Tuesday, 12 October 2010


You may have seen the article in the Yorkshire Evening Post and the headline 'Education Leeds chief executive quits'...

The article, with that great picture of me, correctly goes on to say that:

"Education Leeds chief executive Chris Edwards will leave his post at the end of the year. His contract was due to end on March 31 as Education Leeds merges into a new Children's Services department. Education Leeds is a not-for-profit company set up in response to a damning Ofsted report on the council's education department. Mr Edwards told the YEP: "I thought it was important we should move on in terms of the new arrangements, and I have got other things to do. I can't say what they are at the moment. I am going through a series of options, which are a mix of business and pleasure. I have spent nine years in Leeds and, before that, five years in York in helping young people achieve their potential. I am basically a teacher at heart and will continue to work with children and young people."

Mr Edwards has commuted from York as he did not wish to upset his three children's education. He said: "My biggest satisfaction is the results we have achieved in Leeds with 3,300 more children each year getting five GCSEs at grades A to C." Persistent absence in secondary schools is a key government measure and in the last three years alone Leeds has seen a decrease of 22 per cent. During Mr Edwards's tenure, nearly £500m has been secured from central government. Since 2006, some £260m of Building Schools for The Future money has been invested in secondary schools. Education Leeds was also listed this year in The Times top 75 'Best Companies to work for in the Public Sector' category.

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said: "I wish to thank Chris for his hard work and dedication to improving learning across the city. Over the last nine years, there has been a significant improvement in educational achievement."

Sally Boulton, head teacher at Rothwell Haigh Road Infant School and chairman of Leeds Head Teachers' Forum, said: "Chris has worked tirelessly to encourage head teachers and their staff to explore creatively how learning can be made real, exciting and lasting."

I'll be around for the next nine and a bit weeks to say goodbye to all those friends and colleagues who have made this job such an extra-ordinary experience. Big cities are simply wonderful places full of amazing people, creativity, innovation, imagination and the WOW factor. I can honestly say that I have never had a single dull day during, what will be at 31 December, 500 weeks in this wonderfully rich, diverse and brilliant city.

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