Thursday, 8 July 2010

I received this wonderful e-mail from Arthur Ivatts which says such a lot about the work we are doing here in Leeds with those groups who need support and encouragement to release their magic and their potential...

"Dear Chris, I just wanted to mark the occasion of the Gypsy RomaTraveller History Month Competition Prize-giving and Achievement Awards Ceremony last Wednesday evening with a word of sincere thanks and appreciation. I would like to thank Peter fSaunders or his kind invitation and I was very pleased to be able to attend with Andrea Smith from the Department for Education, this celebratory and memorable event which was so interesting and at the same time totally absorbing.

Over a number of years now I have been privileged to attend a string of prodigious events in the main chamber of the Leeds City Hall connected in one way or another with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in Leeds, the UK, and indeed, now from many other parts of Europe. Needless to say all of these events betray the great success of your Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Achievement Service in that at each and every one of these events the children and young people, together with their communities, are at the centre of the activities and their full participation is characterised by dignity and mutual respect. The confidence of the children and young people is quite inspirational and tells its own story of years of dedicated work with schools, families and communities. The building of trust with marginalised and discriminated against communities is a slow and difficult process and your authority’s long service to this cause is an example of notable success which is recognised both nationally and internationally.

I trust that you will exercise your structure of communications within the education service to ensure that all the many wise and professional helping hands are given the thanks and praise that they all deserve. I have been honoured to have been able on numerous occasions to witness the fruits of all your hard work which was so well exemplified by the wonderfully event last Wednesday evening. With kindest regards. Yours sincerely, Arthur Ivatts."

Arthur sums up what is so special about Education Leeds and its schools. The X-Factor is simply our people, our partnerships and the powerful relationships we have developed based on a culture of respect, understanding and a passionate commitment to see the positives and the potential in everything we do. And most importantly, what we have achieved together is a relentless commitment to real excellence and to always go the extra mile and to make a difference... whatever it takes!

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