Friday, 2 May 2008

Two weeks ago

Sometimes we all need reminding that the daily grind, the paper, the meetings, the hassle, the criticism, the politics and the negative people aren't what it is all about. However, those things can wear you out and make you question whether what you are doing is worth it. At those times, we need to take time to focus on the outcomes we are trying to achieve and the difference we are all making.

Last week was great and gave me another chance to see the difference we are making and to remember just how special education in Leeds really is. I started the week at Corpus Christi Catholic College where Cllr Richard Harker and I joined Rosie Denison and the dinner lady who inspired Jamie Oliver, in celebrating the 1000th colleague to complete the innovative and unique training programme we are running for our kitchen staff. The assembly with nearly 1000 young people was amazing and recognised the students' fantastic charitable giving as well as celebrating the achievements of the lunchtime staff at this great school. We then had three hectic days with a group of colleagues from Stockholm and Sollentuna. My thanks go to Allyn, Khian, Carrie, Thomas, Margarita, Donna, Caroline and Claire. These brilliant colleagues managed and organised a wonderful visit for our friends from Stockholm. I am also deeply grateful to colleagues at Methley Primary School, Hillcrest Primary School, Ireland Wood Primary School, Carr Manor High School, Otley Prince Henry's Grammar School, South Leeds High School and the North East SILC who helped us show our visitors the best of Leeds... and they were quite simply bowled over by what they saw!

I finished the week with a fantastic group of young people who were launching the 'Be Healthy! Stay Safe' campaign which we hope will engage all our young people, our colleagues and parents and carers across the city in a series of challenges to improve health and well being and to encourage them to stay safe... and I was bowled over by what I saw! Wherever you go in the education world there are great people... talented brilliant, gorgeous and wonderful colleagues helping to release a very special kind of magic... headteachers, teachers, lunchtime staff, office staff... and it is simply wonderful to see the impact and the outcomes.

At the end of another week I know that it is worth it and that we are making a difference to our most valuable and precious resource... our children and young people!
Keep the faith!

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