The Day of Three Certificates

The day of 3 Certificates – or, to be strictly accurate, the day of many certificates of three kinds. ..

You never know quite what a day in the life of a CIO will bring! Thursday was quite exceptionally enjoyable. The high point was visiting with my colleagues the very impressive Atkinson Road Primary School in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

My colleagues in BA Technology Services Newcastle have set up an IT Club in the lunchtime at this school, where they use material from e-skillsUK and from the on-line curriculum. We gave out certificates to the Year 6s who had graduated from the programme.

The Head Teacher in her introduction stressed the importance of role models in an inner-city school. So we were delighted to have with us one of our own ITPs (in other words, our BA IT Programme graduates) who had herself been a pupil at Atkinson Road, gone to Senior School and University and is now working at our Newcastle IT Centre, just down the road on the banks of the Tyne.

One great thing about running a Computer Club at a school is that, at the same time as it directly help the children with their IT skills and provide role models for them, it also broadens our own skills in communication and explanation. It is not easy to teach children and engage them in our enthusiasm for our subject – but is is very worthwhile.

Several of our colleagues in Newcastle have volunteered to be trained as cabin crew during the recent strikes. They came in their uniforms, showing how closely we in the IT department are connected with the front-line airline.

My second presentation of certificates was to our Newcastle ITPs themselves – including the former pupil at Atkinson Road School. They had completed their 18 months in three deployments, which as far as possible we try to make as different as each other: in IT development, IT operations and business process change.

It is a great thing to have some grads in our organisation. They provide challenge to the way we do things and are greatly sought after. I presented the graduation certificates and said how exciting IT is as a career and how important it is in the air transport industry.

I hope soon that, instead of a certificate signed by me, they will receive an award from our new National IT Academy!

And the final set of presentations was in our all staff briefing at Newcastle where I handed out “Can-Do” letters to the whole team who had worked on the Computer Club at Altkinson Road. We aim to be seen as a department that “Can Do” by our BA colleagues.

So, a day of many certificates given to exceptional people. Great fun.

Giving out IT Certificates to a group of highly motivated and very-well behaved Primary School pupils is probably one of the most positive ways you can spend your time as a CIO.

[The School has authorised the publication of the photos on the Internet]

About paulcoby
I am CIO at the John Lewis Partnership in the UK. I was Chair of SITA - the airline solutions company owned by the Air Transport Community - for 11 years. I am also on the Boards of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank and Pets at Home. Previously I was Head of BA Services and for 10 years CIO at British Airways. I am interested in Roman and Military History. The views expressed are entirely my own not my employers.

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