 

SAGE Publishing 

As we look forward to a year with less Covid disruption and the road to recovery begins in earnest, creating calm and conducive environments that prioritise children’s wellbeing is likely to be top of the agenda. Enter The Mindful Teacher’s Toolkit, a timely book full of ideas for how to integrate mindful practices into your teaching.  

Containing detailed guidance on how to work with children and young people from age four to 18 and in specific subject areas, Hawkins and Burke set out whole-school approaches to mindful practice in a book designed to be accessible to all and adaptable for all. A tall order, but one we’re sure will be gladly received by many. 


Miss, I Don’t Give a Sh*t: Engaging with Challenging Behaviour in Schools 

Adele Bates (September 2021) 

SAGE Publishing 

With many students out of the habits of learning set by regular school attendance, trying to re-instil these may indeed garner the response that gives Adele Bates’s book its title. Miss, I Don’t Give a Sh*t promises to be a down-to-earth book full of practical approaches, strategies and tips from the classroom on how to help pupils with behavioural needs thrive with their education.  

With a focus on implementation and impact for the short- and long-term, on a range of objectives from relationship building and teaching self-regulation to fostering inclusivity and minding your own self-care, Adele Bates offers to unpick some of the most difficult aspects of being a teacher with no-nonsense support to build (or re-build) confident classroom professionals. 


Huh: Curriculum Conversations between Subject and Senior Leaders 

Mary Myatt and John Tomsett (September 2021) 

John Catt Educational 

Huh. That may very well be Myatt or Tomsett’s reaction to some of the outlandish ideas proposed about curriculum, but the title of the book is actually a reference to the Egyptian god of endlessness, symbolising the ongoing nature of curriculum development. 

Tackling the common experience of a mismatch between the priorities of senior leaders and those they line manage, this book sets out to look at each national curriculum subject through discussion with subject leaders to provide insight into their curricular aims. Senior leaders may ‘huh’ at some of the answers, but that’s the first step on an important learning journey. 


Becoming A Teacher. The Legal, Ethical And Moral Implications Of Entering Society’s Most Fundamental Profession 

Alan Newland (August 2021) 

Crown House Publishing 

With the September launch of a new Early Career Framework that many schools are still unfamiliar with, as well as many other reforms to initial teacher training, this book couldn’t be better timed. 

Targeting trainees and NQTs as well as tutors, mentors, trainers and CPD providers, Becoming A Teacher is designed to be an accessible course reader and covers all the compulsory aspects of the ITT Core Content Framework for all qualified teacher status (QTS) courses and Early Career Framework CPD. 

With  illustrative scenarios, exemplar strategies and practical resources drawing on Newland’s extensive experience, the book’s aim is to firmly place teachers’ practice in a broader social and moral context.  


The Four Pillars of Parental Engagement: Empowering Schools To Connect Better With Parents And Pupils 

Justin Robbins and Karen Dempster (August 2021) 

Crown House Publishing 

What does or should parental engagement look like in a new world of online parents’ evenings? It seems there’s no going back on that at least, and in this book, Robbins and Dempster examine the challenge through their four-pillar model of knowledge, environment, culture and communication.  

Rather than setting parental engagement as a separate activity, they consider it as a planned, sustained and integral part of a whole-school approach to everything from vision and values to students’ learning. Providing a toolkit of tried-and-tested approaches, it could be central to shaping the recovery. 


Organise Ideas: Thinking by Hand, Extending the Mind  

Oliver Caviglioli and David Goodwin (September 2021) 

John Catt Educational 

Education’s own graphic communication impresario Oliver Caviglioli is back, this time pairing up with geography teacher, head of year and knowledge organiser extraordinaire David Goodwin. 

Together, they have devised this guide for teachers to master for themselves the skills required to create not just knowledge organisers but graphic organisers. With examples from real teachers covering the full age range and span of subjects, Organise Ideas also links this tool with other teaching strategies for maximum impact. The noble teaching resource looks likely to get quite the facelift.  


The CPD Curriculum: Creating the Conditions for Growth 

Zoe and Mark Enser (July 2021) 

SAGE Publishing 

Out this week but sadly too late for a Schools Week review this term comes this book by edu-celebrity power couple Zoe and Mark Enser. Teaming up for the first time,  their ambitious goal is to put right teachers’ often lacklustre professional development. 

Split into three familiar parts – intent, implementation and impact – the book approaches CPD as a genuine curriculum in its own right. Covering coaching and mentoring, subject-specific CPD, self-efficacy, delivery methods and quality of materials among other topics – and full of expert and practical guidance – it could be a massive contribution towards a CPD that truly lives up to its name. 


The School Leader’s Year: Month-by-Month Progress, Every Lesson, Every Day 

Michael Harpham (October 2021) 



It’s a title that immediately makes you wonder why this book wasn’t written before. No training could possibly hope to impart the full extent of the demands on a school leader over the course of a year. But a book that sets out all the statutory and key leadership activities from admissions, induction, transitions and parents’ evenings to coursework, timetabling, assessment and staff performance into a manageable calendar format to be accessed at will? Well, that could be transformative. 

Harpham is a former headteacher, so expect a clear, comprehensive, and coherent structure based on experience as well as tips to prioritise time and workload and work as efficiently and effectively as possible. 


This Is How We Look When We Lead 

Angela Browne (June 2022) 


Bringing together the voices of 30 female educators, Angela Browne’s follow-up to her acclaimed Lighting the Way: The Case for Ethical Leadership in Schools explores what it means to be a woman in education today. 

Part practical guidance, part honest advice and part opportunity for reflection, This Is How We Look When We Lead aims to shed light on shared experiences and encourages readers to build their confidence, surmount barriers, overcome prejudice and ultimately be successful in their teaching careers. 


The Headteacher’s Handbook: The Essential Guide to Leading a Primary School 

Rae Snape (August 2021) 


Written by headteacher and Cambridge Festival of Education organiser Rae Snape, this book aims to be a manual for understanding the primary headteacher’s role as an instructional coach and community leader.  

With her inimitable energy and compassion, Snape presents invaluable advice, models, research, motivational quotes and self-reflection questions on a wealth of topics from developing and communicating your school’s vision to handling an Ofsted inspection, leaving little out in between. With examples from her own experiences as well as contributions from a host of influential school leaders today, it’s likely to be a beacon of positivity. 


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