Tuesday, 27 April 2010

"In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inhabit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."
Eric Hoffer
I am always struck by the uniqueness of our learning places and the special people who work so hard to release the magic. It has been another week full of meetings, briefings and updates but as always there were little bits of magic that made me smile, made me think and simply inspired me. I attended another meeting of the Leeds children's services improvement board which is overseeing the response to the unannounced and announced inspections carried out by OFSTED, the first meeting of the Transformational Programme Board overseeing the move to the new children's services arrangements we are building for April 2011, and the last meeting of Leeds City Council before the important elections on 6 May. I had breakfast with Eleanor Brazil and David Dickinson and headteacher colleagues from the North East Leeds Schools Learning Partnership, attended a team meeting with the Integrated Children's Services team leaders and attended another Leadership Forum where colleagues were looking at the opportunities and challenge we face as we build the future of Children's Services here in Leeds. I also visited two great primary schools; Kerr Mackie Primary School where Angela Ronicle and her team are doing wonderful things in this rich multi-cultural community and Shadwell Primary School where Sue Pyatt and her team have created an outstanding little village primary school.

As we discussed at breakfast and at all these meetings, we all know that the immense pressure colleagues are under, regarding standards and safeguarding alone, can be simply overwhelming, and that's not to mention the other issues and challenges we are all juggling with, day in day out, on top of the normal day job. That's why it's so important to remember that if we are going to cope with the pressure and stress, and if we are going to release the magic and create brilliant learning for our children and young people, colleagues need to feel cared for and to feel valued. They need to be nurtured and they need to understand that they are making a difference.

As we build the future we all need to recharge, to re-imagine, to refresh, to rethink and to be inspired. And importantly, we need to continue to talk, to share, to network and to learn.

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