Friday, 28 December 2012


Another term, another Christmas and another brilliant year!

It's hard to believe that another year is almost over and what is impressive is the way that this year colleagues in Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham and York, where I have been working, have continued to release a very special magic, despite the criticism and negativity that surrounds us all. I know that we all live in a world of progress checks, internal and external audits, performance management, reviews and inspections... you name it we've had it, I have been there and we have all the t-shirt.

It's easy to forget within this national culture of criticism, failure and negativity, that wherever you look colleagues are doing things that are BRILLIANT, EXCEPTIONAL AND DIFFERENT... so much of what I have seen this year has been innovative, creative and simply wonderful. I hope that you will think about the special things you and your colleagues have achieved this year... examples where you have helped release the magic and created that WOW factor! Make a list and pin it on the wall to remind you through the dark times that working in schools with young people is simply fantastic.

In 2013 we need to continue to deliver high challenge, brilliant support and quality services to our young people, our colleagues and all the organisations we work with so that we continue to ensure that the children and young people are happy, healthy, safe and successful... whatever it takes. We must all continue to work on driving a cultural change which fosters excellence, ownership and discipline and deliver brilliant outcomes. We must all develop our skills, our abilities and our understanding and strive to work even better as a team. We must get rid of the excuses, the things that get in the way and the bureaucracy and simply focus on outcomes.

Remember that you are part of a unique, creative and innovative team of educators in this country. We must always challenge ourselves to do better and constantly refresh our offer, our products and materials, our partnerships and our ideas. This is above all a passionate enterprise and we must continue to build trust, to listen, to smile, to act, to be positive, to be considerate and caring, to be brave and to always tell the truth.

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