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July 2019

The end of the academic year is upon us and the academies are all up busy with summer fairs, final assessments, timetables being completed, planning for next year, trips abroad, sports days, end of year celebrations and much more. The end of term feels more like a crescendo of activity than a calm running down to a ‘quiet’ time of year when we have the space and time to plan for the autumn. I always find this time of year disconcerting. On the one hand teaching staff especially are ready for a break (as are the students), whilst many of our support teams are about to hit their busiest time of year as preparations are done to buildings, IT systems, administration, etc. to get everything ready for the start of the new academic year.

It is also a time of year when traditionally teaching staff are leaving and moving on. Over the years I have heard some wonderful leaving speeches and been able to feel the palpable sense of love and affection for the staff we are losing. (I have also had the privilege of seeing many of those staff return to us again with new skills and experiences to complement our staff once again!). The warmth that is expressed in those speeches and the kindness shown to those colleagues leaving us is always moving. It does provide us with a challenge though. How can we tell those that are not leaving how much we value them, how can we reassure them that without their good humour, sense of proportion, professionalism and tenacity the Trust would be a much poorer place?

In this final piece of this academic year I would like to send our appreciation to not only those leaving- you will be missed and please do return when you are ready- but I would also like to send those same wishes to the staff staying with us. Some of you have been in this Trust since before it was a Trust and your wisdom and thoughtfulness have helped us to become what we are today. I have had the privilege of working with so many inspirational staff along my journey of leadership and you will probably never know how much you have carried me and other leaders in the Trust over the years- thank you.

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