21 Oct

GrahamI’ve never known such a busy time. I’m writing this blog in between lesson observations, appraisal meetings, visits from other professionals and a full trustee and local governing body restructure!

I must admit that the pace at which we are presently asked to work is becoming increasingly challenging. As you know, for the last 18 months we have been working on developing a revised assessment system that not only records and celebrates academic achievement but also tries to measure the ‘softer’, more holistic skills that our schools routinely teach.

I was pleased that the eagerly anticipated Rochford Report on assessing progress was released on Wednesday. It recommends some significant changes to our present assessment systems. I do feel that when these changes (and others) are introduced, school staff rarely, if ever, get time to digest the new developments and then explore alternative systems that will support the changes. Our staff need space and time to research, to think and to work out solutions with other colleagues. We have to be really careful to nurture our next generation of teachers, deliverers and support staff.

Earlier in the week I was delighted to show a number of colleagues our latest venture, The Atrium Café and Eatery at First Choice Homes. They were amazed at the speed with which we were able to set up this venture. When we visited it was wonderful to see a number of our young people working in both the front of house and also on the counter.

We held a significant meeting on Wednesday – all our members, trustees and local governors met to work on a revised governance framework. I am certain that there will be opportunities for people who may be interested to sit on our local governing bodies in the future. When I have more information I will contact you all.

It’s been a particularly busy half term and I’m certain that many of our young people are ready for a short break. Please keep safe over the holiday and I look forward to seeing you all back on all our sites on Halloween!