Aye Aye Captain!

Sandy Tomlinson
October 6, 2021

These blogs are written by the authors in their own words to share their thoughts, insights and experiences on topics and are reflective of their own setting.
They are written as thought leadership articles to help colleagues to consider and reflect upon their own approach and not as guidance.
We would welcome blogs from colleagues wishing to share their own good practice and thank those colleagues already acting as system leaders through their professional generosity in sharing their experience.

If you are interested in writing a blog, then please contact info@isbl.org.uk for more information.

It is amazing and sometimes scary, to see the many facets of our everyday lives impacted and challenged by technology in the face of COVID-19 and the truly awesome creativity that came with it.

It dictated a tremendous change in how we go about our lives, both personally and professionally; a change that we HAD to accept regardless of our feelings or opinions.

It is with that same sentiment that I applaud ISBL and its sponsors for scaling the heights of technological creativity in bringing it biggest event of the year into the virtual world. 

In these uncertain times you stepped up by giving school business professionals a 4-days respite from what can be considered the most challenging time in our profession.

Battered, bruised, exhausted, depressed and oftentimes shipwrecked as we ride the stormy seas of government policy, risk assessments, sanitization, test and trace, absenteeism and much more; we trudge through the vicious ‘body slamming, mind boggling’ torrents of COVID-19. Frustratingly watching as all our hard work is lauded, and rightly so, but the credit given JUST to teachers.

Many of us waited excitedly for the ISBL conference hoping for some peace, looking for escape; well, if you can call locked in your office on the computer escape but hey, we’ll take what we can get.

We spent the first 2 days frantically taking note of everything we need to take away, searching for something or someone to get us over the waves of anxiety and frustration. And then came Diana Osagie. Energised, passionate, vibrant and with full force she lit the virtual room ablaze! There were tears, cheers and virtual beers (some gin too) whilst we revelled in the torrent of praise, lauded as Captains of Change. Ok, this would have sounded more exciting with a catchier phrase but work with me here.

She defied Google, she defied DfE, she defied head teachers; wading through the muck of unrecognition for her audience she dared to say ‘you are not school business professionals, YOU ARE CAPTAINS OF CHANGE’.

And the virtual applause erupted with such force that sent tears flooding down the cheeks of many, even Stephen Morales.

The chat lit up sending reels of comments, and yeses and some begging for a job but most of all, thanking her for her very audacious recognition of who we are.

Seriously though, we ARE captains of change! Change happens every time we step into our schools. We wrote the book on change management. We make ‘change’ happen. Is that even a thing?

So Captains of Change, at the end of this amazing conference, we will lift our anchors from under our desks (or wherever you hid for 4 days) stand in the bridge of our schools, set our course for the end of term and sail away in confidence (well back to our desks really).  And finally, we will raise our caps to our head teachers and say, ‘your Captain has landed’.

Aye, aye captains!

 Note: It seems I misheard and Diana’s actual phrase was ‘Captains in the army of change’, however, if I inserted that phrase I would lose the fun element of this blog, so I will leave it as is. Diana is fine with this, yes, I checked.