In an exclusive interview, a leading inset provider reveals all: Brenda Hobbins, Osiris Educational’s course and inset director, shares her views and passions on teaching and training and looks at the future of education.
Brenda has more than two decades’ experience in education and began her career as a teacher. After teaching in national and international schools, she left to follow her passion to drive change in education and so set up Osiris Educational with Stephen Cox.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I always wanted to teach. When I was a child at school myself, I remember watching my teacher take the register and thinking how exciting it looked. When I left school, I went on to complete my PGCE and began my first teaching post as a maths teacher at a secondary school in Warwickshire. I had a very forward-thinking approach and implemented a half-way curriculum for my Year 7 pupils. This involved limiting the number of different teachers they had in order to help with the transition from primary to secondary school. I strongly believe the teacher should take a pastoral role and further the personal development of students as well as their academic learning. I spent 3 years at the school and became a year head during my final year.
Tell me about your international teaching experience.
After leaving my first school, I went out to teach at an Egyptian school in Cairo. I headed up the International Department and spent 6 years there. Whilst in Cario, Stephen and I developed and implemented a PSE Programme, which we went on to develop further when we returned to England.
Why did you decide to set up a teacher training company?
My main passion is to drive change in education. Whilst I was a teacher, I don’t remember any training of any particular quality. When Osiris was first set up we were providing training for the PSE model and the business grew from there. All our sales were customer-led and insets started as a one off. Over the past decade, Osiris has grown to become one of the top independent teacher training companies in the country. We use over 200 of the best and most renowned trainers in Britain, including Dylan Wiliam, Guy Claxton, Robert Powell, Andy Griffith, Will Ord, Jaz Ampaw-Farr and Sue Palmer. If revolutionary ideas like Philosophy for Children and Outstanding Lessons were available as training when I was a teacher, I might not have left. I believe if we have better trained teachers they are more likely to stay in the profession, as it is the best job in the world.
What are your ‘passions’ in education?
I strongly believe children should be happy and treated as children and not adults-in-waiting. I think childhood should be fun and exciting and consider teaching to be something more than information giving. Children need to learn about interpreting and have a curiosity for knowledge and skills, and it is the teacher’s job to help with this. I fundamentally believe that what was right when we were children is not right for the children of today, therefore teachers need to constantly update their teaching styles and keep up to date with changes.
Why should teachers and people involved in education attend Osiris training?
Thousands of teachers have attended our inset training over the years and we always receive outstanding feedback. The main advantage of inset training is that everyone in the school receives the same training, meaning everyone can discuss and deeply embed the ideas. Here are some other advantages for attending Osiris inset programmes:
- Bespoke training to suit your school’s specific needs
- Access to the country’s top presenters
- All staff receive the same training
- A convenient location for all your staff
- Costs may be shared by holding joint sessions with other schools
- Costs for supply teaching and travel are cut
What courses can be offered as an inset?
We have such a huge selection of trainers we can provide any educational training no matter how specific or general. Our trainers have all worked in schools so can identify specific problems and areas and come up with practical solutions. We provide training for all nurseries, schools and colleges linked to any subject, including:
- Ofsted requirements
- Curriculum & Qualifications
- Leadership & Management
- Special Educational Needs (SEN)
- Gifted & Talented
- Whole School Improvement
- Educational Resources
- Child Protection and Safeguarding
How many people can attend an inset?
We can provide training for 5–500 people depending on the presenter.
Where is this training available?
We are able to provide training throughout the country and most of our trainers are available for international work. It can be held in your school or a conference room may be hired.
Where do you see Osiris Educational in 5 years time?
I would like Osiris to be the benchmark of great training. If a school has a training need I would like them to immediately think of Osiris and approach us for the answer. We are quality-driven and are not in business to provide mediocre training. I know schools are short of time and money and what they have is too precious to be wasted on training that is not fantastic. Many schools in the country have attended Osiris training and I would like to see them return with new colleagues and hope we will have trained a big majority of schools throughout the country over the next 5 years.
In an exclusive interview, a leading inset provider reveals all: Brenda Hobbins, Osiris Educational’s course and inset director, shares her views and passions on teaching and training and looks at the future of education…
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