Sunday, 16 December 2007

Another term, another Christmas and another brilliant year!

It's hard to believe that this is my seventh Christmas here in Leeds and what is impressive is the way that this year colleagues across Education Leeds have continued to release a very special and unique magic. I know that we face yet another series of progress checks, internal and external audits, Annual Performance Assessments, Joint Reviews and inspections... you name it we've had it, I have been there and we have all got the t-shirt.

It's easy to forget within this national culture of criticism, failure and negativity, that you are simply the best; colleagues across Education Leeds from our Healthy Schools Team to our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Team, from our Deaf and Hearing Impaired Team to our Families and Schools Together Team, from our National Strategies Team to our School improvement Team, from our Attendance Team to our Extended Services Team, from our Finance Team to our Human Resources Team, from our Performance and Information Management Team to our Communications Team. I know that I have left out some incredible teams so I'll leave space for you to put your team in here....................................

It's true though, wherever you look and whenever you get out of Leeds and see what other authorities are doing we are BRILLIANT, EXCEPTIONAL AND DIFFERENT... an innovative and creative cutting edge team. I hope that you will think about the special things you and your colleagues have achieved this year... examples where you have helped release the magic and created that WOW factor! Make a list and pin it on the wall to remind you through the dark times that working in Leeds is simply fantastic.

In 2008 we need to continue to deliver high challenge, brilliant support and quality services to our schools, our colleagues and all the organisations we work with so that we continue to ensure that the children and young people of this great city are happy, healthy, safe and successful... whatever it takes. We must all continue to work on driving a cultural change which fosters excellence, ownership and discipline and deliver brilliant outcomes. We must all develop our skills, our abilities and our understanding and strive to work even better as a team. We must get rid of the excuses, the things that get in the way and the bureaucracy and simply focus on outcomes.

Remember that you are part of a unique, creative and innovative team. We must challenge ourselves to do better and constantly refresh our offer, our products and materials, our partnerships and our ideas. This is above all a passionate enterprise and we must continue to build trust, to listen, to smile, to act, to be positive, to be considerate and caring, to be brave and to always tell the truth.

This Christmas, I wish you, and those you love and care about, delight and simplicity, foolishness and fantasy and noise, angels and miracles and wonder, and innocence and magic. I realise, as I write this, that this is the seventh time I have done Christmas in Leeds and it’s funny I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Have a great time… be happy, keep healthy and stay safe.

No comments: