Tuesday, 30 November 2010


I made it in today to meet with a small group of secondary headteachers who had made it to their regular meeting at Weetwood Hall...

It was great to sit and listen to these talented colleagues as they discussed the Schools White Paper; 'The Importance of Teaching' and it's implications for teaching and learning. The White Paper signals a radical reform agenda with an ambition to be world-class. It covers teaching and leadership, behaviour, curriculum, assessment and qualifications, the new school system, accountability, school improvement and school funding. A Schools Bill is expected shortly but most of the reforms will be introduced progressively between now and 2014.

We discussed the implications for Leeds schools as they face the perfect storm with Education Leeds disappearing, the new Children's Services arrangements coming into place, huge reductions in funding for public services nationally and locally, organisations disappearing regionally and nationally and this very radical schools agenda. Whatever anyone says this is the time for the optimists amongst us to stand up and be counted. There is an opportunity to shape the future; to be brave, creative and to lead the way. What we have achieved together over the last few years is a strong set of partnerships where collaboration, co-operation and teamwork has achieved extra-ordinary results. Our challenge now, and the opportunity for those who are able to see it, is to THINK TEAM and build TEAM LEEDS on the strong foundations we have laid. Only then will we really be able to claim that Leeds is a truly world class city with a truly world class education and schools system for all its young people.

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