Monday, 13 May 2013


We must create a culture in our schools where we break down the walls and the barriers which limit personalisation, curiosity and creativity and stubbornly maintain the status quo and limit our opportunities to make that step change in outcomes.
We must network, learn and build on the magic, the wonder and the real excellence in the system and challenge the things that don't work. If we want to build brilliant learning places we need to develop a culture where we welcome feedback and help everyone in the school workforce to continuously update their knowledge and skills and have opportunities for good quality professional development.

We need a fundamental step change in the outcomes our children and young people achieve; not in five years time, not in a years time but from now on. We must stop playing catch up and start playing world class! We need a culture in every classroom which is about excellence, high expectations and high challenge. We must maintain a relentless and uncompromising focus on standards, outcomes and what works and we must recognise that our children and young people are no different, no less able, no different in term of their potential to children and young people from Singapore, Korea or Finland.

We must accept no excuses and work to drive up standards in every school, helping colleagues improve their teaching and learning and spend less time testing and inspecting. Our commitment to develop and grow our workforce needs us to share and learn from the best locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and to pay attention particularly in areas like literacy, numeracy, ICT, special needs, behaviour, academic and technical excellence and the world of work. We need to use digital media and on-line resources to help colleagues undertake professional development and training, use and develop a wider range of teaching and learning practices and collaborate and co-operate with their colleagues.

We can all make a real difference and we must always remember that actions speak louder than words. Whether it is the search for excellence, concerns about special educational needs and inclusion or the underachievement of looked after children; hard times and tough issues require bold ideas, big ideas, brilliant ideas.  But while ideas are incredibly important the thing that really matters is action, and the impact and the outcomes we can achieve if we simply roll up our sleeves and do something. So don’t just talk about your brilliant ideas.. start now.. don’t wait for permission or find an excuse.. do something, do anything, risk anything, try anything to make that difference. Of course sometimes we will make mistakes, we'll get things wrong and sometimes muck things up big time.. but we must create a culture where we learn from our efforts and our mistakes and where we are driven by a genuine and passionate desire to make a difference for children and young people.

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