Having been to two Leavers' Assemblies today, I find myself humbled by what I have seen and heard. We help educate some of the most challenged pupils in Leeds and it has been an education and deeply moving to see and hear about their achievements.
Ranging from one lad who has never missed a day's school in his life, to another who represented the school at a whole range of sports, to others who have achieved academic success that might not have been thought possible, others who have learned social skills that come naturally to most of us, and so on... Some are going on to college, some will stay on into our sixth form and all will remember the time they spent with us, as I will remember the time I spent with them today. What a pleasure to be with pupils who have not lost the innocence of childhood, who find pleasure in the simplest things and who reward you with their recognition.
I cannot praise these pupils too highly, nor indeed the staff who cope with the huge range of needs with a smile and patience and forbearance that goes beyond expectation. Every one of them deserves a relaxing break and to come back refreshed and keen to make a difference to the lives not only of our pupils but of their families and friends.
Thank you to everyone I have seen and spoken to today - I feel truly humbled by your abilities.