Thursday, 17 January 2008

Drab outside but such exciting ideas inside....

Recently I visited Knowlsey in Liverpool, UK, to attend a meeting with the Executive Director and senior staff of Children's Services, along with Professor Heppell and team members of Balfour Beatty. Whilst the Department building itself is incredibly bleak, they are in the process of building new 21st century very exciting secondary learning environments. They are also addressing the issues of ensuring that education leaders and staff understand and can deliver the new 'paradigm' of education to maximise the opportunities for students.

This exciting and essential transformation is not an easy journey and it is very tempting for people to want, in new buildings, to reintroduce a few extra walls here and there, worry about the discipline issues they had last week in their poor inadequate classrooms in a poor environment and eventually end up with environments that could have been designed 150 years ago that mirror what they have now.

The strategic implementation of moving to a new paradigm is crucial - taking the staff and students on that journey is a key aspect that takes longer than many believe. They have to know and believe the benefits. However, to really transition change, those leading the charge have to be brave, committed, be even braver and let everyone know that this is what we are going to do, so join the party! People for too long have heard about change, don't believe that they have seen much, if any, and where they have they perceive that it has just caused them loads of extra work.

The opportunities on offer for students in Knowlsey are just fantastic - people really have to embrace it.

There are so many similarities with the work and that we are doing in the Cayman Islands it was refreshing to see that another authority, just a fraction ahead of us, are concerned about similar issues. There are so many ways that we can work together to learn and benefit from our experiences and opportunities.

No comments: