My open letter to schools staff in Birmingham
I’d like to take this early opportunity to introduce myself to you all.
I’ve been the Leader of the Council now for only just over a week. It’s a great honour and privilege to take on what is obviously a massive and challenging job.
Be in no doubt, though, that our schools and your roles in them are just as important to me.
I started my recent leadership campaign with a promise that in this great city ‘Every Child, Every Citizen and Every Place Matters’.
Each school in this city is a place that matters, and everyone in each school matters too. Your contribution matters and your ideas matter. Your children matter too. This city council needs to become one which has to start doing things with the city, rather than to the city. We will meet our challenges and opportunities together.
I hope you might also come to trust that the Leader of the City Council has some direct understanding of the ways in which all of our schools’ staff matter.
I’ve spent 25 of the last 30 years as a teacher in inner urban education. Most of that time has been as a secondary school teacher of English and Drama, most recently in Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley. I was also a primary school teacher for 2 years in Stockport. I was recently a visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham Business School. My wife is a secondary school teacher in Dudley.
My mum was the headteacher of a nursery school and Early Years Education has been a particular concern of mine throughout my political career.
I have also been a governor at 2 secondary schools and 1 primary school in the city over the last 20 years.
So education and schools have been key driving forces in my life. They have guided my politics too.
I am particularly looking forward to getting out of the council house as much as possible to help link up with other civic leaders. Civic leaders aren’t just elected politicians or administrators. Civic leaders can be found in all our schools: certainly our teachers and support staff; and, yes, civic leaders can be found amongst our children.
So I look forward to being out and about, and meeting staff across our city’s schools in the new year.
So have a great Christmas break (I know how important that is after what is always a key term in the year) and a restful new year.
The challenges facing me next year are no less than yours. Have a good one.
Cllr John Clancy
Leader of Birmingham City Council
Labour Councillor for Quinton.