Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Another week – how time flies when you are busy!

Last week was Key Stage 3 SATs. This week we have Key Stage 2 SATs. And GCSE, AS and A2 examinations are looming large. Not surprising then that the weather has changed and we are facing sunburn and heat stroke!. Remember ‘slip, slap, slop’ is the name of the game!

My four day week was full of important meetings...leadership forum, children’s services leadership team, corporate leadership team, Education Leeds board, headteacher forum, leader management team, leadership team and executive team. I also managed to squeeze in sessions with Councillor Harker, Ken Cornforth and Mike Pyle and attended a staff induction session at the Derek Fatchett CLC.

I think the highlight of a busy week was attending the National College for School Leadership’s Regional Conference on ‘New Forms of School Leadership and Governance’. It provided an opportunity to catch up with old friends from across the region and the three keynote inputs were great. Valerie Hannon, Director of the Innovation Unit, talked about System Leadership, Mel Ainscow, Professor of Education at Manchester University, now leading the Manchester Challenge talked about New Structures, New Practices? And Edna Sutton, Director of Children’s Services in Barnsley, talked about the innovative 21st century provision they are developing.

The challenge that remains for us here in Leeds is: to continue to listen to young people, families and communities; to continue to nurture innovation, creativity and local solutions; to continue to deliver responsive and brilliant services; and to connect together the pieces of this tapestry of outstanding provision to really make a difference for every child, every young person, every family and every community…whatever it takes!

We must build a ‘Learning City’ here in Leeds with a learning culture, a learning landscape and learning communities. We must all work hard to develop the skills we need to make Leeds a truly world class city….a city of enterprise, a city of culture, a city of opportunity where everyone matters and no-one is left behind.

We have a unique opportunity to do this. Let’s hope that we will look back and remember what we did, the successes, the triumphs, the mistakes, rather than look back and remember that because it was difficult we did nothing.
Best wishes

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