Listen to the janitor

message by Ian Barker, Chief Executive Officer

At a recent away day for the Trust's Directors and Governors, the Chair of our Wolverhampton Pupil Referral Unit reminded us of the importance of our motto. In three simple words our motto captures the very essence of our mission. It is a motto that every pupil, every staff member and all governors and directors should know and understand. Most importantly of all, it is a motto that all of us should live by.

It brings to mind a story about John F Kennedy, president of the United States at the height of the space race. One day, he was visiting NASA where he bumped into a janitor sweeping the floor. JFK asked the janitor, "What do you do here?" The janitor replied, "Why sir, my job is to help put the first man on the moon."

Should any OFSTED inspector ask any member of staff or any director or governor that same question, what should the answer be?

It matters not whether you fix the computers, balance the books, teach PE, lead assemblies, serve lunch, cut the grass or challenge and support headteachers, the answer should be the same.

"Well, my job is to help all our pupils believe in themselves. Too often, that self-belief has been damaged by poor experiences at their previous schools. Our pupils often join us with low self-esteem as a result of earlier failures in life. My job is to get each child to believe that he or she can do better and can put the past behind them.

Once the child has renewed self-belief and someone telling them that they believe in them, they can begin to achieve again. Step by step, their learning will accelerate.They will gain knowledge and acquire skills that they never thought possible. My job is to help each child to achieve.

The result of these accumulating achievements will be success. They will close the gap between themselves and their mainstream peers who may not have faced the same challenges as our youngsters. They will do well in national examinations and vocational courses. They will learn the importance of good manners, respectful behaviour and leading a healthy lifestyle. In short, they will succeed in life.

This is my job."

Mr Ian Barker, CEO
Mr Ian Barker, CEO


Our Motto: Believe, Achieve, Succeed - live it!