Last night’s was a short post, because I was completely distracted by the news I’d had at around 6 o’clock. I had been making minestrone soup – how is it, by the way, that I never seem to be able to make a small amount of minestrone? Nearly 8 pints, and I’ve added more stock to the leftovers today. I should say, that we packed away a lot of it last night and had more for lunch today. I left the soup to cook in the bottom oven for a final half hour, poured a glass of wine and came in here to check emails, and found one from the school business manager. The title was Fwd: Academy Order approval (*name of school*).
Do you know, I almost cried. A huge smile on my face, I had a swig of wine and read the message. From her, it just said ‘Sent from my iPhone’. Beneath, it started “Dear Lynn, I am delighted to tell you that the Secretary of State and Lord Hill have approved your application to convert to academy status.” It was a warm and friendly letter and, I must say, that our project lead at the Department of Education is very helpful and reassuring whenever we get in touch with him.
We are on track, having done a great deal of preliminary work (engaged solicitors, obtaining land deeds, engaged financial, pension and HR services, obtained quotes for insurance, accountants and so on, but there’s still a lot to do. Ironically, the least to do is in school. The thing is, the school is great. We have excellent staff who work together really well, an exceptional Head and governors are shrewd and knowledgeable managers who monitor what’s going on. The students are great, and I know that because I go into lessons regularly and get to know them. We have a very wide curriculum; being in a rural and not a wealthy area, we need to provide both sound academic education as well as arts and vocational courses. We want to protect this against the push to narrow the curriculum in schools. We will transfer all the terms and conditions of all the staff (as we’re required to do) but, although we could change them afterwards, we do not intend to. Why would we?
Tonight, I went out for dinner and wore stilettos, for the first time in ages. Since having my hip done, I’ve been able to wear heels, though best not everyday, but they’ve mostly been reasonably substantial; wedges or, at least, chunky. But I put on my pale pink stilettos, that I bought for Weeza’s wedding six years ago (so are practically new, especially as they haven’t been worn for three or four years) and they felt comfortable, if I was a little tottery.
All we need now is Ofsted. Ahem.