For the sake of your sanity, I would hope that you have all been so focused on your work or any other distractions this week and that you have not become caught up in, or engrossed in, the goings-on in Westminster. If you have taken some interest you’ll have (metaphorically speaking) had, no doubt, your head in your hands.
We in the schools and college talk a lot about modelling behaviours, with and for our children and young people. We know that we are the adults in the room and, however our children and young people behave, we need to ensure that they see generosity, integrity, dignity, humility, self-reflection and a deep commitment to getting it right, with and for them, day in and day out. I regularly thank our staff body for that and I feel blessed to be working them all. The recent days have brought home how it can be more difficult working with your close colleagues if you are not all, as they say, on the same page.
We do, as professionals, have differing views on approaches we should be taking, around a whole host of issues. That’s natural, that’s normal, that’s the real world. However, we do remain true to our principles and our ethos. Just as the events were unfolding in Westminster the staff body received a briefing from me – which set out some key bits of information readying us all for the summer break.
At the head of that briefing document I restated the Trust’s core values and vision. Why? Because we as professionals, as a community, really do need to understand what it is that shapes and frames our work and roots us within this community. We are clear that although there are natural differences in each institution there are some deeply established roots which hold us together; our DNA, if you like. Whatever else happens, however the winds of change may blow, we are absolutely clear about what it means to deliver education as part of Inspire Trust; be that at Sitwell Junior School, Oakwood High School or Thomas Rotherham College. There is more which ties us together than separates us. We are values driven educational provider, not brand driven. We understand that we are here to ensure that our children and young people have truly outstanding and inspirational educational experiences.
I hope that in these strange times you can reflect, just occasionally, on the value that we place on the values that we hold dear.
Despite what commentators in London may imply about public service, there are still so many public servants out there who give of themselves to their work, their communities, each and every day; whatever the pay scale, whatever the weather. They underpin our economy, communities and the wider society. We are integral to that landscape.
The sun is going to shine this weekend – that seems a pretty definitive forecast. Enjoy that sun, take some time for yourself and your families and we will all return on Monday knowing that we are entering a period which brings us closer to the end of this challenging educational year.
From a man synonymous with the sunshine…
‘The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.’ Bob Marley