Saturday, 29 November 2014


It’s funny because I have been fortunate to "stand on the shoulders of giants" and at the sides of so many great leaders, teachers, educators, colleagues and friends…

I was privileged to follow Sir Alec Clegg in Yorkshire, to spend time with Tim Brighouse who transformed Birmingham, with Mick Waters who transformed Manchester and the Curriculum, with Ken Robinson, the champion of creativity, with Stephen Heppell, the champion of technology, with Ian Harrison and Parin Bahl who among other things ran the DfE National Strategies and with LouTice and Neil Straker whose Pacific Institute programmes have touched and changed so many lives... and with countless more incredible people who have shaped the way I think and act and what I believe is possible.

I have visited Singapore, Stockholm and Helsinki to look for the keys to success and while I have learned a lot I realised that the answers weren't there but here all the time in schools and classrooms all over this country; with Chris Keen, Gary Simmons and Zeena Rashid at Firth Park Academy, with Carl Jarvis and his team at Hartsholme Academy in Lincoln, with Ali Carrick and her team at Victoria Primary School in Leeds and with countless, countless more extraordinary colleagues whose passion, commitment and energy releases the magic for so many children and young people.

These colleagues and friends taught me so much; they taught me to question everything, to be curious, that all things are possible and that you should never settle for second best. That we should develop and cling on to a passion for learning… a passion for excellence… a passion to grow, nurture and coach little learners and big learners. To search constantly for evidence of what works and what matters, to read and study the research and to network, share and learn from those colleagues who are helping ordinary people achieve extraordinary things.

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