11 May


It’s great to end the week on a high!

Earlier today Dan Wood received a phone call from the Department for Education to say that our application for our new independent Specialist Post-16 Employability College had been successful.

The work Dan and his team have undertaken over the last few months has paid real dividends. I know that one of the first things that Dan did after receiving the phone call was to ring Rita and Nigel from our Finance team. They had prepared accounts and financial projections to ensure that our bid was fully compliant.

This got me thinking about our amazing and supportive back office staff. It’s sometimes easy to forget that schools and colleges are huge, complex organisations. The logistics required to run them are becoming more and more complicated. I can’t think of any other time when we have been under as much scrutiny. It is quite right that when we use public money we are all held to account.

I always use my blogs to celebrate the fantastic work that refers to the children and classroom staff. This week I’d like to pay tribute to our HR teams, payroll teams, finance teams, business and administration teams, ICT teams, premises teams, health and safety teams, transport teams and our communication and public relations teams. Every single team member has the best interests of our children at the heart of everything that they do. They rarely complain and always support the work of the classroom and organisational staff. I think the wonderful advantage of being a part of a multi academy trust is that these colleagues have the opportunity to observe, on a daily basis, our children and young people’s achievements.

One of our headteachers summed it up perfectly to me the other day with a super metaphor when she said that the real skill of a leader is to constantly shine a light and illuminate everything that we do. Let’s celebrate all of our young people who are part of our employment strategies. She went on to say that we also need to ensure that we look in the shadows. Our ‘shadow’ in relation to employment is ensuring that every single young person in our organisation moves on to that community setting. They are productive and valued members of our communities.

Only 3 weeks now to Disney for our Year 8s – I think I’m more excited than the children!!

Have a wonderful weekend,


You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here