19 Oct

It’s been another busy old week.

I’ve managed to get to every site this week – quite a feat when we are now supporting the Pupil Referral Centre in Tameside (they’ve got sites in Droylsden and Duckinfield).

Over the last couple of weeks, I have mentioned the financial challenges that schools within our sector are presently facing. Earlier in the week, on behalf of Special Schools’ Voice, I wrote to the Department for Education (you can see the letter here). We’ll wait and see if there will be any movement!!

I’ve held a couple of meetings this week with families from Hollinwood Academy in relation to our strategy for growth. Both meetings had an excellent turnout and hopefully I was able to ease any fears that families had about our inevitable growth. The local authority are working alongside us to ensure we can adapt our premises to meet the growing population of children both attending and wanting places in the school.

Last weekend a number of colleagues that visited the USA on our Apple Education trip had a get together and catch up. I love spending time with like-minded colleagues. People who, like me, look for solutions and look for the latest developments and innovations that have the potential to support our learners. I heard of a great new piece of kit that is widely available throughout Scandinavia. 3D simulators are widely used in the agricultural industry. Some of you may well have been on the simulators that you sometimes see at theme parks or in shopping malls. Basically, it’s the same technology and principle but on a smaller scale.

The very best bit, and what makes it really pertinent to many of our young people, is that we can design the simulator to mimic driving a fork lift truck, or a JCB, or a dumper truck, or a crane – pretty much anything that is mechanical – we can make it virtual. How amazing could this be? I then got thinking about virtual driving lessons etc. … what possibilities! The very best part for me was the fact that the simulators were not particularly expensive and, most importantly, they give learning a purpose. I’ve fed my thoughts and ideas back to our teams who are now looking into the cost, logistics, technological requirements etc.

I’d be delighted to see Lauren learning to drive!!! What do you reckon, John??

Have a great weekend everyone,


You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here