Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Eleanor Brazil, David Dickinson and I started the day early having breakfast with some of the North East Leeds Learning Partnership Family of Schools headteachers...

At the heart of our work here in Leeds lies a 21st Century School supported by the 'Think Family' approach and engaged within a powerful community. We talked about the brilliant work going on in these schools, the successes we have had over the last nine years, the outcome of the Children's Services Review and the opportunities within the new world of Trusts, Federations and Academies. Colleagues talked passionately about the changing nature of headship and the things that distract us all from our relentless and uncompromising focus on teaching and learning. We agreed that, over the next few months, we must continue to ensure that all our children are happy, healthy, safe and successful and to maintain our focus on teaching and learning. We must continue to build brilliant provision consistently across Leeds and share and network the extra-ordinary practice in our schools, our children's centres and our clusters.

We talked about the challenges we are facing and the opportunities that lie ahead. We must continue to focus on quality, standards and outcomes while we use the opportunities that we have with the new curriculum and the new children's services directorate to build a brilliant children's services landscape. We discussed the importance of confident, self-critical and reflective practitioners who understand the learning process and are working creatively, imaginatively and positively with colleagues from Social Care, Health and the voluntary sector to create the team around the child, the team around the family and the team around the school. to nurture passion, enthusiasm, determination, persistence and patience across the children's services workforce. We also talked about the importance of leaders of learning who had a clear view of what was needed to drive change and achieve that step change in outcomes we all want to see so that eevry child is a reader, every child can count and every child is a brilliant little learner by the time they leave primary school and on a pathway to success by the time they leave secondary school.

It was a wonderful start to the day with some great colleagues and we need to do more of this; to talk more, to share more, to network more, to celebrate more and to learn more as we build the future together.

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