Heads Up 17 July 2020


Ian BuddDear colleagues,

Hello and welcome once more to Heads Up. This is intended to be the last edition until a week before the new school year starts, barring anything extraordinary. And when did anything extraordinary last happen?

I say that with my tongue-in-cheek as over the course of the last four months and the dozens of briefings we have sent you on a daily basis, there has been something new to say every day. There hasn’t been a single day where something out of the ordinary wasn’t happening.

With that in mind, I am going to very briefly touch on the risk assessment feedback that I have been looking through. I won’t single out any one piece of work, as so much has been going on, but I was struck, reading through the feedback, by the frequent use of the word ‘collaboration’. Not that it was out of context, far from it. It was completely appropriate. But the frequency with which the word was mentioned did jump out of the pages.

One of the many lessons that have come out of the last few months has been the value of collaboration. We have all had to adjust to a whole new way of working, indeed, a whole new lifestyle, while attending to the biggest global crisis in generations and what it means to our children and young people. To say that everyone hit the ground running would be an understatement.

What I think underpinned that was the collaboration between educational settings, my team of officers and other public service colleagues. There has been a real purpose behind what we have done, making sure that we work together, support each other and bring all of our skills to bear. We have been stronger for working so well together.

At the moment, I imagine that everyone might be too worn out to appreciate that there will be positives that come out of this crisis but it is important that we take stock and realise that, through all of the endless hours, we have forged a way of working and an understanding that will only strengthen us when we get back to something approaching business as usual.

But that brings me back to my starting point. Because we have all been doing so much, we may not recognise just how much ground we have covered and how quickly we have done so. I truly believe it has been exceptional and, yes, extraordinary.

There is nothing extraordinary about what comes next. I am going to repeat my weekly plea to you all to get some time to refresh and recharge, not just over the weekend, but over the coming weeks. I am urging my team here to do likewise: the work is not yet done and we need to gather our strength to go again soon.

Thank you to each and every one of you for all that you and your staff have been doing over the last months. I look forward to seeing you all soon. Take care.

With best wishes, 

Ian Budd

Assistant Director for Education Services