19 Jan

This week has been dominated by a couple of issues, one frustrating and one exciting.

I’ll start with the frustrating one. As you may know, Hawthorns School in Tameside applied to join our Trust about 18 months ago. We were delighted that their governors approached us as our schools are always ready to share and learn from other outstanding schools.

Hawthorns is a truly outstanding organisation, not just in Ofsted terms but in the way they approach the curriculum, the relationships the staff have with the children and, most importantly, the quality of teaching and learning. It has therefore been particularly frustrating that our schools have not been in a position to formally work under a trust model.

We were expecting confirmation that the transfer would be completed on February 1st, so it was with massive annoyance that we discovered yet more technical and financial issues had been uncovered by our legal team. We now face yet another delay and the worst part is that it is not of Hawthorns’ doing! All I can say to the team at Hawthorns is that the New Bridge Trust is so looking forward to working in partnership with you all – try and stay patient, we are as frustrated as you guys!!

However, on to our latest exciting development! I was given a wonderful presentation by Nic Dec, our Trust’s Apple/iPad technician. Nic has led a project that will transform the use of iPads and technology within our schools and classrooms. He has researched worldwide to find the very best hardware and software to ensure we are utilising the full potential of our technology. I was so amazed by his knowledge and the project that I have asked the team to model it so that we can start to generate accurate costings. If we can afford the devices, the software and the hardware it will revolutionise a significant amount of our curriculum offer.

The resources that are available for our children to access come from the very best practice from around the world. We can use Apple TV to present all the youngsters’ work and monitor achievement both virtually and within classrooms. We’re trying to link it all to our Virtual Learning Environment so that families can really engage in home learning. The young people will be in a position to learn in so many different ways. Once I have established that we can afford it, I will ensure our heads of site, IT departments and technicians invite you all to come and see the potential of it. Best of all, this is something for all our children and young people, without exception. Thank you, Nic – brilliant, brilliant work.

I was delighted that so many families contacted me last week following our Directors’ announcement that they are extending the age range at Horizons. Thank you for your good wishes. Our Group will always ensure that we place our children and young people at the centre of any new developments. If there is a gap in provision where we feel we can add value and make a difference, then our Trustees and Directors are always incredibly supportive.

All in all, a mixed week but one thing’s for certain – we never seem to stay still for long!

Have a great weekend,


You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here