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Friday, September 6, 2019

Welcome back colleagues, hope you had a good break and can still just about feel the benefit. Here at NCC we wish you a successful year ahead in your schools and continue to thank you for all you do for Nottingham City children. We look forward to working together in partnership and meeting with you, doing our best to overcome the challenges facing us.

There were various sets of results into schools over the summer and we can discuss these as we meet together, to challenge and support each other, just as you will have poured over them and tried to find out what has worked well and what needs improvement.

There is a new Ofsted framework and so very best wishes to those who face an early inspection on this regime and I hope we can continue to share experiences of the process with each other. Our current analysis has 85.3% of all our providers as good or outstanding (national average is 86.1%) and an LA rank of 87/151. This means 86.4% of pupils attend good or outstanding schools (national average is 84.6%) with an LA ranking of 66/151. These fluctuate when schools are inspected and change category but also through the academisation process a school will be omitted due to their new school number and then counts again in the statistics in a fairly random manner.

For those of you who are new to working in the City or in a new role we wish you all the best in your new world: be confident and determined, listen and learn too. If you need support, do get in touch. One piece of news from here is that our Corporate Director Alison Michalska is retiring after 6 years in post at the end of September, many of you will have met and worked with Alison. Our new Corporate Director for people will be Catherine Underwood, and she has been shadowing Alison recently and will in time come along to our various forums.

In the summer I visited the Yorkshire sculpture park and saw this display… ”All Schools should be…..Art schools”. It made me think what would be our ambition and wish? “All Nottingham schools should be…..” and in true twitter fashion answer in a couple of words.

On my social media it was dominated by

Happy places

Positively amazing

Inspiring families

Funded properly

Inclusive caring

Caring and nurturing

Promoting curiosity

Safe and exciting

Child centred

Absolutely fabulous

I might rerun this with what schools should NOT be, as no one said “Ofsted ready” or “increasing P8” “focussed on SATs” I realise it’s a bit of fun and not to be taken too seriously after all we can be caring and nurturing without teaching anything! However you might just think as a teacher or leader, what is my school, my classroom, my ambition really about?

So all the best for the new school year and just be reminded that your work, your attitudes and skills, your effort, your smile and patience, your thoughtfulness, all make a difference to the children and young people in Nottingham.

John Dexter

Director of Education

Nottingham City Council