Tuesday, 9 January 2007

I started the day with a group of secondary headteacher colleagues looking at how we take forward the review of 14 - 19 provision in the city. It was great to see them all after Christmas and again the couple of hours reminded me how lucky we are to have such talented and committed colleagues leading our schools.

Every secondary school in Leeds has outstanding practive and is in some way releasing the magic. The challenge we face is how do we connect the very best of this practice consistently to take our overall performance from below average to outstanding. We are already doing brilliant work in so many areas... coaching, mentoring, individual learning plans, curriculum pathways, specialisms, English, mathematics, science, modern foreign languages, history, geography, PSCE, vocational programmes, the powerful use of ICT and much, much more. In my visits to schools I am seeing inspiring teaching, targeted support, alternative programmes, young people actively engaged in deep learning in some awesome new buildings. I am also seeing a real understanding that our learners need to be happy, healthy and safe if we want them to be successful.

Our challenge is to ensure that all our provision becomes as good as the very best and that we drive up standards and achieve world class outcomes. We must work together to eradicate the irrelevant, the mundane, the boring and the ordinary. We must work with, and listen to, our young people to get them engaged and involved in developing and understand these approaches. We must work with all our schools to get every secondary headteacher, their leadership teams, their governors and their learning teams to buy into aspirational targets, to adopt and devlop an entitlement for all and to commit to partnership working that will share and network our best practice across a genuine learning community. A community that is focused on doing the best we can collectively for all our young people because no-one can do this on their own.

We must continue to talk about how can we achieve outcomes that are world class. Why can't we have outcomes like these in Leeds...
  • 80% achieving Level 2 qualifications at 16;
  • 60% achieving level 3 qualifications at 19; and
  • 95% progressing to higher and further education

The question we must all ask ourselves, whether you are a parent or carer, a local business, a partner, a local university or simply someone who is interested in the future, is what can I do to help!


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