So John Dexter what first attracted you to the role of Education Director (part time) in Nottingham? After all the City now “runs” very few schools?

Not so long ago this role would have been one of the biggest in education in Nottingham, running secondary, primary and special schools, responsible for everything from admissions to outcomes and most stuff in between for about 41,000 children. As the ‘new world’ of academisation has emerged, resources have passed from the local authority to the new trusts except for some statutory services. As the landscape no longer looks the same, the role of a City Education Director needs to change and I’m not sure anyone in any LA has worked out how, but we are well on the journey in Nottingham. Much of that is thanks to the pioneering work of Pat and Sarah Fielding and their excellent work in many areas pre-eminently with our City Primaries and with safeguarding. So how does it appear picking up the reigns? For me, there is still a rather wonderful, overwhelming desire by everyone I meet in the City linked with education; they want to improve the lives of young people. Whether I speak to people at the City LA : SEND colleagues, those working out how best to help refugee and asylum seekers with EAL issues, those working with the very special children in care, they have massive professional and personal commitment to their roles. When I have spoken to headteachers, teachers and CEO’s of Trusts or governors, they always begin by talking about children, young people, families they are working with and only rarely have a moan about systems and structures. Hang it, I even found the same in my meetings with Ofsted inspectors, with the RSC and other...