Wednesday, 1 September 2010

On the day when Tony Blair has published his memoirs and the first trickle of new Academies has been launched into the learning landscape I wonder what the answer really is to the challenges we face...

Why is some of our education system so fragile, so prone to failure in so many key areas, so limited in its effectiveness to reach some of the most disadvantaged and so poorly performing when compared to the best in Europe and the best in the world. What is it about our teachers, our colleagues, our schools and our authorities that means that we lag so far behind other countries?

I don't believe that colleagues elsewhere in the world are no cleverer, no more skilful or talented and no more effective than our colleagues. I have visited Helsinki and Stockholm and explored the KIPP model in New York and interestingly those systems and places are just as prone to failure. Young people elsewhere appear to be very much the same as our young people. Parents and carers want the same for their children the world over. Local authorities everywhere have teams of incredibly talented and experienced colleagues who have already proved themselves in schools and classrooms supporting th weakest schools and sharing their expertise and experience.

We all know that we are the most inspected, assessed, moderated and tested education system in the world so that can't be the answer and we all know that you don't improve the pig by continually weighing it. The Finns believe that Government should establish a clear sense of what needs to be achieved for their children and provides the resources to train and develop the schools workforce. Then the Finnish Government gets out of the way to allow innovative and creative local solutions to develop.

I have been to some incredible learning places over the last few years both here in Leeds and in Stockholm and Helsinki and wherever colleagues are releasing the magic they are confident, trusted, talented, empowered and effective. Every week here in Leeds I see brilliant colleagues working in schools and classrooms supported locally by focused and efficient teams releasing the magic and delivering world class outcomes.

Interestingly I know what it takes to build brilliant and it's alive and well here in Leeds.
  • leadership really matters;
  • enthusiasm is contagious;
  • small is beautiful;
  • relationships are key;
  • passion is critically important;
  • individual coaching counts;
  • persistence and determination go a long way; and
  • you tend to get what you expect.

This job we do is too important for any of us to be ordinary. We must all strive. each and every day to be extrordinary, to be outstanding, to be brilliant... whatever it takes!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

our children need to play
we need to trust them to learn through their own play

give them back their early years
give them back their play time
give them back their freedom to learn the way they want and need to learn

a happy child plays
a happy child snaps up anything he or she is offered
a happy child learns how to learn
Education is the pursuit of happiness