Wednesday, 14 October 2009

I started the day early at Swallow Hill Community College...

I was there for a meeting of the Education Leeds Board which we are taking, whenever we can, out to schools to see our successes, our challenges and the opportunities we face to do even better and continue our relentless and uncompromising drive for excellence in every school in Leeds. The Education Leeds Board meeting focused on the National Challenge and the Children's Services Review and agreed that we should also look at budget strategy and issues and a school improvement case study over the next two meetings.

Board members were given a brief guided tour of the school by Bernard Knowles, headteacher. They were all impressed by the calm and very purposeful atmosphere around the school and the building which is bright, light and a wonderful environment for learning. Everyone I spoke to was very positive and optimistic about the school while recognising the very real challenges the staff team face with creating a shared culture, addressing behaviour, managing attendance and driving up standards. It's only five weeks into the project but clearly the team have achieved a lot so far and are really confident about the journey to build a brilliant learning place to serve the people of West Leeds.

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