Monday, 30 November 2009

We need to continue to reflect, think, focus and stick to the basics... vision, discipline, focus, passion, engagement, creativity, partnerships, relationships and leadership. We must continue to nurture and support our learning teams to ensure that they continue to deliver for our children and young people so that every child is a reader and can count by seven, every child is a brilliant little learner by eleven and every young person is on a pathway to success by sixteen; whatever it takes...

This last week has been non stop; lunch with the OFSTED inspectors followed by the Yorkshire Bank 150th Anniversary Community Awards to present the education awards. Then Children's Services Leadership Team and Corporate Leadership Team before a visit to Yeadon Westfield Infant School and a meeting with Cabinet to look at the agenda for December's Executive Board Meeting before Sir Ken Robinson gave the fifth Education Leeds Annual Lecture at The Royal Armouries. Breakfast with the Seacroft Manston Family of Schools at John Smeaton Community College was followed by a visit to Millfield Primary School and a visit to Cookridge Primary School for their international celebration before I attended the Local Government Yorkshire and Humber Making a Difference Awards 2009. And finally a meeting with Leadership Team before meeting with Hilary Benn MP. What a week!

We need to ensure that we don't end up 'painting by numbers' in a world monitored, policed and controlled by the 'bean' counters and the 'keep within the line' checkers and the 'weigh the pig' consultants and that we avoid being trapped in a viscious spiral of negativity, of 'it's not good enough so let's do something else', of 'let's create another initiative', of 'let's get more consultants' and of 'let's make sure that we find someone to blame'.

Sir Ken Robinson reminded us all that these are dangerous times for those of us who understand that learning is a dynamic and creative process and that the current industrial model of schooling and 'command and control' doesn't work. To achieve transformational outcomes and to release the magic we need to do things differently; we need colleagues in schools facing the greatest challenges to feel trusted, empowered and supported to develop innovative and powerful ways of reaching and engaging learners!

We need to re-imagine learning for a digital age, as Dan Pink said "The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind... computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind - creators and empathisers, pattern recognisers and meaning makers. These people - artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers - will now reap society's richest rewards and share its greatest joys."

We need to continue the conversation and build learning places to deliver this new vision.

No comments: