Sunday, 1 March 2009

It has been a very hard couple of weeks..

We all face relentless and uncompromising pressure and higher and higher expectations. The real challenge is how do we continue to improve learning and outcomes for all our students? And how do we create provision that delivers significantly better learning outcomes? The challenges remain driving up secondary standards, improving the very low secondary contextual value added, improving attendance and improving behaviour. We must work even harder to address the needs of young people achieving very little after eleven years of statutory education, tackling those not in education, employment and training and we must ensure that no schools in Leeds achieve below the floor targets; whatever they are!

I often wonder why some of our provision is so fragile, so prone to failure, so limited in its effectiveness and so poorly performing when compared to the best in Leeds let alone the best in the country. Wherever we are not achieving brilliant outcomes we must do something. We must re-imagine our systems, processes and provision and be brave enough to ask ourselves what we can do to ensure that there is step change in outcomes for all young people here in Leeds... and then get on and do it!

I have been to some incredible learning places recently. Across the city, brilliant colleagues working in schools and classrooms are releasing the magic and delivering world class outcomes, often against the odds. We know what it takes to build brilliant... it's alive and well here in Leeds.
  • leadership matters;
  • attendance is crucial;
  • managing behaviour vital;
  • enthusiasm is contagious;
  • small is beautiful;
  • relationships are key;
  • passion creates ownership;
  • coaching counts;
  • persistence and determination go a long way; and
  • you tend to get what you expect.

This job we do is too important for any of us to be ordinary. We must all strive. each and every day to be extra-ordinary, to be outstanding and to be brilliant.


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