Education view: Thank you everyone

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 September 2018


I've just left NewVIc after 10 years as principal. When I joined the college, the world was a very different place.

The London Olympics were still ahead of us, Gordon Brown was prime minister, Barack Obama hadn’t yet become US president and no one imagined that Britain would leave the European Union.

The recession was just starting, and we assumed that austerity would just mean a little less comfort for the better off.

How things change!

What hasn’t changed is NewVIc’s commitment to high expectations, inclusiveness, equality, respect, and a vision of a better future.

The college has continued to transform the lives of thousands of young people.

We’ve held our own as a comprehensive college in an increasingly selective environment.

We’ve built a great new building without any outside help. We’ve stood up for our students against the cuts and EMA abolition which hit them so hard.

We’ve taken the long view; shaping people as future citizens, leaders, workers, friends, family and community members.

You can see all this for yourself by coming to the college’s next open day on Saturday, October 13.

Being comprehensive means valuing all our students whatever their starting point and it was wonderful to see that view shared by our new mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and cabinet member Julianne Marriott when they joined us to celebrate everyone’s achievements on results day this summer.

It’s been a great privilege to lead such a great organisation and the experience of working here has profoundly affected me; the learning, the kindness, the shared joys and difficulties and the problems overcome.

Everything I’ve learned here has made me feel very optimistic about the future of Newham, despite all the challenges.

The philosopher Hannah Arendt said: “Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it.”

I think a good education requires a combination of love and purpose.

At NewVIc, I was lucky enough to find both and I want to thank everyone

I’ve worked with; colleagues, governors, students and partners for all their support.

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