I know I have a tendency to go on about how wonderful our village school is. The inspection report will say that it is an extremely good school and in many respects an 'outstanding' school. I am really proud of what the school has achieved, but that is because I know what it was like five years ago.
Five years ago under another Head Teacher the academic standards were appalling and discipline was non-existent. My kids were all at the school. I became a governor and did some training in which I learnt what the children should be achieving - and then I saw what they WERE achieving at our school. It was a horrible moment, made worse because as the new girl on the governor block, I couldn't make any one else see that we were in trouble. Then,in one of those blessings carefully disguised, the previous Head went on long term sick, and was gently persuaded she should maybe put her own health before the 'needs' of the school.
If I never do anything worthwhile again in my life, I can look back and know that I played a pivotal part in the appointment we subsequently made for a new head. In the shortlisting the person who eventually got the job was not picked for interview as the powers that were said her application did not match the criteria. We did not appoint anyone from that first set of interviews. I vividly recall one candidate describing how he dealt with ill discipline by treating us to example of a child picking their nose - nice! I had been told about our present Head and how wonderful she was but I had n't met her. What I did do was ensure she knew why she hadn't got an interview on the previous occassion and made sure she knew she should PLEASE try again. This time she did get an interview and she was inspirational in that interview in the vision she had for our school.
Six weeks after she took up the job she was quickly offered we had an Ofsted inspection. We were at that time a failing school. However, such was the impact she was already having that we did not go into the dreaded 'special measures' but were given one last chance. Five years on we are 'outstandidng' and it is entirely due to the leadership and inspiration of this one woman who I admire more than anyone else I know.
Anyone who suggests I wanted her to get the job as I had been told she was a season ticket holder at the Cobblers is erh, astute. Yes, it was someone I knew at football who said how good she was. No, I had no idea how good she was at her job. But yes, how right they were, and it was a very lucky day for me when my friend at football stated talking about her friend the school teacher.
After we saw the inspector yesterday and he gave us the good news he said 'You can have a nice relaxing evening now'. The Head and I responded as one 'No we can't. We have a football match to go to.'
And as for the football -we drew one all. Can someone please remind me what it is like to watch your football team win a match as I haven't seen that happen since the end of April?
Inequity - Our daughter Frances still owes the Student Loans Company £26,000. If she had been Scottish and had attended a Scottish university she would owe nothing, ...
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