When I started it, I wasn’t expecting to continue with it.
I’d resigned from my post as a senior leader in one of the Birmingham schools caught up in the Trojan Horse scenario and at 55 decided I’d rather take early retirement than go back to fulltime classroom teaching in a different school, having worked 31 years in the last one. There would be offers from schools wanted some support work or even supply if needs must, so I knew if things didn’t work out I would always be able to get back into education . My wife resigned from the same school, too, for pretty much the same reasons. We decided that we would make sure that come the start of the new academic year in September, we would ensure we would be somewhere hot and sunny, relaxing and enjoying ourselves, a few thousand miles away from school and the worries and anxieties a new year brings (review of exam results, enrolment numbers into sixth form, new exam regulations demanding changes to assessment etc, impending Ofsted visits and so on); our retirement gift to ourselves. I do not expect any sympathy from most people reading this; long holidays and short working days always seem to excessively wind up those not involved in schools. But the school I’d worked for so long in was an outstanding one and had been so for 5 successive Ofsteds and the pupils…well they were just the nicest kids you could ever wish to teach and I couldn’t, wouldn’t, be there for the crash.
In the space of 3 months it was a failing school and it was in free fall; a new head and governors who seemed divorced from the reality of what was happening…no, a warmer climate and a September without Ofsted on our backs and no support from the authority…well, it was a no brainer. So, San Francisco here we come.
As I mentioned at the start, I hadn’t envisaged the blog being anything other than an experiment, a temporary distraction to keep me busy over the summer holidays. I wanted to use some of my time to do something creative and something I’d enjoy. I’ve always had a love of Coventry RFC, so it seemed the obvious thing to do just during the pre-season. I knew my family would read it and thought if I advertised it on the supporters’ website, it might get a few views although I never expected it to be quite so well received. It’s surprising the number of people overseas who keep an eye on what’s going on at Coventry, elsewhere and through reading the blog; clearly the club has a wide fan base.
With the holiday fast approaching, it’s my intention to keep writing bits during the break, if only for my own rather selfish enjoyment. Whilst away, I should have access to the Internet for some of the time, so I will be able to add articles as and when. My son, Sam, to whom I am extremely grateful, has agreed to write the match reviews/thoughts, take a few photos and tweet the scores on a Saturday and generally bring a more reasoned mind to the whole process. So the only noticeable difference will be an improvement in the quality of the blogs…
Other than this, it’s pretty much business as usual. I’d like to think I’ll keep this going through the season and who knows, this could become my own record of a very significant season in the club’s long and distinguished history…thank you to everyone who has logged on to this site; hopefully, we’ll both be back soon.