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October 2019

As the nights draw in and the mornings become colder, it becomes harder and harder to leave the warmth of a cosy bed.  During these months we depend on the deep motivation that makes us, quite literally in this case, get out of bed in the morning.  For all of us this motivation might be subtly different, but at the heart of our motivation, our ‘why’, has to be ‘the children’.

I had a long conversation with a school leader recently where he told me about a range of students he had met over the course of the last few months who had left school and were now proudly pursuing careers which we had not anticipated.  The thing that struck this leader most was that by the education system’s definition of success these students were failures at school.  They left with few qualifications, were hard to engage and some of them faced permanent exclusion on more than one occasion.  Yet here were those same youngsters starting out in retail, construction and proud to have completed their education and proud to be on their next steps of what they hoped would be successful careers.

This month Bluecoat Aspley Academy became the first School of Sanctuary in Nottingham.  This award, in many ways, is simply a continuation of the role that Nottingham Bluecoat has had during its long and rich history in Nottingham City.  Its mission to reach those in need and to provide nurture and care through a quality education is what we are all about.

At a time when Brexit remains to be resolved, we face another election and the politicians seem more divided than ever, maybe it becomes even more important that schools continue to strive to nurture, care, build and unite, even when this might not always result in a success that can be measured.

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