Saturday, 28 March 2009

I have been in Leeds for nearly eight years and last week I visited some great places and spent time with some incredible colleagues who are delivering brilliant outcomes for young people...

I visited Cockburn College of Arts and Wortley High School; good schools where colleagues are doing wonderful things and achieving outstanding results. I attended a 'Festival of Ideas'; a unique collaboration between the Innovation Exchange and Education Leeds looking at how we develop provision for some of our young people exhibiting challenging behaviour. I had breakfast with the North East secondary headteachers and the Elmete family of schools headteachers. It was great to spend time with these colleagues looking at the opportunities we have to build brilliant learning in brilliant learning places. I also attended the headteacher forum where we discussed how together we can deal with some of the big issues facing us here in Leeds. I opened the anti-bullying consultation day where we were looking, with some of our young people, at how we can further develop the wonderful 'Power of Me' initiative. I went to BBC Leeds to watch Look North on BBC School News Report day, and finally, I visited Kippax North Junior and Infant School who were being visited by the judging panel to look at some of the work the school is doing for the 'Sustainable School' award for the North of England section of the Teaching Awards.

After twenty four terms here in Leeds I recognise more and more what a privilege is it to work with some truly extraordinary colleagues serving young people, their families and the communities they live in. From South Leeds, to West Leeds, to North West Leeds, to North East Leeds, to East Leeds together we are transforming lives, delivering fantastic outcomes and building brilliant learning in brilliant learning places.

Of course we need to do more. We must continue our relentless and uncompromising focus to deliver world class outcomes for all our young people. We must work harder and commit ourselves to every child achieving the passport to success at every stage of their learning; being a reader by eight, having the functional, social and emotional skills they need by eleven, and achieving success, however we choose to define it, by sixteen.

This Easter let's celebrate what we are achieving together in brilliant learning places across Leeds. After Easter let's get back to seeing how we can continue to change the world for those who need us most.

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