Thursday, 4 June 2009

Another day, another breakfast meeting. I started the day early at with the Aireborough and a couple of the Otley Family of Schools headteachers...

This was a great group of colleagues and it would be very interesting to add up the years of experience in the room and to build on their understanding of, and insights into, the real issues we are facing. We considered increasing numbers, the School Report Card, special needs and behaviour provision, early years, extended services, 'Every Child a Reader' and talked about the characteristics of brilliant provision and how schools could maintain their focus on standards with so many intiatives, so many pots of money to chase, so many consultants and experts and so much constant change. We agreed that the key is to maintain a focus on quality and to nurture passion, enthusiasm, determination, persistence and patience.

We talked about the importance of confident, self-critical and reflective practitioners who understood the learning process and were working positively with colleagues from Social Care, Health and the voluntary sector to build healthier and more sustainable communities. We talked about confident, passionate and dynamic leaders who had a clear view of what was needed to drive change and achieve that step change in outcomes we all want to see. outcomes not simply measured in terms of Level 4 at Key Stage 2 or 5 A*-C Grades at GCSE . We talked about aspiration and attainment and how we rebuild hope in communities and work more closely with mums and families.

It was a brilliant start to the day with some great colleagues amd we need to do more of this; to talk more, to share more, to network more and to celebrate more. We talked about the challenges that lie ahead with public sector budget cuts and the need to work more creatively and more collaboratively and to stop the merry go round of meetings, bureaucracy and things that made no difference to children and families and focus on those we know do.

It's great to talk.

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