Friday, 4 January 2008

It is a difficult, yet exciting, time to be in education...

The challenges remain driving up secondary standards, improving the very low secondary contextual value added, addressing the needs of young people achieving very little after eleven years of statutory education and tackling those not in education, employment and training. The real challenge is how do we bring our collective energies and efforts to bear on the task of improving learning for all our students? And how do we create the conditions that prompt and enable our provision to deliver significantly better learning outcomes?

Everyone expects so much... of headteachers, of governors, of teachers and of colleagues who are assuming formal or informal leadership responsibilities; of Education Leeds colleagues who are operating at some distance from the classroom... but all of us facing the same relentless pressure, the same high expectations, along with the increased and increasing demands of driving and guiding the school system in Leeds towards improved performance and better outcomes for every child and very young person... whatever it takes!

This climate of higher and higher accountability increases the weight of the expectations facing all of us and as always the stakes are high. The biggest challenge lies in how we build learning leadership; connecting leadership practice with student learning, and then mobilizing the energy and commitment of all relevant partners and stakeholders. This challenge involves not only us as individual leaders, operating from our respective vantage points in a highly complex system, but all of us together... the power of TEAM!

We must re-imagine our systems, processes and provision and be brave enough to ask ourselves the difficult questions about why things are currently not working and what we can do to ensure that there is step change in outcomes for all young people here in Leeds.

As always, I'd welcome your views and comments.

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