Yin and Yang
Taking this ancient Chinese philosophy in its broadest sense, I should have realised at the end of last week, which proved to be an immensely successful one, that there would be some balancing of the account to follow. I should not therefore have been in the least surprised to contract a virulent strain of man-flu on Friday evening and finish the weekend by setting fire to my cooker on Sunday afternoon.
On Tuesday of last week I delivered my speech regarding our outstanding OFSTED inspection to around 100 headteachers at a conference in London. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with many colleagues finding the content useful and, more importantly, recognising the quality of education that is being delivered at Fulston Manor. Our reputation continues to spread and I was pleased that, when being introduced to a senior officer from The Schools’ Network, he responded with the phrase, “Oh, The Fulston Manor!” Clearly our place on the national stage is assured.
It is, of course, very easy to say absolutely anything about a school at conferences in London where none of the delegates can check the veracity of the remarks. The real pleasure of the week came during our Open Days on Wednesday and Thursday when well over 1000 visitors not only listened to my opinions of what Fulston Manor is like but then had the opportunity to test these out by touring the school and talking with the students. What followed amounted to probably the best received Open Days the school has ever hosted, with all our visitors fulsome in their praise of both the school and, most significantly, of the students they met. It would appear that, however hard I try, I cannot overstate the quality of the students within the school; their self confidence, sensitivity and general levels of interpersonal skills amazing all with whom they came into contact.
To crown a successful week the batman (who was actually a woman) visited on Tuesday and pronounced the site a bat free zone, removing one obstacle in our quest for planning permission for new buildings. Whilst my cooker fire was rapidly extinguished, with no lasting damage, and my man-flu is receding, the successes of last week will all have far reaching consequences and represent a further seven days in the life of the school during which institutional success has far outweighed individual discomfort, which is as it should be.