Leading Leaders Network

LLN in London – July 2013 event – Meal for Jeff Smith

LLN in London – July 2013 event – Meal for Jeff Smith

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Jeff Smith has been a huge part of LLN. His skills, his broad knowledge and deep understanding of what works for learners, teachers and leaders have influenced schools up and down the country – and beyond.

He has shaped LLN, given his time and energies freely and is rightly recognised nationally for his excellent leadership in school.  With his generous nature and considered way Jeff has had a significant impact on all of us involved with LLN. When planning our summer 2013 event, LLN colleagues (past and present) simply wanted to be with Jeff, enjoy his company and say “thanks”.

Our meal together was at Carluccio’s in Covent Garden, a lovely and fitting venue. Our private dining room was filled with colleagues “old and new” and supplemented with messages and thoughts from colleagues unable to be at the meal.  As we finished our meal, we took some time to say a few words to Jeff, trying to avoid too may ceremonial moments.

During the evening, Jeff had made sure he spoke with everyone in the room before he then addressed us as a group. He was typically generous with his words about others; he made sure we all recognised the importance and value of this group and then added to the damp eyes in the room by referring us all as his friends!

We started our messages for Jeff by reading out a long list of goodwill messages from all LLN and connected colleagues who could not join us for the evening.  LLN colleagues who could be present then  took the opportunity to pass on to Jeff personal messages of what he has meant to them. He was surprised that this was in the form of a large set of envelopes each containing a personalised hand-written message from a LLN colleague.

Of course we had to say some words about Jeff, his impact, his generosity and his expertise at which point he was presented with a set of cut glass, engraved goblets to mark his time with LLN.

After we had joined together with a toast to Jeff, he had read the messages and spoken again to everyone in the room, we retired to our overnight accommodation (via a very nice hostelry until the early hours).


Jeff – it has been a pleasure to know you and learn from you. We are delighted you intend to continue to be part of LLN and a friend to us all.

P.S. Further (unedited) pictures from the event can be found below