These experiences and the compelling research and evidence about what works, alongside a lifetimes' experience of building brilliant provision where people have told me that things were impossible, have convinced me that if academies, free schools and private schools are the answer to educational excellence we've asked the wrong question! If you read the McKinsey Reports, analyse the PISA data, review the research evidence about 'what works' and listen to people like Ken Robinson, Dan Pink and Tony Wagner it is increasingly obvious that we need to develop skills, character and knowledge in all our little learners and all our bigger learners.
Throughout my working life, people have told me that things are impossible; that we can't get every child to read by the time they are seven or eight; that we can't get every child to be a brilliant little learner by the time they leave primary school and that we can't get every young person the equivalent of 5 good GCSEs including English and maths by the time they are sixteen. I simply don't accept any of this because across the country these things are already happening in authorities, in schools and in classrooms where colleagues are releasing the magic. Success doesn't come in can'ts, it comes in cans.I do believe that every school can be a great school, that every child can be successful and achieve and that we can create great teams doing the extraordinary with the current people. We simply need learning leadership, beautiful systems and intelligent accountability to support us as we change the culture to focus on passion and compassion and get people to believe; to believe in themselves and to believe in our children and young people and our colleagues.