The impossible dream

Those of you who have read any of my previous blog posts will have established that I am a lifelong Manchester United fan (and no, of course I am not from Manchester!).  Many of you will also know that one of Manchester United’s arch rivals are Liverpool Football Club, who famously have a sign above the tunnel through which the players run out onto the pitch declaring ‘This is Anfield’. 

In Liverpool’s greatest period of success during the 1970s and 1980s (before Sir Alex Ferguson’s mighty reds knocked them off their perch), the players would run out onto the pitch and each one in turn would touch the ‘This is Anfield’ sign as a demonstration of their pride and loyalty to the club.  Interestingly Jurgen Klopp, the current manager, has banned his players from touching the sign as they have not yet earned the right to touch the sign that the Liverpool legends before them had done.  I find it hard to admit, but I have always been impressed by this show of allegiance to the club.  So impressed that in recent months we have developed something of a copycat tagline at school ‘This is Ernesford…be proud’.

In our darkest days, during the early months of Special Measures, it was hard to be proud of our school, in fact many students and parents were anything but proud and social media and the local press seemed to be popular avenues to express the less than favourable views of our school.  Those were tough times, where to many, turning our school around seemed like an unattainable goal.  For some people the challenge of impossible is the main driver, the motivation that is needed to defy the odds and in true Sir Alex Ferguson style, we at Ernesford set about achieving the impossible dream.

On Wednesday 1st May 2019 we achieved that impossible dream.  OFSTED confirmed our school had transformed from Special Measures to Good.  I had talked to the students repeatedly about our cup final, the months of preparation, teachers improving their skills, students improving their levels of effort, embedding the core values, everyone committing to the Ernesford dream of achieving excellence for all of our young people.  During the two days of the inspection nothing changed, our school ran as it has done every day for the last few months, no show, nothing out of the ordinary, just typical days at Ernesford Grange.  There were no nerves, no moments of self-doubt, no fear that we were being inspected, instead there was an air of total confidence, of pride in our school and delight in the opportunity to show our 4 guests just what a fabulous educational institution we have here. 

The impossible dream made possible.

Is it a case of job done?  Absolutely not, we have ambitions for our young people, we want them to be legends of Ernesford and earn the right to touch that sign.  This is Ernesford…be proud.