Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Another week cluttered by email, paper and meetings but brought to life by some special individuals and visits to two brilliant learning places...

I met Allan Blagaich, executive director of Metropolitan Schools at the Department of Education and Training for the Government of Western Australia. Allan was visiting Liz Talmadge, executive headteacher at the Central Leeds Learning Federation, and he was a real breath of fresh air in our world made complex by Ofsted, National Strategies, National College for School Leadership and the DCSF.

I went to the Leeds Art Gallery to an exhibition of artwork by Willow Young Carers. Sheila Davenport and her team do some amazing work with these wonderful young people, and the artwork was great.

The Education Leeds Board held their monthly meeting at Brigshaw High School, and Peter Laurence stimulated a really useful discussion about federated approaches to 14-19 provision. The Board talked to Cath Lennon, acting principal, and her leadership team, and had a tour of the school.

I went to South Leeds High School to attend the celebration evening for students who had attended the ‘Foundation for Peace’ educational programme. It was a brilliant evening with contributions by some amazing young people and really showed the difference Colin Bell and his team are making.

It is sometimes difficult in our cluttered, noisy world to stay focused on the things that really matter, and to keep it simple. However, when you spend time with special people in great places it becomes easier. Colleagues like Allan, Sheila, Peter, Cath and Colin are making a real difference and releasing a very special magic in their piece of the learning landscape.

So stay focused and keep it simple!

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