Thursday, 10 June 2010

I am aware that many colleagues feel out of the loop and disengaged from what is happening locally and nationally at the moment...

We are working with headteacher colleagues and governors to ensure that you all receive regular updates and come together to discuss the opportunities and challenges we face. It's important that colleagues regularly visit the new DfE website which has the latest picture of the rapidly changing landscape of children's services.

You can visit the website at you can watch the video about the new Academy programme and read Michael Gove the Secretary of State for Education's letter to Ed Balls MP about the contribution the Department of Education is making to the £6.2 billion programme of efficiencies this year. Importantly, amongst the impact on Becta, QCDA, TDA, NCSL, Diplomas and 14 - 19, the new primary curriculum, one-to-one tuition and any unallocated resources, this involves a 24% cut to the Area Based Grant this year. This grant funds many of our central and school based programmes here in Leeds including ConneXions, School Development, National Strategies, City Learning Centres, Children's Fund, Positive Activities for Young People, Care Matters, Extended Schools, Healthy Schools, School Travel Advisers and Teenage Pregnancy. We'll let you know more detail as soon as we are more fully informed about the size of the savings required.

We need to maintain our relentless focus on developing intelligent, focused and passionate leadership, building the team around the child and the family, the team around the school and locality. We must continue to focus on teaching and learning, creating the WOW factor, securing quality provision and nurturing passion, enthusiasm, creativity and imagination. We must continue to improve the quality of what happens in classrooms and invest in workforce development to continue to develop self-critical and reflective children's services workforce who understand how we keep our children and young people happy, healthy, safe and increasingly successful. We need to work with colleagues from Social Care, Health, the Police and the voluntary sector to support families and build healthier and more sustainable communities. We must nurture and develop brilliant early years practice and ensure that Every Child is a Reader and Every Child Counts by the time they are seven or eight. And we need to ensure that as far as possible all our children became brilliant little learners by the time they leave primary school and are on a pathway to success by the time they are sixteen.

Above all at times like this we need to talk more, to share more, to network more and to celebrate more. and continue to build on the brilliant work we have been doing together to ensure that every child and young person is happy, healthy, safe and increasingly successful... whatever it takes.

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