It is with very mixed emotions that I have the opportunity to introduce this edition of Heads Up!
I joined Warwickshire County Council four and a half years ago and have seen significant, innovative and exciting developments in the way in which we, as a county council work with the Warwickshire family of settings, schools and colleges.
We have developed our strategy via the Education Challenge Board. We have developed our system leadership model via the Teaching Schools and partners. We have developed our consultation and communication with you as leaders via our Area Analysis Groups. I could go on in relation to the many other areas of work of my teams. None of these would have happened without your willingness to engage with the teams within Education Services and your willingness to try innovative and new approaches. The latest example of this is the Nuneaton Education Strategy, our first place-based education innovation.
Sadly, June 5th marks my last working day for Warwickshire. I then begin a new, exciting challenge as the Deputy Director, Head of Education for Oxfordshire. A completely fresh start for me in a whole new part of the world, in the midst of a global crisis, just at the point that schools are expected to be restarting, when you never stopped anyway!
I want to thank you all, for your support and the challenges you have provided me and my teams with over the last four and a half years. I have learned a huge amount over that time and never claimed to have all the answers, but together, I think we’ve done a pretty good job of finding our way. Never more so than at the moment, in a context that none of us can claim to have conquered or mastered before. We are all innovators now more than ever, creating the pathway as we go. We will all look back in years to come and wonder how on earth we made it though, step by step, day by day, one decision at a time.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, take comfort in the knowledge that you are in good company. We must all take time to rest, recharge and steel ourselves for the next stage of the operation because we are in this for the long haul.
Please do stay in touch and let me know how your schools are doing. You are an incredible group of professionals and I am honoured to have had the opportunity to get to know many of you well over the years. I know that my teams will continue to serve you well and do their absolute best to try and help you steer your way through the weeks and months ahead.
Strategy and Commissioning Manager, Education and Early Years