A Farewell – Part 4 Exciting Years

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I had my exit interview yesterday.  It was a strange thing.  But it brought back so many memories and made me recollect how much I used to love my job.

Moving to the central team did bring change.  It was a move to the County Council.  There were more rules, more conformity, less improvisation, more hoops to jump through.  But I enjoyed the years from 2006 to 2016.  These were the years where I had a very varied role.  I was involved in strategic, operational planning.  2016 onwards was just about data, data and more data.  The previous 10 years were much more fulfilling.  One of the highlights was managing the Wealden Community Development Workers – a dedicated and diverse set of people.  Also running workshops on how to do evaluations – I met some truly fabulous people.  And the Ofsteds – about 24 of them.  My team were always heavily involved – late nights, stress and anxiety.  We ran on cake, coffee and pure adrenaline.  We had one fabulous inspector several times who was tough – but he taught us so much. And then there was the Ofsted Inspector who was more concerned about his own agenda  – I had to make an official complaint during his inspection – that was tough.  But we all pulled together as a team.  The energy of everyone involved was incredible.  We were all so determined to do well.   The day we got “Outstanding”….  well words still do not describe it.

And my team…  three amazing people.  So dedicated.  So interesting.  I loved managing them.

Mixed into all of that were the restructures.  We had to save money.  I managed to cling onto my job somehow – although it became more and more restrictive and involved a paycut.  Times of trauma and upheaval. We lost some excellent people because the whole thing was about the job role rather than the capabilities of the people.

The last two years have been hard.  I have been hemmed in by data and have often felt the pressure to skew it to make things look better than they are.  I have never given into it but it did not make for an easy life.  I cannot blame people for that – they were just trying to protect their job, the services they offer and the families they serve.

Three more days to go…


Any thoughts?