What can the railways learn from schools?

(Or the importance of relentless focus on improvement)

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This post is part post – part rant.

I get a train every day to work – at least two trains – sometimes three. I spend a significant portion of my waking day on trains.

As somewhat of a train geek I frequently will tweet Greater Anglia asking for the reason – and they are varied.

I have a lot of sympathy for train operating companies. However I really struggle with this.

In case you can’t see the problem. It is the fact that delays of 1-3 minutes are not attributed. They are seen as not worthy of justifying or coming up with a reason.

If you are going to raise standards you must be relentless. As a teacher and a school leader if I let the little things slide they would turn into big things.

Teaching is hard work. I aim for 100%.

  • 100% off homework set.
  • 100% of homework completed.
  • 100% of teacher’s achieving their targets.
  • If you are rude to me, even once, it is not acceptable.
  • If you are late – even by 1 minute I will expect a reason’ and you will probably serve a sanction.

If a teacher does not set a homework, I will ask them why. If a student has not done their homework, and hasn’t got a reasonable excuse, they will face a sanction – even if it is the first time.

That is my job.

The standard you set is the standard you accept.

If trains running two minutes late aren’t challenged, the reliability of  Britain’s railways are never going to improve.

Maybe executives from the Rail Industry should spend a day in a school to see however relentless focus on the small things makes the big things happen.