Friday, 4 December 2009

I received this e-mail from my colleague Laura Wilson, Senior Admissions Officer and wanted to share it with you...

‘We turn not older with years, but newer every day’
Emily Dickinson

"Hi Chris, I was decorating the Admissions & Transport team section of the 10th floor on Tuesday for Christmas and was discussing with my colleagues the fact that another year is over. We’re already one third in to the academic year and this year, like previous years, we expect to place some 22,000 school children in to schools in Leeds – whether that be mid-year or through the annual process for Year 7 and Reception for September 2010. We will also process approximately 6,000 applications from children and young people for help with transport to school or college. Every one of those applications is precious to us. Every child is dealt with individually. And this, understandably, takes time and effort and patience. I know that we can only achieve this because of the fantastic, talented and conscientious team that we have here at Admissions & Transport. And as Christmas is a time to be thankful, I am certainly thankful for my team mates – my colleagues. I am proud to work with such a diverse, hardworking, good humoured and kind group of people. Abdul Jalloh, our New Arrivals Officer, always says to new recruits ‘Welcome to our family!’ and he is right – we do work together like a family. Sometimes we may quarrel and may dispute with each other about what action is right, what path to take when confronted with something new or uncertain, but we do it because we care, because it matters to us about getting it right for families in Leeds.

I grew up in Leeds, I went to three Leeds schools, but never until I worked here did I realise what a multicultural city Leeds is. I was closed off from reality as a young person and only when I came to this team did I see how such a mix of ages, experiences, cultures and backgrounds could really work together to achieve fantastic things, things that a lot of people don’t see. I can honestly say that in the two and a half years I have been here I have never laughed so much or learned so much in my life. I do grow newer every day. Let me close by saying that I am thankful also for members of our extended family. Amy Williamson and Caron Tribble from Choice Advice, Steve Byrne at Parent Partnership, Jon Molton from Data Management, Jenny Marshall at PMIT, Bev Lloyd, Carl Whalley and Stephanie Rayford from Communications, Camille Wilkinson and Emma Mayhall on Merrion’s Reception who assist us in our work to reach these fantastic outcomes. I hope that this email serves as a small glimmer of something positive in weeks that have proved to be quite trying at Education Leeds. I look forward to 2010 knowing that the rest of my team grow newer with me and that we can only build upon the successes of this term so far. Regards, Laura."

As we face more and more criticism of Children's Services, it is really encouraging to remember and know what a great job Laura, Viv and colleagues are doing.

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