Sunday, 28 October 2007

Like you, I am constantly working to be the best I can be, trying to do a good job or even a great job…

I find however, that I am working so hard on today’s non-urgent emergency stuff, that I’m finding it hard to find enough time to think and to plan for tomorrow. However great today’s challenges are, the only way that we are going to achieve really outstanding outcomes for our children and young people is by focusing on what we need to do tomorrow, to ensure that today, is not simply another day doing the same things and achieving the same outcomes.

I don’t know about you but I keep a diary, or to be honest Althea does, and recently I looked back at what I do in a typical week. In a typical week, whatever that means, I work around 60 hours, about 45 hours in Leeds and about 15 hours at home. I also spend about 10 hours in my car! In that typical week I spend about:
  • 30 managing the office, the paper, the e-mails and generally fire-fighting;
  • 15 hours at routine meetings;
  • 10 hours on current initiatives and projects;
  • 5 hours of refection and thinking time.

Put it into the Leeds context; there are eight weeks or forty working days until Christmas and so much to do! I’ve been looking through my diary and alongside the usual stuff the rest of this term looks incredible. Christmas will be here before we know it and while we will have ratcheted up another catalogue of incredible stuff will we have spent enough time thinking about how we can drive the change agenda here in Leeds.

This is just a slice of the best stuff…

  • The launch of the ‘Inclusive Learning Strategy’;
  • The official opening of the new Ralph Thorsby High School building;
  • The Stephen Lawrence Education Standard Celebration;
  • The launch of the Business Education Strategy Group;
  • The Leeds Healthy Schools Celebration;
  • The Education Leeds Annual Lecture by Tim Brighouse;
  • ‘Children in Need’ day;
  • The launch of our ‘Brilliant Learning, Brilliant Leadership’ programme;
  • The Leeds Mentoring Celebration;
  • The Annual LCC Retirement Receptions;
  • 11 Million Takeover Day;
  • Parent and Family Support Strategy event;
  • The ‘STEPS’ Celebration;
  • Leeds Trinity and All Saints Foundation Degree Celebration;
  • University of Leeds Student Volunteering Awards;
  • Governor Area Meetings;
  • The Education Leeds Christmas Party.

This is alongside the Council’s Executive and Scrutiny Boards agendas, the Education Leeds Board agendas, the Joint Area Review schedule, headteacher breakfast and tea-time meetings and the incredible agenda we are working on with the 14 – 19 agenda, Trusts, Academies, extended services and locality working. It’s true that there is never a dull moment here in Leeds… just make sure that you can find time to think and to reflect as well as to juggle!

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