Tony Attwood has formed three organisations all of which are still active:
- The School of Educational Administration and Management
- The Dyscalculia Centre
- The AISA Arsenal History Society
1. The School of
Educational Administration and Management
This was formed in 1995 with the aim of supporting the work of school administrators and managers. The School was set up with financial support from the Department of Trade and Industry, and also with extensive help from the University of Northampton Education Department, who were in turn funded for the project through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership fund.
The School’s first activity involved producing the Certificate in Education Management course, of which Tony was co-author. A second course, the Certificate in Management Practice followed.
Following this the SEAM developed the Diploma and Certificate Courses in School Efficiency, and published their own report on the topic of school efficiency, which challenged the government’s view, by stressing that the achievement of efficiency came through a process rather than through the focussing on specific approaches already adopted by other schools.
This work grew out of research Tony undertook in the period 1997-1997 within the Education Department at the University of Nottingham. Tony’s research led him to challenge the position taken by senior academics within the department, which focussed on academics charging schools to work within the school environment developing school improvement.
Tony argued that for change to be implemented on a large scale there had to be a way of developing change without the school being reliant on the university, and being able to find the significant sums that were needed to implement the school improvement programmes proposed by the University’s department.
Tony proposed that a way forward would be to move the focus away from school improvement onto school efficiency, thereby achieving the self-reflection that the University of Nottingham team required. At the same time Tony argued that the study of efficiency would not only lead to a more effective educational system within each school, but would also be self-funding, rather than a drain on the school’s expenses.
Indeed as it turned out, the schools that took part in the subsequent projects that were arranged saved far more money than they spent on the projects, and thus both improved and gained further funds – funds which were previously being wasted.
The SEAM continues to flourish and publishes a wide range of information free of charge and runs a free news service for school administrators and managers. The SEAM can be found at www.admin.org.uk
2. Dyscalculia Centre
Following his involvement in writing a course for teachers
of dyslexic students in the 1990s Tony began to research dyscalculia, and from
2001 onwards began to publish materials, books and research papers on the
subject under the umbrella of the Dyscalculia Centre.
In 2012 the Centre opened its on line
screening and assessment program for dyscalculics through which hundreds of
people of all ages have since been diagnosed.
The Dyscalculia Centre’s reports, programmes and testing materials are now in use in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in the UK. Information about the Centre can be found at www.dyscalculia.me.uk
3. AISA Arsenal History Society
Tony is a lifelong supporter of the London based football club Arsenal FC. In 2008 he started a web site which explored Arsenal’s history, and in 2009 he was invited by the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association to set up the Arsenal History Society in 2009.
The Society has since thrived and is involved in researching and publishing materials concerning the history of Arsenal Football Club. The publications include a series of booklets each of which unravels a part of Arsenal’s history and presents new information which has not been considered before.
Additionally Tony has written “Making the Arsenal” – a fictionalised diary of a journalist who is called on to cover the disintegration and rebirth of Arsenal FC in 1910. He has also co-written “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” – the definitive history of the club from 1893 to 1915.
The Society’s also continues to publishes a daily blog which highlights different issues in the club’s history, and has regularly revealed elements of Arsenal’s past which have been wrongly reported in the past, and in some cases are still wrongly reported in publications today.
Tony has spoken about Arsenal’s history at a number of
events, including in 2012 at an AISA social event held at the House of Commons
under the auspices of the MP for Islington North where he revealed for the
first time the detailed story of the attempted coup that sought to de-rail Woolwich
Arsenal FC and which ultimately led to the setting up of a rival club which
took over the Woolwich Arsenal ground.
Arsenal FC have recognised Tony’s work by inviting him and other members of the Society to write a regular column in the Arsenal FC matchday programme. Further, at a meeting with the Arsenal CEO in 2011, Tony proposed that the club should place a number of statues around their ground. This proposal was taken up with the unveiling the following year of statues of Chapman, Henry and Adams.
In 2013 Tony played a significant part in the two hour Talk Sport programme on the history of Arsenal FC and he is a co-author of the volume “Arsenal in the 70s” which is due for publication at the end of 2013.
Tony is also working on a new volume: Arsenal Anniversaries.