I have been a teacher for 26 years, a Headteacher for 11 years and, at the age of 50, this much I know about why we’re better together!
I spent the last day of my holiday working like a dog in school…and enjoyed every minute! Today I was helped by my colleagues Kate, Jeff, Chris, Shaun, John, Jonathan, Annemarie, Helen and Sartorius to prepare for the North East York Partnership’s first joint professional development conference, Leading Learning in Our Schools which we’re hosting on Monday.
You get what you give. We’ll have over fifty workshops run by our colleagues, for our colleagues. Our thanks go to Tom Bennett and David Weston who will deliver keynote speeches and stay on to run workshops. You can see what is on offer in the programme below.
It’s all about vision and values. In January 2008 we published Vision 2018, the vision of Huntington School we wanted to create ten years hence. You can read it in full here. Lines from Vision 2018′s second paragraph resonate strongly with me this weekend as I anticipate Monday’s conference…
“In 2018 Huntington School…will be at the heart of the local community and at the centre of York’s education system, helping meet the diverse needs of learners both locally and city-wide, with the support of all our stakeholders…we will ensure that all learning and teaching is informed by our own best practice, and we will be able to take innovative risks with confidence.”
The market is not the solution. I’m horribly competitive when it comes to sport, but in 1988 I didn’t go into teaching to compete; rather I entered the profession, inspired by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, to resist the corrosive impact of dog-eat-dog competition between educational institutions. As current government policy encourages a return to the market culture in education, events such as ours on Monday show that values-driven leadership can resist political ideology. As I wrote nearly two years ago, If we worried too much about the chaos of the English state education system right now we’d weep openly. It’s laugh or cry time and it’s important that we laugh – take things seriously, but laugh whilst seizing the opportunity that we have at this point in time to do what we want, as long as it works. So, we should all work tirelessly upon improving our teaching – something over which we have complete control. Reading through Monday’s programme, I know we are better together.