Monday, 21 July 2008

I received this e-mail from my colleague Lesley Dolben, headteacher at Harehills Primary School...

"Dear Chris, Just thought I would share some good news with you. Today our school was awarded ‘Investor in Diversity’ Status. This followed a full assessment day where Bruce Waller from the National Centre for Diversity interviewed a wide range of parents, staff, children and other stakeholders. The feedback given to the school stated that we were ‘Outstanding’ in every aspect of the assessment and that we are only the third school in the country to have achieved this award! This award reflects two years of hard work by my staff team and is particularly gratifying to receive in my final week as its headteacher. I know that you will want to congratulate my team and I hope that this work will further enhance Leeds’ commitment to diversity and inclusion.

On a personal note I am very sad to be leaving this wonderful school at the end of term. I know that much has been achieved in the four and a half years I have spent as its school leader. I can reflect upon an improving trend in standards of attainment, accelerated progress for pupils across the school and high aspirations for future progress. Ofsted have recognised us as a good and inclusive school with great potential. We are now as an investor in diversity, at the cutting edge of the community cohesion agenda, and, as this new IID standard acknowledges; providing a sensitive and well tailored response to the community we serve. We even have a lovely new building, large enough to accommodate our increased numbers!

Leeds has been a vibrant and exciting place to work in and I take many good memories with me. I have been privileged to have worked alongside some very talented individuals. I am only sorry that you were not able to see the school this year, since the encouragement and support your role could provide to my colleagues, working hard in challenging circumstances, is greatly appreciated. I am told that you are to visit us in October and I am sure my colleagues and the children will be delighted to see you. With my best wishes, Lesley"

It is wonderful to hear about the 'Investors in Diversity' Award Lesley and her colleagues have achieved. Congratulations to them all in being one of the first schools in the country to achieve it. Lesley is a great loss to Leeds and we will miss her passion, commitment and enthusiasm. Chris

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