So the new term has started and all the schools in the Trust are full of happy shiny youngsters proudly sporting their new school uniforms and new shoes. This is now my thirtieth September in teaching and the anticipation and excitement that I felt when I started in 1989 is just the same as the excitement in 2019. The enthusiasm of the students is compelling, their oversized blazers, their happiness at seeing each other, their begrudging happiness at seeing some of their favourite teachers again, is all part of a fresh new year and a fresh new start.
So what will this year bring? The summer saw some of the best results that the Trust has ever seen which is a great reason for celebration. As students go off to the universities of their choice and start Post 16 courses we can be proud of our work to support them. We also managed to keep some students in education that otherwise would have fallen by the wayside and I am immensely proud of their achievements and those of the staff working relentlessly with them.
This year then will see us grow and develop. We all have a responsibility to become better, not necessarily to work harder but to keep outward facing, to deal with challenges in a compassionate and positive way, to embrace change and to build up, not tear down.
As I write it is pouring with rain, yet again, and the shiny new shoes look a bit soggy and the sleep reserves stored up in the summer seem to be depleted already. But we remain resolute. These new children in our care are precious, unique and every one of them deserves the very best we can offer. This year I am determined that we will be better than last year because these children will never have another chance at education. I genuinely hope and believe that as we grow as a Trust and learn what collaborative working really means, we can and will transform the life chances of the young people who have started in our schools this September, because that is all we should ever strive to do.