Looking back over the last year, we have had another great year with some real successes. Remember, we are the Public Sector Power 100 Team of the Year and we achieved our first Beacon Award for Healthy Schools. We have also seen real progress with the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard being adopted by the Morley Schools and the Inclusion Chartermark being re-endorsed. OFSTED inspection results generally have been good and the GCSE results have improved significantly so we are also continuing to close the gap.
However, when it comes to some of the most important things we need to constantly ask ourselves whether we have really changed the deeply embedded culture and attitudes which seem to simply accept things as they are… and why we still suffer from pockets of poor attendance, poor behaviour and poor standards. Imagine what we could achieve together if everyone was as passionate, as committed and determined, as prepared to go the extra mile and as focused and as excellent as the most inspiring and exceptional colleagues in Education Leeds and in our schools.
These next few months are critical for Education Leeds and Children Services as we approach the Joint Area Review. We need to use this opportunity to refresh and rethink, to renew the vision, to recharge the batteries and to boldly go into 2008 to change the world and release the enormous potential in our teams, our schools, our colleagues and our children and young people. As another academic year begins, we need extraordinary colleagues to bravely and boldly go where we’ve never been and we need an extraordinary back up team to provide support as and when they need it.
Whenever someone does something extraordinary, it shows us all what is possible… you just have to look at the results last week. We must challenge each other to clearly articulate our goals and our roles and make belonging to Education Leeds a vibrant, exciting and dynamic part of our lives. I’ll be trying to get to as many team meetings and talking to as many of you as I can to listen to your views and to get your advice, help and support for the next stage in our journey to excellence.
Just don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done!