Wednesday, 14 January 2009

On becoming a new chair...

Well, I have been CofG for about 5 weeks now, during which time we have, inter alia, appointed a new Principal (congratulations Michelle), heard about how we might or might not get a rebuild as part of the advancement of the BSF spend and heard not enough about the strategy for refreshing inclusive education in Leeds.

I am remonded of the advice generally given to new CEOs to spend their first 100 days 'just listening' and that is mostly what I am doing - going round talking with all sorts of people who might give an insight into the good and bad of the school (not much of the latter has shown up so far - thankfully), where we can offer best in class services to others and where we need to do better.

We have gone 2.5 years without good old Ofsted visiting us so I guess they are at least approaching the horizon. Not that that should be of any concern; in the old days when we got 6 weeks' notice staff would get stressed for 6 weeks running round getting lesson plans up to date, filling in student reports and doing all sorts of stuff that (surely) they should have been doing anyway. If nothing else the curent regime reduces the duration of the stress and implicitly 'requires' staff to do the right thing all the time and not just for the weeks before Ms Gilbert's little helpers arrive. What I would however like to see is more proactive support/advice from the Inspectors - waalking in, spending two days to decide that you are only satisfactory (or worse) and then ****ing off is just not good enough these days.

Anyway, back to this question of the future of inclusive education in Leeds - LILS as it has been known. All has been quiet for a few months now and when there is an information vacuum people tend to start filling it with their own beliefes, often wrong, about what's going on, why 'they' are not communicating with us and how badly affected we are going to be. My short term agenda is to get the information flowing again - my professional practice is in the arena of change leadership and management and I just know that communications is critical to successful implementation. Even when there is nothing to say, it is important to say that there is nothing to say, otherwise the rumour mill starts working as above...
The most destabilising time during any period of change is not knowoing what is going to happen - even bad news gives the participant something to work with whereas no news leaves a void. So let's make those difficult decisions and get on with implementing. All that planning achieves is a plan (which, by the way, is always wrong), only action achieves any change.

1 comment:

Frank J. said...

as your page is dealing with diversity/ability-topics, we would love to inform you about or contest on the topic of inclusion.
We are trying to build an international database and discussion plattform for the various definitions of inclusion/inclusive education.
You can find more information at:
We would be pleased if you would link on your web site, either by writing a post or using one of our banners:

Best regards and thank you for your support
Frank J. for the team of