Sunday, 17 August 2014

A Curates Egg of a week and Getting Hitched (without a hitch) in Hornby

I could describe last week as being like the proverbial ‘curates egg’. This term has its origins in the humorous and satirical magazine Punch. In 1895 they featured a cartoon depicting a curate eating breakfast in the house of his Bishop. The Bishop notes that the curate has got a bad egg, the curate desperate not to offend his employer says ‘Oh no, I assure you parts of it are excellent!’. Of course a self-contained egg cannot be both partially spoiled and partially unspoiled. The curate’s obsequiousness in not being able to agree with his employer’s acknowledgement that he has been served a bad egg makes the curate look totally absurd. Well I experienced a great deal of obsequiousness and absurdity last week, and it wasn't all down to the Healthier Together consultation either!

The Schools National Student Survey results were published and whilst there were some tremendous improvements and high levels of overall satisfaction from students in many programmes, there were some disappointing results as well. There is some work to do to try and understand why this might be the case with students studying different programmes but all of whom are studying in the same School.

There were some great moments however. I was able to appoint two colleagues into new Associate Head roles, one of which I described in my notification to the School as the Associate Head Academic Enchantment – rather than Enhancement – which gave everyone in the School and beyond (twitter is wonderful isn't it!?!) the chance to poke fun at me over working at the Salford version of Hogwarts! These two new roles in the School are aimed at improving the learning experience for our students. Hopefully, these colleagues will provide the leadership necessary to continue to grow our reputation as a School whose programmes are facilitated in creative and innovative ways.

Without doubt the best part of last week was travelling to the tiny quintessential English village of Hornby in Lancashire yesterday. Hornby is situated very close to where the River Wenning and the River Lune come together. In the centre of the village is the beautiful church (St Margaret’s). I was there to celebrate my youngest son Joseph marriage to Louise. It was a great day. The sun shone, the company was noisy but in a good way, the food and drink were excellent and people talked, laughed, danced and had fun. It was also a family day. All of my 5 children were together in the same place for the first time in many years. It was a perfect end to a troubled and troublesome week. Many congratulations Joe and Louise, here's wishing you both much happiness and joy in your new life together.