Wednesday, 14 November 2007

It's been one of those starts to the day when you think I should have rolled over and gone back to sleep...

The A64 from York was a nightmare this morning and it is always difficult to work out why. I managed to get to the Breakfast Meeting with headteachers on time but only to discover that the hotel had forgotten to arrange breakfast. Still when you are with colleagues from the Seacroft Manston, Richmond Hill and Inner East Families of schools it doesn't seem to matter what is going on around you... and looking around the room, at the faces, I know that the focus is on brilliant provision, on improving outcomes, on raising standards and on meeting the real needs of children and their families. These issues are at the heart of everything these colleagues are doing. These are great schools doing great work in some of the most challenging circumstances.

The challenges these colleagues raised with me were:
  • can we refine and improve the Financial Management processes everyone is going through to recognise the size and context of the school?
  • can we provide more help with the large number of non English speaking children arriving in schools across Leeds?
  • can we duplicate and maintain initiatives like MAST?
As a listening and learning organisation we will look at these issues and get back to colleagues. The last two are critically important aspects of the Inclusive Learning Strategy and of the Children's Services approaches we are developing here in Leeds.

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