Monday, 27 September 2010


Last week was another great week spent with some great colleagues...

I had lunch with Dina Martin, headteacher at Firs Hill Community Primary School in Sheffield. I visited Westerton Primary School where James Reid, the headteacher, and his team are doing great things. I visited Morley Newlands Primary School where Adrian Stygall, the headteacher, and his colleagues have transformed the school over the last few years. And I visited Morley Victoria Primary School, yet another outstanding Leeds school, and was welcomed by Julie Hardaker, the deputy headteacher, who showed me some of their magic. It was brilliant to visit these great schools again and to meet Dina. I also attended the Children's Services Awards for Excellence at the Banqueting Suite at the Civic Hall where we celebrated the work of colleagues and teams who have made a real difference for children, young people and their families over the last year. It was wonderful to see so many colleagues being recognised for going the extra mile and making a real difference where it matters.

Dina, James, Adrian, Richard, Julie and the colleagues at the Excellence Awards all provide that something special that there is so much of here in Leeds: passion; commitment; determination; and hard work. Importantly, they also provide strong and dynamic leadership; leadership that drives a culture of real excellence and a commitment to real improvement. They also have that magic ingredient that makes them such extraordinary people; a relentless and uncompromising belief in children, young people and their families.

And talking of magic on Friday, 1 October, it will be six months until the Education Leeds contract formally ends and we are integrated into the new children's services arrangements. These next six months will provide us with an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary work we do in making a difference and improving the lives of our children and young people. Each month, we will recognise and acknowledge the achievements of a different group of colleagues who all contribute to the learning landscape we have built here in Leeds, and this first month will focus on our brilliant, talented, gorgeous and wonderful colleagues here at Education Leeds. I hope you will all join me on Friday 22 October when we will be hosting a ‘A night for extra-ordinary Education Leeds colleagues’, joining the annual Spirit Awards with Long Service Awards for Education Leeds colleagues, at the Leeds Civic Hall banqueting suite from 5.30pm to 9pm. I would love to see all of you there – it will be a great opportunity to celebrate 10 years of Education Leeds, and to congratulate our Spirit Award winners and another group of colleagues who have worked in education in Leeds for 25 years. Please keep an eye on InfoBase where the communications team will be posting information about this year's nominees, and for more information on our six months of celebrating 10 extra-ordinary years.

It's time to celebrate the magic!


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