Don’t be fooled by the apparent reference to Valentine’s Day in the heading of this week’s blog. In actual fact it is a song title from one of our iconic children’s films, ‘Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang’. The song springs from a point in the film when a group of inventors and scientists imprisoned in the castle of Baron Bomburst reflect how often from the most dire and desperate failures the greatest achievements can spring. I was struck by this observation when visiting one of our schools last week.

St Mary and St Giles Church of England Primary School was placed in Special Measures by Ofsted in January last year. For much of last year, the school underwent significant turbulence and experienced some significant challenges. However, under the leadership of new headteacher Kate Holland with the support of the Governing Body chaired by Daniel Mullins and the Inspiring Futures Through Learning Trust (IfTL), a transformation of the fortunes of the school has been achieved. Children are now safe and parents/carers have returning confidence in the school. I saw this for myself at an evening at the school last Tuesday and a morning spent in the school on Friday. The school is a completely different place to what it was a year ago and there is a real buzz of positivity in the air. This doesn’t just happen through inspirational leadership but through hard work carefully planned, monitored and reviewed. The ‘planning wall’ in the headteacher’s office illustrates this and I am sure that the ragged clothed, tousle-haired inventors from ‘Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang’ would certainly have approved.

Happy Valentine’s Day and enjoy the half-term break!

See you in two week’s time.

Tony