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Leaders United

Many people won't know about the termly senior leader events that are held. They run from 4.30-7.00pm at one of the three academies. This week we held one at Arnold Hill. There were 24 Heads, Deputies and Assistant Heads present to focus upon raising achievement (First TAG strategic objective).

I made the point that up and down the country about 30% of young people fail to hit the benchmark of what the government considers to be a "good education". Across our trust we have broadly similar level of failure if we look at those who achieve the EBAC or 5 higher grades including English and Maths. That's a lot of people who don’t "make the grade". Of course a good education includes many other elements but they aren't as easily measured and we will continue to be judged on the things that a number can be attached to.

I then shared what I had found out on my study visit to Nashville. Central to this was the role of employers in helping find solutions which might engage children more fully and prepare them better for the world of work (Third TAG strategic objective). This has been crucial to the improvements in Nashville over the last 10 years.

Caroline Tomlinson updated everyone about the employability projects that had taken place across the trust in the last year. 27 of them. Each was intended to energise aspects of the curriculum that might appear a little dry by linking to challenge set by a real employer. There were some good signs but further commitment is needed if this is really going to illustrate how what is learnt in schools has any relevance to life beyond. The work will go on this year with the added dimension of an increased emphasis upon team work. Employers constantly mention how important being able to work in teams is. Let's emphasise it in lessons was the message.

Emily Dalton and Ella Strawbridge concluded the event by explaining how Arnold Hill's involvement in PIXL had made a difference. There are hundreds of opportunities and resources available and at least some of the Arnold Hill improvements have been driven by access to them.

So two and a half hours that opened eyes to different techniques to engage perhaps unwilling young minds. I have spent my career trying to help young people fulfil their potential. Hopefully we can l do this as Leaders United (Second TAG strategic objective).

Phil Crompton