Welcome to Heads Up this week.
My diary, along with those of colleagues on the senior management team at Warwickshire County Council, has been taken over this week as we progress the County Council’s Transformation agenda. There will be a lot of really exciting ideas and changes to the way we work that come out of this but you will understand that I am not yet in a position to share the discussions. The downside of this is that I have not been able to be out and about in schools as much as I like to be. Given that, I will be keeping my introduction short this week.
This week included the day designated by the United Nations as International Volunteer Day. It celebrates the huge contribution volunteers make in so many different fields and in diverse ways to our organisations, communities and countries. From everyone at the local authority, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who volunteer in our communities. I send a special thank you to those of you who are governors and every encouragement to school leaders to say a special thank you to their governors. In education our volunteers make governance stronger and more effective every day and help schools to provide exceptional opportunities and great outcomes.
Hopefully, many of you will be well into the Christmas spirit; I don't doubt for a minute that your pupils and students are.
I would make one more request. If your teachers are able to, as well as encouraging the children to enjoy every moment of the holiday, I would urge them to remind children that Christmas can be a lonely time for some people. So, if they have an elderly neighbour or relative, perhaps they could try to make arrangements with their families to visit, or take a small gift. We know children and young people can bring a lot of joy to those who are on their own while, for children and young people, it can be empowering to be aware of the massive positive contribution they can make to their communities, not just their school community. Obviously, this needs to be managed and we need to ensure children don't put themselves at risk. But I would like to leave you with that food for thought.
With best wishes
Assistant Director for Education Services