Headteacher Surgery: Your life... In your student's hands

For the last twenty years of my professional life I've been used to being in charge. And knowing inside out the routines and protocols of my own area of public service.

Heart Rate Monitor

It was therefore an interesting experience - I won't say 'pleasure' - in the circumstances (!) - to be the powerless recipient of the services of another when spending my first ever day off work in hospital last Friday. Nothing serious; a routine hernia repair - and as I write this less 24 hours after surgery I'm already raring to get back to school!

Two post-operative thoughts have occurred to me in my temporarily enforced period of physical if not mental inertia. The anaesthetic has hopefully just about worn off by now!

One, having had 'my life in their hands', that I am very grateful to NHS staff for their professionalism and care; especially the amazing dedication of nursing staff who, like classroom teachers, personify all that is truly great and good in a lifetime commitment to public service without anything approaching proper recognition or reward. Time to reassess national policy priorities...

Second, that the core values and attitudes associated with that commitment to the very best care and working for the benefit of others need to be at the heart of any community, especially a school community, as young people begin shape their own, emerging view of the world; what really counts and what really doesn't.

That's why I absolutely love this video. Living the Values. It was produced by Year 12's Charles Matthews and is being shared with schools in Tokyo as they develop their own Olympic and Paralympic Values-themed education programmes in the lead up to the 2020 Games in their city...

And do you know what really inspired me to write this? One of the nursing team who looked after me so wonderfully pre-op... And who stayed on beyond her already ridiculously long hours to check I was OK coming round in Recovery was... a former Park House student! Congratulations on graduating, Sarah; thank you for your amazing care, based on the very special way that you and others in your wonderful profession continue to live the values...

I'm proud and grateful that my life was in your hands.