Monday, 9 June 2008

I met Allan Blagaich today. Allan is Executive Director; Metropolitan Schools at the Department of Education and Training for the Government of Western Australia...

Allan is in the UK on a Churchill Fellowship looking at federations and partnerships to inform his work back in Australia and was visiting Liz Talmadge, Executive Headteacher at the Central Leeds Learning Federation. Allan wanted to know about developments here in Leeds having visited our friends at OFSTED and been to Leicester to talk about their Education Learning Zone.

Interestingly having spoken to Allan, I am even more convinced that we need to build from localities; starting with clear and unambiguous goals and building local trust, leadership, accountability, ownership and responsibility. We need to nurture and support innovative approaches to collaboration, federation and partnership linking schools, colleges, universities, businesses, agencies and other local stakeholders and partners. We need organisations like the National College of School Leadership and the National Strategies to provide a menu of materials and programmes for federations and partnerships to adopt and customise to meet their individual and local needs. And our friends at OFSTED needs to refine their approach to inspection to develop and validate school based and partnership based self-review which is more holistic and captures the 'Every Child Matters' approach we are developing.

Allan was a breath of fresh air in interesting times.

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