Friday, 2 November 2007

There are so many great schools in Leeds and it was encouraging recently to read the OFSTED inspection report on Bankside Primary School. I wrote to Sarah Rutty and her team to congratulate them and Sarah wrote back...

"Dear Chris, Having read one of your more recent blog entries and marvelling (and commiserating) at the number of hours you work in order to help us achieve 'Bankside Best' on a city-wide scale, I am even more touched and grateful for the time you found in order to send us your 'well done' note, in the wake of our recent OFSTED. As you once pointed out to me, you do have many schools to run in Leeds, I am always impressed at how you still manage to stay in touch with us all... Well done back to you!

We too were delighted with the report; it was my first ever as a headteacher and I too was really pleased with the very positive comments it made about our leadership team. Leadership, as you know so well, is critical to the creation - and maintainence - of a successful and vibrant team... all my Bankside Best wishes to you, our 'primus inter pares', as you boldly stride out at the vanguard of that team provision, here in Leeds! As your blog makes clear, this is not always a straightforward journey and I very much hope that the indomitable Edwards' spirit will prevail - even when the going gets rough. I often bring to mind Tim Brighouse's set of 'desirable qualities' in leadership, when sets of lips tighten yet more firmly and cardigans are buttoned up TO THE TOP with savage intent during staff meetings; the one I find most re-assuring at troubling times like this, is his view that successful leaders need to have a quality that he characterises as 'unwarranted optimism'...Long may your optimism be 'unwarranted' and abundant - even when the lips of challengers tighten and (metaphorical) cardies are buttoned up against you ...Lots of Bankside Best wishes. Sarah"

We all need to understand the challenges we face here in Leeds and the real difference we are making together is why we continue to turn up when the easy life is so available to talented people. We must continue to be optismistic and positive and to fly the flag for everything that is brilliant about Leeds including its' primary schools like Bankside, its' people like Sarah and her team and most importantly its' children like the wonderful young people at Bankside Primary School.

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