If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the years, it’s the power of telling other people what you aim to do, to add that extra incentive to make it happen. Frankly, it’s the only thing that got me through the Great North Run. Twice.

So, here’s my 6 for 2019. Yours?

1.      It is a wonderful thing to have Mesma go from strength to strength. Our client base continues to grow. BUT. We know there is more we can and will do to support the people we work for, to consistently deliver high quality education. I’m very excited about the online product range expansion. I can’t wait to tell you more and hear your ideas on how to further build collaboration and sharing into our approach to client services.

2.      Partnership will be the name of the game. We will continue to develop our relationship with our brilliant colleagues at SDN, as well as seeking out opportunities to work with other like-minded businesses and associates where we can help one another to realise our ambitions.

3.      I’d like to develop my education governance work further; in particular within FE and skills. I’ve gained as much as I’ve given in 13 years of school and academy governance and will continue to work hard to improve the lot of the children I am there to support.

4.      I use my knowledge and network in apprenticeships, HE and FE to provide lots of advice and guidance to friends and colleagues. This tends to fall into two camps; 1) parents looking at options for their children 2) employers thinking about taking on apprentices. I ought to do more with this in my native north-east in a more structured way. I feel I can offer more than I give at the moment. Any ideas welcome on how best to achieve this.

5.      My work in HE has been a constant for me for 12 years now. It is a fascinating sector with much to be proud of and interesting opportunities and challenges on the horizon. 2018 saw a significant increase in our work with universities; largely due to apprenticeship expansion. I can’t wait to do more of this in 2019. Outside of apprenticeships, the 121 coaching I do with HE professionals is without doubt, one of the most personally rewarding strands of my work. I think I should listen to this and do more of it.

6.      In 2018 I bought a cottage in the North Pennines to renovate. Cliché I know, but I’ve wanted to have a little place in the middle of nowhere for a long time. I’ve learnt a lot. Septic tanks, spring water supplies, stone masonry…patience. You name it. I’ve still no idea what I’m doing but I’ll keep loving the adventure and embarrassing myself with the locals.


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