“A week in the life”
When first considering starting this blog back in September the prime aim was to reflect upon things that had happened during the previous week in order to provide some sort of insight into the role of a headteacher and the life of a school. I am aware that, over time, this has drifted, and some of the pieces bear only the most tenuous connection to their place upon the calendar. For this reason, in the final blog of the term, I felt I should redress the balance with a piece which detailed at least some of my activities during last week in an attempt to introduce an element of discipline into the task. I have been asked to speak in May to a group of aspiring headteachers and reflection on what I do will undoubtedly prove helpful in preparation for this too. Last week was not typical but, to be honest, no week is. Since becoming head in 1996 I have never experienced two weeks that have been the same.
On Monday the afternoon was spent with architects and quantity surveyors, finalising our building plans in readiness for a funding application which was finally submitted on Friday. Tuesday morning involved a meeting at another school in the county with whom we are involved in offering support work and Tuesday afternoon discussing strategies for Kent and Medway partnership activities with representatives from the National College. I was in London on Wednesday presenting at a conference for Modern Government on the new OFSTED Framework before returning to school for paperwork and meetings. Thursday morning was spent with our partner school, interrupted by receiving the news of our success in becoming a Teaching School, and Thursday afternoon at a county meeting on the role of Teaching Schools across Kent and Medway. Friday was spent in school, apart from a morning meeting with Borden and Highsted reviewing our partnership arrangements.
Clearly the above does not list the day to day stuff that occurred around the meetings and events, mobile phone technology ensuring that emails, for example, were received and responded to from wherever I was. Just out of passing interest, I received 855 emails last week between Monday morning and Saturday afternoon, one or two of which were important! It is also very unusual for 3 days in any week to be spent away from school, even though the calls upon our time from elsewhere are increasing and we are recognising very real benefits to our own students from making the most of all our partnerships.
I am very uncertain as to what conclusion or moral, if any, can be drawn from a look back at a week such as this. The regional and national role now played by the school reflects the status Fulston Manor now enjoys whilst my desire to read and, where appropriate, respond to 855 emails demonstrates my own obsession with remaining in the middle of day to day activity here. From an entirely personal perspective (which is, after all, the point of blogs) a look back at any week at all since first taking on this role merely helps me to reach the same conclusion every time, which is that there is simply nothing else that I would rather be making a living doing and nowhere else I would rather be doing it.