Thursday, 20 November 2008

I received an e-mail today from my colleague Inari Salonen, Leading Educational Consultant for the City of Helsinki's Education Department, who visited us recently from Helsinki...

"Dear Chris, Thank you for all the time and energy that you spent during my visit in Leeds last week. I really felt extremely welcome there and learned a lot about education and childrens' services in your nice city. Even if our societies are different, there are many similarities in how we both try to make our best for children and education. Of course I found many new things, like how you arrenge services or staff development, also the volumes and resources you have. It was also interesting to look at many practical situations and see your professional ways of working. For instance I admire your meetings, where you are all involved and there are no outsiders in the groups. It was also good to see both informal and formal meetings. I want to give my special thanks to Allyn, who made the programme, and such a good one. Thank you.

The school visits were great. As always I started to long for the school work! Wonderful children and teachers and other adults working there. I met many kind and interesting people in the big sessions. The smaller scale dicussions about your developmental issues - technology in schools, head teachers’ brilliant learning, brilliant leadership etc. - were something to take with me and talk with people here. I’m sure we have a lot to reflect together. It is possible to find correct canals from one culture to everyone’s own culture.

The best of the visit were people, all of you in Education Leeds. I thank you all very much. I’d be happy to see you here in Helsinki and hear from you in our common projects. Please give my regards to everyone, who made my visit so nice and perfect. Best wishes, Inari"

We really enjoyed having Inari here in Leeds and I look forward to seeing colleagues visit Helsinki next year.


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