Monday, 29 June 2009

We must always remember that we are doing amazing things here in Leeds...

We need to continue to build BRILLIANT learning in BRILLIANT learning places in every locality with strong community engagement and powerful and modern governance. We need to build deep learning in all our learning places; deep learning that equips all our little learners with the functional, personal and social skills they need to become successful bigger learners in a world that is increasingly automated, and where the routine, the repetitive and the ordinary are done by machine. We need to powerfully use ICT and local networks to develop and nurture excellence, talent, creativity and imagination and share good practice and great ideas, wherever we can find them.

Last week, I started the week at the heads of PE conference at the Carnegie Stadium in Headingley with some great colleagues who are achieving some incredible outcomes. I attended the BSF wave 13 conference at the Leeds Metropolitan University Rosebowl where we talked about how we can continue to transform the learning estate here in Leeds. I attended the regional showcase and celebration event at the Holiday Inn at Garforth where Mike Cooper and his colleagues were celebrating some outstanding social enterprise activities from across Yorkshire and the Humber. I attended another STEPS celebration to hand out certificates to parents of students at Morley High School. I also managed to visit three of our primary schools where colleagues are doing great things: Wetherby St James Church of England Primary School, Hill Top Primary School and Hugh Gaitskell Primary School where I officially opened their wonderful new garden and playground. I attended the Leeds Initiative Assembly at the Leeds City Museum to look at the opportunities and challenges facing Leeds over the next twenty years. I had breakfast with an amazing group of headteacher colleagues from the Seacroft and Manston family of schools at Crossgates Primary School and I also attended the Gypsy Roma Traveller 'Storytelling and Achievement Awards' at the Civic Hall where we celebrated some wonderful young people. I finally visited the Blenheim centre to thank Teresa Chamberlain for her wonderful service over the last twenty five years.

It seems to me after such an incredible week, with some amazing colleagues like Vicki Di Stasi, Mike Cooper, Peter Saunders, Duncan Grant, Margaret Beesley, Duncan Walsh and Teresa Chamberlain, that successful organisations, successful schools and successful teams, all have the following characteristics...
  • vision, values and a sense of purpose which shapes the way colleagues behave and helps everyone know they are making a difference;
  • the courage to set challenging goals and to develop new and cutting-edge solutions;
  • an innovative and creative culture that values people and makes them feel special and that trusts, empowers and engages colleagues' distinct and unique talents;
  • a rigorous and relentless approach to evaluating performance and individuals’ contributions;
  • a passionate concern for young people, families, the wider community and the bigger picture; and
  • a reputation for excellence, hard work and commitment.

Tom Peters said... "Leadership is the process of engaging people in building the future, creating a legacy of excellence and making a difference"... so what difference are you making for the young people, the families and the communities that we serve and that need us most?

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