Amjad Ali on Inclusion, Pupil Premium and what he learned from Sir Tim Brighouse – PP78

Paul Dix
Paul Dix
Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

Amjad is Assistant Head at a large secondary school in Oxford – Cheney School. He describes the school as ‘massively diverse’ in terms of ethnic make-up and entry standards. Cheney is an inner city school amongst the ‘Dreaming Spires’ of Oxford. Prior to this role, Amjad held senior leadership roles in several schools and started off his educational journey as a teaching assistant in prisons. All this was after studying Law at university – a route which didn’t appeal to Amjad at all.

Tim Brighouse

Amjad has had the privilege of being mentored by Tim Brighouse, one of the most influential British educationalists. This, remarkably, came about as a result of Amjad presenting at a Teachmeet. He had gone along to the event with the plan of presenting and then being asked to join the school by the headteacher – a lofty aim! When he found out that Tim Brighouse was there, he asked him if he would stay to hear his presentation. Afterwards, Tim approached Amjad’s current headteacher and told her to give him a job! A relationship between the two developed from there. Amjad says that Tim makes you believe in yourself.

Teachers are very modest and very self-critical so when Tim Brighouse tells you that you should share the great things you are doing with others, it’s awe-inspiring.

Amjad AliWhat makes an inclusive school?

If you are truly inclusive, you don’t need to talk about it. You just practise it. Amjad believes in equity over equality. He tells his students that he will not treat them all the same – he will treat them fairly.

A school that is truly inclusive is extremely equitable but may not be extremely equal.

To be truly equitable, an adult needs to know the students inside out – their needs, their difficulties, their strengths. You need to know everything about the young people, the surrounding area, the difficulties in nationalities, the difficulties in the nation. An inclusive teacher demonstrates this seamlessly. Know your students, not just about students as a whole.

What are you doing about Pupil Premium and what is having the most impact?

Amjad feels there is always more to be done on Pupil Premium…

Agility-Teaching Toolkit.

Amjad’s blog is called New to the Post.

Read the full show notes on the Pivotal Education site

Pivotal Podcast Pocketbooks

Pocketbook bundleNewly-created Pivotal Podcast Pocketbooks are now available from Amazon. There will be a huge range of Pocketbooks from Pivotal Education, starting with the edited transcripts of some of the most popular episodes of the podcast.

The idea of releasing written versions of episodes came from listeners who wanted to be able to make notes and use the content in different ways. If you would like a particular episode to be converted into an ebook, please let us know!

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. –

What would you like to hear covered in forthcoming episodes? Let us know by emailing


  • Subscribe to the podcast
  • Listen for free every week
  • Send in your comments or questions
  • Get involved!