Sunday, 13 December 2009

Nearly there now; the end of yet another term in Leeds and another Christmas rapidly approaching...

We have had another incredible year, and at the end of this amazing year I want to thank the education and learning team here in Leeds for all their hard work; and encourage everyone to celebrate our many achievements over Christmas and the New Year. These are not mediocre times, and your contribution to the education in Leeds story has been one of passion, commitment, energy, courage and hard work and I am really grateful because whatever anyone says the evidence shows that the impact has been fantastic.

Last week included the usual round of meetings: children's services leadership team, corporate leadership team, cabinet, councillor briefings, meeting with Councillor Harker, executive board meeting, children's services scrutiny board, meetings with school colleagues, Education Leeds colleagues, children's services colleagues and NHS Leeds colleagues. On Monday I attended the beginning of the Leeds secondary school headteachers meeting and visited Mount St Mary's Catholic Primary School to talk to the staff. On Thursday I opened the Education Leeds/RM Evolve conference at the Queen's Hotel before I moved on to officially open the brilliant 'Interactive Zone' at the North East SILC at West Oaks. And finally, I attended a performance of Sweet Charity at Leeds West Academy. On Friday I was interviewed on the morning show on Radio Leeds by Andrew Edwards about primary places and provision, before speaking to colleagues at leadership forum about the opportunities and challenges facing us over the next few years, and finally visiting Beeston Primary School with Hilary Benn MP to look at the great work they have been doing with Barclays.

This latest snapshop simply demonstrates what makes Leeds so brilliant, and I am grateful to everyone for their persistence and determination to make a difference. Our brilliant schools, and our fantastic children and young people, have achieved more than ever thanks to the energy, patience, and commitment of the many talented teams working so hard across the city. Together here in Leeds we have made a tremendous difference and we must continue to find, nurture and release the magic. Next year we must continue to celebrate our schools’ successes, and work smarter and harder to create an even better tomorrow for all our children and young people.

I hope that this Christmas brings you and those you love… delight and simplicity, foolishness and fantasy, and noise, angels, miracles, wonder, innocence and magic… we have certainly proved this year that you are talented, brilliant, gorgeous and wonderful!

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