07 Jul

Graham
This week has been dominated by good news. The end of any school year is a whirl of presentation events and achievement assemblies and it is always a delight.

On Tuesday our entire staff team from all the schools and organisations in our Group got together at the Etihad Stadium. We had to use the Etihad as we now need to hold the event in a venue that can accommodate 350 adults. The occasion gives us all the opportunity to share in each other’s successes.

In my opening remarks I commented that when I first came to Oldham as a deputy head, we could hold the staff meetings in a room with 3 tables and 14 chairs!! To stand in front of 350 adults is still somewhat daunting, however it is also testament to our collective success. Our Trust has a vision that has been built upon co-operation, values, determination and a clear moral purpose. To stand in front of our members, trustees, governors and staff and reinforce our commitment to the children and families in our area fills me, personally, with immense pride. Probably one of our Trust’s greatest achievements is that when my senior colleagues, trustees and myself step down or move on, I have an absolute belief and trust that our vision will continue.

Our vision is simple and difficult to argue with. We are absolutely focused on offering our children and young people the best staff, the best buildings, the best resources and an exciting curriculum, all of which lead to our youngsters playing a part within their communities. Last week a number of people tried to put obstacles in our way with regard to our Spring Brook youngsters. We will be resolute in finding a solution, we will be creative in finding a solution, we will be ambitious with our solution! I was criticised in a meeting last week for being too passionate. The news (that shouldn’t come as a surprise) is that our Trust has passion in bucket loads!!

All the people who attended the Etihad heard about and saw video clips of the children and young people across our organisation involved in Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, working in local businesses and loving being part of sports teams and attending residentials. We had staff comparing themselves with movie stars!! We heard of innovations and successes with our older students that should be the envy of every other authority in the country. We listened to a seemingly endless A-Z run down of our curriculum offer. Unbelievable! We heard about our unsung heroes in our staff teams – our cleaners, IT technicians, drivers, admin colleagues, HR teams, health and safety, medical colleagues, finance and payroll teams, personal care teams, lunch time staff and premises teams.

I heard a story a while ago about an Italian cleaning operative who worked in the Lamborghini factory. When asked by a visiting politician what job he did, he stated “I make Lamborghinis”. He took such pride in his job as he understood that by keeping the environment clean, his contribution allowed others to design and manufacture the cars. He knew he was an essential component of the staff team that made Lamborghinis. All of our unsung heroes contribute massively to our collective vision. They support and facilitate. We all contribute to our children’s progress and achievements, we all do our jobs and play our part. None of us should view ourselves as being more or less ‘important’ than any other.

Passion – tick, determination – tick, ability – tick, innovation – tick……..and the best bit is, we’ve a team of ‘younger’ colleagues who will continue with these ambitions for years to come.

What a privilege it is to be part of such an amazing organisation.

Have a great weekend,

Graham