Every day you may make progress.

Parents and year 6 students up and down the country found out this week if they have been allocated the school of their choice. We’ve been inundated with lovely messages of thanks and appreciation from parents who’ve been allocated Ormiston Forge Academy as their first choice. It’s made me feel very humble. As a parent I know how much I worry about my daughters’ future. To be a part of a process where other parents put their faith and trust in an organisation I lead is a very special feeling indeed.

My job is to keep us moving forward and like the proverbial shark, if we stop swimming we die and like Churchill – who puts it far more eloquently – it’s the reason we strive for success and try to be agents of change.

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
Winston Churchill

For us, as a student body and a staff, it’s a journey we make every single day and what progress we’ve made! In the last 2 terms before we became an academy our attendance was the lowest in the authority and our persistent absences were the highest. Now our attendance is the highest in the authority and our persistent absences are the lowest. This is in no way a dig at the predecessor school, the progress they made over a long period of time was great. The school/academy has always served the community well and has changed to fluctuating demands of people and markets.

Our recent HMI Monitoring Report makes fantastic reading and validates the direction we have taken over the last two years. However, we still have much to do. We progress every day. Some days more than others. There isn’t a better feeling than walking around the academy at break time and chatting with the students and being inspired by their discoveries. That feeling gets you through dull meetings, bad days and difficult situations. We have a staff laden with people who feel the same way. It’s as much a journey for us as it is for our students and the knock-on effect is enormous. Perhaps one of those year 6 students, so elated by their Forge news, will become a teacher, inspired and driven by our journey. What a thought. The circle completes, a journey continues and we steadily progress, generation to generation on an, ‘ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path‘. This is the glory of our climb.

Andrew Burns

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Ormiston Forge Academy, Wrights Lane, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 6QU. Tel: 01384 566 598.