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I enjoyed the INSET day. It was good to see groups of people working together around the Arnold Hill site. In my brief talk I forgot to include the quote that I use so often - so I'll use it now. As Margaret Mead said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever does".

The day gave teams from across the trust a chance to share ideas, experiences and, I'm sure, complaints. It's that sort of interaction that generates energy and improves the experience of children in our care.

The Board consists of similarly committed people who are keen to ensure the 4000 pupils have a great education. In order for this to happen they fully understand that the staff need to have the best possible working conditions. They asked me to talk to a group of relatively young teachers about their views of teaching as a long term career. I spoke to 16 teachers in their 20's from across the 3 academies and enjoyed 16 interesting, stimulating conversations. They told me that they like teaching - and I think they do. They also told me they are concerned about the impact of cutbacks on their workload and the advantages of being in good teams. I'll be sharing my report with the Board. Whilst I can't say it will change the world it will raise some points that can be taken further. Obviously we want to keep enthusiastic, capable people.

Similarly the Board and the Headteachers continue to think deeply about the best future for the 3 academies. The trustees - all unpaid of course - have been working long hours with the Headteachers and myself to agree the best way forward. I'm ever more confident that a better world will emerge.

Phil Crompton