Review by Penny Rabiger

Director of engagement, Lyfta Education

12 Oct 2019, 5:00


Penny’s podcasts. 8 October, 2019

Penny Rabiger takes over our ‘blogs of the week’ slot once every half-term to point to the best of the education podcasts

We are in Beta Podcast, with Niall Alcock

Niall Alcock’s podcast series seeks to find the good news, learning and incredible stories from school leaders. Each week he quizzes them on the twists and turns of the journey that led them to where they are now, the sector’s big issues, and their predictions for the future. This episode features Jeremy Hannay, headteacher at Three Bridges primary in Southall, west London. Hannay is a passionate advocate of doing away with the type of high-stakes accountability management style that is often synonymous with high-performing. It’s great to know that even though he does things in a way that negates some of the common beliefs about “what Ofsted wants”, he and his team have co-created a happy, purposeful and enriching school for staff, children and their families. He talks of teacher autonomy, optimism and continuous learning with such joy, it will put a spring in your step all the way to work! (Ofsted graded his school “oustanding” after the podcast was recorded.)

About Race, with Reni Eddo-Lodge

This is a great intro if you haven’t read Reni Eddo-Lodge’s blog and subsequent book Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Featuring key voices from the past few decades of anti-racist activism, Eddo-Lodge looks at the recent history that led to the politics of today. I would recommend you listen to the whole thing, but one episode that might resonate with us as educators is “Shout out to Miss Beep”. Here, she discusses with the comedian Nish Kumar the impact a teacher can have on students’ feeling of self-worth, and how just a few words can make or break our belief in our own abilities. We all know this, but it’s a good reminder and mood-booster as we near the end of the half-term.


This podcast takes everything that’s funny about the world of education and puts it into a series of sitcoms, satirical shorts and spoofs. The episode I’ve selected is The Staff Room, featuring the build-up to the staff Christmas party. It’s amazing how universal some of the personality types are that can be found in this staffroom. See if you recognise yourself!

Key Voices podcast

Call me biased as one of the founders of The Key, but their podcast makes for great listening, not only to keep up to speed with the latest news in education, but also for its interviews with some familiar and interesting education folk. Call me biased again, but one episode I can recommend is an interview with Schools Week’s contributing editor Laura McInerney. Here, she talks about what she has been learning about the secret lives of teachers through her work with Teacher Tapp.

The Edtech podcast

Teachers can be a bit squeamish about edtech. This podcast is a lovely way to get a flavour of the wonders of technology in education in an accessible and fascinating way. Episode 162 looks at China and focuses on competency-based education. Traditional education in China has focused heavily on teaching to the test, and guests in this episode discuss the new movement towards alternative approaches that are designed to recognise students’ more creative needs, as well as their knowledge of cutting-edge technologies such as AI, and how to apply them. Could this be headed our way?

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