Sunday, 28 October 2007

As you get back, after another half-term break; back to the day-to-day business, the cut and thrust, the ups and downs, the roller-coaster ride, I hope that things aren’t getting too hard, too difficult or too stressful. Our business has never been for the faint hearted, the uncommitted, of those looking for an easy life. Over half-term, I re-read the Audit Commission’s School Survey and we all know or so people tell us, we are only as good as our last piece of work, as our last decision, our last conversation, our last design, our last piece of advice. However, thinking about it, it’s not true… the truth is that we are as good as the next one, the one we are going to do today, tomorrow, this week, next week, this month, next month. We must always remember that there are constant opportunities to do better, to improve and develop and to learn.

Whoever you are, you don’t win every race you enter, but you can try to win the next one. You can try to do a better and better job on everything you manage, you touch and you are involved with. Always remember, because no-one else will tell you, that we are making real progress, we are going the right way, things are getting better … even if it is sometimes slow, difficult and challenging… and that progress is down to you, your enthusiasm, your passion and commitment and your sheer hard work.

We must all find the time to think; to constantly reflect on our abilities, our targets and what we have achieved. But we must all have the determination, the courage and the self-belief to aim higher and to look to achieve more. Success is all about attitude, ownership and self-belief, so, above all, you must believe in yourself.

As the days get darker and the nights get longer we must retain a ruthless focus and concentrate on activities which deliver the outcomes we want to see. We must,
· be disciplined and determined;
· think and behave long term;
· except the unexpected;
· always stay positive.

Thank you for the significant effort you are making to make education in Leeds such a success and for making a real difference for children, young people, families and carers and communities here in Leeds.

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