June 24th 2016
I deliberately delayed writing a blog this week. I normally get something sorted out between 10.00pm on Thursday and 8.00am on Friday. Many people in the UK found rational thought difficult in that period. It’s now Saturday afternoon and a little dust has settled – but only a little. I now feel inclined to share a few thoughts.
I spent yesterday evening at the TES Awards event with Steve Lewis and 8 members of staff from Rushcliffe. What an honour. Rushcliffe had been shortlisted for the secondary school of the year award. There were only 8 shortlisted. Yes. Just 8. What an achievement. I’m so proud of the work that has taken place at Rushcliffe. It is a genuinely excellent school. It’s prepared to look for areas that it needs to strengthen and to let the world know what it does well. The winner was Stanley Park High in Surrey. Good luck to all involved. Must be an impressive place.
The start of the event was inspiring. Ann Morz, editor of the TES, former NUT General Secretary Fred Jarvis (now aged 94) and the host Dara O’Brain all made reference to the result of the Euro referendum and expressed dismay. Their concern was that the decision seemed to be based on fear of outsiders and could lead to a Little Englander mentality. I don’t think I need to add my views to theirs. It was long bus ride there and a 2.00am return to Nottingham. Great experience though and re-assuring to be amongst like minded people who truly value the views and futures of young people.
The last week has been “Dutch week” at Farnborough and Rushcliffe. 8 children from Apeldoorn in Holland spent the first half of the week staying at Holme Pierrepont Watersports Centre. They got to know 8 pupils from the two academies and saw some of the local sights – including a practical experience of how the tourism business operates at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. On Wednesday they flew to Holland and found out about life in Holland happens. One great shared European experience. Arnold Hill welcomed children who were sick as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. The warmth that was shown was touching. Young people knowing no borders, just seeing other youngsters who needed help. Another example of Europeans working together. Two in one week, in one small trust. Yes. A bit ironic isn’t it ?
By 6.00am on Friday June 24th the UK had voted 52:48 to come out of the European Union. I think it even shocked some of those who “supported” an exit. If this country is to thrive in the new circumstances it will need decent* people to rally and to do good things. To include rather than to exclude, to show imagination in finding solutions for the inequality that underlies the alienation of millions of people and to contribute enthusiastically to the future rather than sulk. I wish we weren’t where we are - but we are and I know that the values we share across the Trent Academies Group will help to create a better world.
- I note that Mr. Farage said the result was a triumph for decent people. I hope he didn’t mean that the 48% weren’t decent.