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The Audacity of Hope

The Audacity of Hope

In her final Annual Report as His Majesty's Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, head of Ofsted, described the audacity of hope. She laid out for all to see, the wonderful work of the nations educators and carers, and called for 'more recognition and support, not a narrative of decline' which we so often hear in the press or from the government. She recognises, that despite the immense challenges of the last few years, schools and social care settings continue to do brilliant work.

Working in education is the greatest priviledge there is in employment. I thought that when I first stepped into the classroom over 20 years ago and I hold firm to that belief today. Nurturing, supporting, caring for and educating the next generation of this country's talent is such a humbling, awe inspiring experience; something I will never take for granted. It's a message I hammered home to my team here this week.

Those involved in education in this country need more support, schools need more funding, the 'social contract' between school and families needs to be stronger. Trust needs to be built. You give us your children, follow our expectations and rules, embrace what we have to offer and in return we give everything we have to provide the very best education for your children. That contract only works if trust, really deep trust exists between those two parties.

There's an old African philosophy, 'ubuntu' (not be confused with the Linux computer programming code) which is a concept where your sense of self is shaped by your relationships with other people. It is sometimes translated as 'I am because we are'. In other words, we are who we are because of the people around us. This school was built, exists and will be shaped by everyone involved with it; this fundamental idea that school is for everyone in our community gives me hope for the future.

Hope - hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope. (Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, 2006)