Do you remember where you were on the morning of the 24th June 2016?
I do. I sat in my bathroom and cried. They were tears of shock, frustration…shame. I was ashamed of the decision that had been made and the path that now lay out before us. I wanted to scream and shout against an electorate that were, in my view, misinformed and intolerant…lemmings leading us towards a cliff edge just so that they could have a ‘say’ without any view of the rocky shore below.
For the first time in my life I didn’t want to be British. The decision taken that day suddenly made my nation feel very insignificant on the global stage. I’ve always held the view that the sooner we started working together and breaking down borders, the sooner we were going to improve lives across the planet. This decision not only put us back a century (at least), but also took us away from the table.
As a School Business Manager I can clearly see the benefits of an education system that lives and works together, sharing resources, expertise and ideas. Of course, I understand the desire to remain independent, I understand the self-preservation that is behind much of the refusal to engage in progress towards improving our systems and equitable funding, but I also believe that by merging together we are on a path that will improve the outcomes for our young people (and I’m not just talking exam results).
In contrast, my nation is heading down a path of isolation, separation, poverty and zealotry.
I was reminded of inevitable pathways again recently, when, on the 15th February, students across the country went ‘on strike’ and marched in their communities to raise awareness of climate change.
I felt quite proud of them.
Of course, as Educational Visits Coordinator for my school, I couldn’t approve their leaving the school site (I momentarily considered whether we ought to make it a ‘trip’, risk assess it and send staff – but then I think that would probably have missed the point of the activity which was to rebel and get some attention) but it reminded me that this is their world we are shaping and why shouldn’t they have their ‘say’.
So, let me accept this out loud;
- Schools structures will change.
- The UK will leave the EU and consequently break apart.
- Our climate will change rapidly over the next 50 years.
Whatever your view on these issues, we can’t escape from the fact that the changes our generation have caused seem massive, and also now completely out of our control. I can’t now stop the journey towards schools merger, national insignificance and extreme weather patterns, so what can I do?
For the sake of the children and generations ahead, I can resolve to keep up.
At this point the SBM in me kicks in. I’d like to apply my Risk Register templates, list the changes that are coming and work to identify the likelihood and impact of that change on our school, our lives, and our communities. What can we do to reduce some of the associated risks? What can we implement now that will enable us to help lead the change? What actions must we take (or support others to take) to raise awareness of what this means for us, for our children and for generations to come? How can we keep on top of this?
I know the time has passed to hope that someone else will resolve or effectively plan for the mess of Brexit and our changing climate. I know that that the changes in school structures will not now be swift, which would have limited the time spent in an expensive and ineffective two-tier system.
As a firm advocate of the Pirate Code, I believe we now need to get on board with the inevitabilities in order to be in control, not only of our own destiny, but also that of our children.
I don’t know about you, but I plan on rowing frantically for them in the years to come!