One year on

Thank you for your efforts this week, after we returned from the half term break.

Although for most of us it was welcome, having that break, it came at a challenging time of the year. But, as we move out of the winter months and into something which looks and feels a little more like spring, many of us will feel cheerier as the days pass.

It would be wrong of me, I think, not to mention that we are at the point where we acknowledge that the invasion of Ukraine has now passed the year’s anniversary. Sometimes time is a strange concept, and I know that it can feel differently (as it’s relative) to different people.  The last year, since the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army (I wouldn’t say Russia as I’m sure that many Russians really don’t condone the action taken by the political elite and the army on their behalf) has just flown by. to me. It really does feel unbelievable that 12 months have passed since the tanks rolled across the border and Kiev then was shelled, night and day.

It’s at times like this that I just feel I need to stop, to pause.

Although that year seems to have flown by for me, it won’t have felt like that for those Ukrainians living day in day out with their horror that this war, and all wars, present. My thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and, although it’s valueless in many ways, they have my best wishes.

It was interesting to read some of the narrative around the UN resolution of yesterday (Thursday).  Some of those who complained about that resolution did so on the basis that it was words and not action. To some degree, I get that. However, making a strong statement about what one believes, and then acting upon those beliefs, being clear about what it is that you will remain true to, and then acting upon that position, is important, whatever and wherever.

I wouldn’t dare to tie together this global approach or statement with how we work within our schools and the college, however I do hope that you all feel and see that our staff very much set out what we believe and that in turn shapes the actions taken by our teachers and other staff members. And that we are clear about how we believe our education should be delivered, and, importantly, we stay true to those values, through our collective actions and behaviours.

We are very much values based, and I hope that comes through clearly, and critically we are confident enough to be able to state clearly and confidently what those values are, in the knowledge that we would act upon those foundations. In stating those values so clearly, we allow you all to rightly hold us all to account, if we were then not to get it right.

‘A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.’ Dwight D. Eisenhower