Turbulent times? Not here

It’s been a long half term. Thank you for all your efforts, your support and your commitment to schools, college and children and young people of this community. Whatever you are doing next week, however much time you get away, I hope that it is restful, relaxing and you can recharge.

We are living in turbulent times. The national political soap opera just keeps on giving – if that’s your thing. Strangely, I feel that the rolling news, ups and downs and the hurricane-like winds emanating from Westminster can be quite addictive. I suppose, to some degree, it’s the equivalent of rubbernecking when there’s been a bump on the motorway. You’re glad you’re not involved in it, you know you’re travelling away from it and yet it somehow captures your attention.

The excitement/nonsense (take your pick) of the last month or so got me thinking about numbers. They say that, these days, education is all about numbers. That may or may not be the case but just some numbers for you to chew over. I started at Oakwood High School, as headteacher, back in September 2008; I’m in my fifteenth year serving that school and our wider community. By Halloween I will have seen six Prime Ministers, eleven secretaries of state for education and two monarchs. There have been four general elections in that time. Interestingly there have been fewer Premier League winners since September 2008 than Prime Ministers; that is, there have been only five different clubs who have won the Premier League in that time. If you ignore caretaker managers, Rotherham United have had ten managers in that time, Middlesbrough (I am ashamed to say) have had nine managers with one pending. Maybe change doesn’t get you the outcomes you’d want?

So, what is it that longevity brings? Does all of this political change bring a commitment to a belief, a vision and an approach? I know that when I get the opportunity to speak to people, some of you, you will hear similar messages, seemingly on repeat. To a degree, I make no excuse for that. In almost all of my communication there are overt and less obvious messages which I hope you feel have a degree of consistency. We, working within and for this community, in this multi-academy trust and with and for our individual institution, build our professionalism and our provision on some simple pillars. We have a strong ethos. We want to work to ensure that we do our very best in offering the children and young people of this community the highest standards of educational provision. In doing so, we give something back to the wider community and our institutions stand as beacons. As the politics and politicians change, as external factors shift, we remain strong in our belief that we have an educational social responsibility.

In Inspire Trust we firmly believe that by working together, supporting and challenging each other, sharing and developing excellent practice and resources, all children and young people can excel and will receive the best our education system has to offer.

Despite the national shenanigans/chaos (take your pick) emanating from Westminster, you can be reassured that despite all of that change some things, closer to home, remain the same. We remain consistent. We have colleagues who stay with us and remain committed to the long haul. We have a strong and a sound educational vision. We will work with integrity, professionalism and a commitment to people; including each other. Whatever is happening elsewhere you can be reassured that you are in safe hands.

‘If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.’ Orson Welles