Monday, 28 January 2008

Another week and only two weeks left to half-term. Another round of meetings was punctuated by a wonderful lunchtime session, visits to two of our fantastic primary schools, a meeting with the Radiowaves team and signing up to the Children's Workforce Development Council's 'The Big Deal'.

Dirk Gilleard and I had a lunch meeting with the Education business partnership team who talked to us about the fantastic work they are doing. This amazing group of talented colleagues are delivering some innovative and creative projects in primary and secondary schools.
I visited two great primary schools; I went to Quarry Mount Primary School to catch up with Jan Warton and her colleagues and to Adel Primary School to spend the afternoon with Stephen Boothroyd and his colleagues.

I met with Tim Riches and Sharon Middleton from Radiowaves. Radiowaves aims to harness young people's natural enthusiasm for creating media to engage them in compelling learning opportunities. Radiowaves uses social networking and web technologies to provide unique and safe platforms to connect and inspire young people. We are looking for ways to work with the Radiowaves team.

Rosemary Archer and I signed up to 'The Big Deal', the Children's Workforce Development Council's Sector Skills Agreement which sets out what we need to do to build a world class workforce to deliver the very best outcomes for children, young people and families. It sets out the skills, knowledge and competencies the children's workforce needs for the future. We are the first authority to sign up to 'The Big Deal'.

I also met with headteacher colleagues last week and they asked me an interesting question which made me think about how we communicate with our schools. The question was "Okay, you’ve made great progress and achieved a lot over the last few years, but how do you know what schools want from Education Leeds in this new world of Extended Services, Trusts and Academies...a world where schools are increasingly autonomous and increasingly taking responsibility and ownership at the local level?"

It's a great question which we need to consider carefully as we develop our new strategic plan and position ourselves for the future.

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