I recognise of course that some colleagues feel that they are on the barricades; feeling beleaguered, disillusioned and worn down by the relentless and uncompromising pressure that never goes away. I also know some colleagues are sick of, and turned off by, our optimism, positivity and constant search for the outstanding, the exceptional and the brilliant. But, so much of what we do here in Leeds is world class: so what can't we achieve together if we aspire to excellence in everything we do; and build on, and learn from, what is working really well.I too recognise all of this - and remember that us governors do it all for free. Not that money actually helps resolve the feelings but those who are very well paid to handle all the change would do well to occasionally remember that there is an army of volounters out here who handle all this change in our spare time with little organisational support.
To those who feel that there is too much optimism around, I ask "What would you rather have - downtrodden pessimism?" It is well kknown in psychological circles that optimism, even in the face of potentially overwhelming odds, is more empowering than pessimism and that the most valuable outlook is one described as 'pessimistic optimism' - fundamental optimism whilst recognising that the world does not always deliver what we want and so we need to do some contingency planning.
I remain optimistic that our schools and children have great futures. Our task is to help release the brilliance - "watch where you walk, for you tread on my dreams"