Monday, 29 December 2008

Current thoughts

So what's on my mind at the moment?

New Principal and as I am also the new Chair we have to figure our how to work nost effectively together.

10 day exclusion to handle.

Staff disciplinary in process...

New build throughout the city will significantly affect how we deliver our services - we are particularly affected by one school where we may get thrown out of our temporary accomodation during the rebuild and we have nowhere to go!

How to reinvigorate the governing body where I have just been elected Chair?

How can I reduce my involvement in my other school yet still make a valued and valuable contribution?

...and we do this because we enjoy it!? Yes, it is both a pleasure and an honour to be able to contribute in some way to helping those with poorer chances than most to achieve their potential.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

From a new Chair...

Last night I was elected as a new Community Governor and as the Chair of Governors at another Special School. The Principal and I thought that the staff might like a quick introduction...

In doing so I was tempted to talk about myself, but being a governor is not about me – to paraphrase Bill Clinton, “its’ about the children stupid”.

So, how can a Chair of Governors help our pupils get the best possible chances in life? Great learning for life requires great staff (we already have those), great kids (taken for granted), great parents (they all can be), great support (we can get it when we try) and great facilities (OK, we still have some work to do!). One key role of governors is to be both challenging and supportive in making sure that all of these ‘greats’ are in place. The question that needs to be constantly in our minds as we help create and meet the changes that are an inevitable part of modern life (and not least in education) is “How does this help give our pupils better chances in life?” You will already know about LILS and how it is still in its formative stages – no firm decisions yet. This will probably be the biggest change in the next few years and we need to be involved in setting the direction, offering up our thoughts and opinions, challenging where we cannot see the benefit and supporting where what we hear makes sense, thinking through how the various options might help give our pupils better chances – let’s get firmly in the driving seat (or at the least make sure we are on the bus!) because when change is around it is better to be doing it that be done to.

So I guess they are my two biggest challenges, working in partnership with you all to make sure that we offer great learning opportunities to help our pupils be the best they can and to guide us all through LILS (whatever it might ultimately look like and wherever it may lead us). My role is primarily to work with Michelle (or whoever we finally appoint as Principal!), the leaders in school, other governors, Education Leeds, parents and above all pupils to make sure that we continue to be great and get even greater at what we do. I am sure that I will get to meet many of you over the next few weeks – if I don’t and if you want to talk to me then just leave a message on xxxxxxxxxxxx or email me and I will get back to you.

My buzzwords then – Partnership, Change, Challenge, Support, “Pupils First”

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

We made a difference!

Thank you to everyone who voted for us last week. We were presented with the 'Big Cheque' last Tuesday afternoon, just two days before I finally got married (not that this is too relevant but it does explain the lack of posts for the last week or so!!) and everyone at school is abuzz with excitement.

Thank you - we won!!