Last week I talked about Independent TLC – thinking, learning, coping – and the important role that planning and teamwork play in ensuring the success of any enterprise. This week I want to turn my attention to Inspiration, and where better to start than the Festival of Education that we have hosted over the last two days. Sponsored by the Telegraph, the festival attracted large crowds and an impressive array of speakers: it seemed like a roll call of all the movers and shakers in the UK Educational scene and that Wellington was at the very centre of educational debate. Last year someone said of the festival that it was the place where those who inspire come to be inspired, and that is exactly just how it felt.
In particular I was buoyed to hear Amanda Spielman, the Chief Inspector of Ofsted, talk about the future of schools’ inspection. Exam results on their own will not be the key indicator of success; Ofsted, she says, will look behind the headline numbers to see how those results were achieved and at what benefit (or cost) to each individual child. A big step forward and one entirely in tune with our ethos of educating the whole person.
On that theme it was good that so many of our youngsters were involved: several of the sessions and talks were specifically designed for a younger audience and our Lower Sixth, Third and Fourth Formers enjoyed the opportunity to set their own agendas and plan which events they wished to go to. Do take the opportunity to ask them all about it and discover what they found most inspiring. I was delighted to see so many Wellingtonians giving of their time to help the whole Festival run smoothly, and it was great to see them in their yellow tee-shirts emblazoned with the logo “Can I help?”, somehow a powerful and inspirational symbol of the role we hope they will continue to play throughout their lives. I heard so much positive feedback from attendees and was very proud of them all.
And to finish, can I draw your attention to Saturday evening’s ITV programme The Voice Kids, which this week features our very own Orange Fourth Former, Hayley Canham. I am sure you will join me in wishing her the very best of luck.