Wednesday, 1 December 2010


My colleague Cath Hindmarch, headteacher at Parklands Primary School sent me this e-mail...

"Morning Chris! I wonder what is on your list for a snowy and icy morning? Sensible shoes?? No-sensible boots. Red wine-too dodgey for slippy pavements. On mine is the great team I work with and some chocolate about half 10. We've had a very challenging week but Team Parklands does its stuff. 2 people need special mention-our marvellous and fab Christine who has done open up and lock up in the absence of a caretaker since October and many times before that over the last 3 years. She stayed in school all day yesterday so that there was access for workmen. The other person is her daughter Chloe. Chloe left us last Summer to go to the DYCA. She took a call from me very early on Monday morning and told me that her mum had already set off for work to open up. Without prompting, Chloe offered to go out into the snow and walk up to school to pass my message on. She did this and saved the day. When I listen to people moaning about young people, I always feel quite angry. We all know the most fantastic young people and they really do deserve more credit. Have a good day! Cath."

It's funny, I know what I won't miss after Christmas but, I will miss people like Cath and her brilliant team at Parklands Primary School.  They and an army of colleagues in outstanding schools across Leeds constantly remind me why I stayed here for the last ten years and why I am here today sitting at the top of Merrion House watching the snow falling on the city. Our children and young people are blessed to have people like Cath and her colleagues to care for them and to help them be happy, healthy, safe and increasingly successful... whatever it takes! Chris

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