The sun shines on our return

I hope that this has been a good week for you. In our schools and in our college it’s been a little warm, on occasions, but all of our institutions now have pupils and students back full-time and, hopefully, firing on all cylinders. The children and young people that I have met were polite, eager and responsive.


That doesn’t happen by accident. It really is down to the collective endeavours, the work of every single teacher, member of support staff and you, the parents and carers. For that; I thank you. You have all played your part; individually and collectively.


I’ve had the privilege and pleasure this week to spend some time in all four of the institutions, in the newly formed Inspire Learning Trust. At the end of this week I’d reflect that…

Sometimes things look right on paper. Sometimes leaders can persuade themselves that their endeavours are meaningful and purposeful. Sometimes we can all have ‘big ideas’ that do not add value.


In our case I can reassure you that the newly merged trust, as it stands at this moment, is in an amazingly strong position and I can already see each one of our institutions getting benefit from our collective endeavours and we will together go from strength to strength.


What have I seen? Children and young people, eager, polite, appreciative and (importantly) happy. Whoever they are, and whatever their dispositions they are, almost as one, incredibly happy to be back in school and college working with staff. Where uniforms are necessary, they have been worn with pride. Behaviours have been exceptional. The individual pupil’s and student’s desire to succeed has been evident.


I hope that, as our work progresses this term, more and more of us will get the opportunity to appreciate how our collective good practice is making an impact across our institutions and beyond into and across this borough.


And the sun has been shining too! I have in the past written about the obvious changes to our climate (I’m not even going to entertain a degree of unnecessary balance there – in the past, the BBC was so desperate to get some perceived balance around the climate crisis that they, as they couldn’t find any serious scientist who would argue against the climate crisis, put up Nigel Lawson, the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer, as the serious climate crisis denier – I won’t be doing any of that balance for balance sake nonsense). There is a climate crisis. Our children and young people know that. We all feel it.


Although it’s been warm this week, and with that comes some attendant challenges, it has made the return to school and college really quite enjoyable. Not only is it easier on the ground when the wind isn’t blowing and the rain isn’t falling but then when we leave at the end of the day, we’ve got half a chance of enjoying something of an evening. I hope that you and your children have taken time this week to enjoy some other time outside of school and college. We all know the term will become busier, the events will stack up and we will all be less able to enjoy sunlit evenings. I would encourage you to take some time this weekend to, in a sun conscious way (let’s not have any burnt bodies come Monday morning) to enjoy the decent weather and make the most of this warmth. It’s almost an opportunity to feel like we’ve extended the summer holidays somewhat.



‘I would really like to go back to school. I would love it now’. Fiona Apple

‘By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer’. Helen Hunt Jackson