Wednesday, 17 June 2009

I was interviewed this afternoon as part of the DIVE Project...

The peer review is looking at our approach here in Leeds to equality, diversity and cohesion and I was being interviewed by colleagues from partner cities across Europe. I talked to them about the history of Education Leeds, the governance of schools in this country and the progress we have made here in Leeds over the last seven years. I talked about the universal offer and our commitment to 'Investing in Diversity', Healthy Schools, the Inclusion Chartermark, the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard, global citizenship, the international dimension and our celebration of difference and diversity. I also talked about the targeted work addressing key groups through mentoring, alternative programmes, Investment in Excellence, STEPS, AimHigher, Study Support and so much more. The two colleagues had very clearly been impressed by their sessions with other Education Leeds colleagues and at the end of my session one of the interviewers simply said that she was speechless!

It is very easy to sell the vision, the culture, the relationships and the programmes we have developed alongside the magic of Leeds but as I said at the end of my session the real test is to visit our schools and our colleagues across the city releasing that magic. The two colleagues asked me what I hoped we would have achieved in five years time and that was easy. By 2015 we will see a school and children's workforce that reflects the communities we serve, Every Child a Reader, a Writer and Can Count by eight, brilliant transformational learning in brilliant learning places where we have high expectations of all our young people and every young person achieving to their potential, where we will have closed the gap between those who have and those who have not and where every community engages, trusts and works with local schools to celebrate equality, diversity and difference.

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