Thursday, 14 October 2010


Dirk Gilleard and I started the day really early having breakfast with a group of headteacher colleagues who are chairs of their Families of Schools groups...

These are an amazing group of colleagues and we talked about the future children's services arrangements, increasing numbers, special needs and behaviour provision, extended services, and how schools could maintain their focus on standards with so many intiatives and so much constant change.

We all agreed that the key is to maintain a focus on quality and to nurture passion, enthusiasm, determination, persistence and patience while being able to phone a friend when help was needed. We talked about the importance of developing confident, self-critical and reflective practitioners who understood the learning process and were working positively and closely with colleagues from Social Care, Health and the voluntary sector to support families and build healthier and more sustainable communities through community hubs; the primary schools.

We talked about the many challenges we all face but what was deeply encouraging was that, alongside their passionate commitment to their children, there was a total focus on ensuring that their children were exposed to rigorous, pacey and brilliant teaching to ensure that as far as possible they all became literate, numerate and had the necessary social and emotional skills to succeed.

It was a brilliant start to the day with some great colleagues and we need to do more of this; to talk more, to share more, to network more and to celebrate more. We talked about the challenges that lie ahead and the need to be more creative and more collaborative and to stop the merry go round of meetings, bureaucracy and things that made no difference to children and families and focus on those we know do.

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