11 Oct


It’s been a funny old week.

The Chancellor’s statement in the middle of the week stated that the government will provide an additional £700m to support children with additional needs next year.

For the last few years a number of other school leaders and myself have worked alongside politicians and officials from the Department for Education. We have tried to make the case and ensure our children and young people receive the funding they deserve.

This announcement of extra funding, as long as it reaches children and schools, will be really well received.

It’s been lovely to see one of our new initiatives take shape this week.

A few months ago, a colleague came to see me to discuss the opportunity of allowing our older learners to come back (into schools) to work in each establishment. It was a great idea, and we’ve now got some of our young people, who attend Horizons, doing all sorts of jobs in and around our schools. We’ve called the initiative our ‘Team M8s’.

One of the key elements that we promote within our organisations is the requirement for every single young person to aspire to a relevant destination. All of our assessment systems use the following seven destinations to assess our effectiveness:

Some young people, who may be 22 or 23 years old, have the acquired knowledge and skills to start to experience the world of work. So, our “Team M8s” are drifting into the “volunteering in my community”. The purpose of these (return to school) experiences is to prepare the young people to eventually volunteer or work within the local community. The relative safety net of the school, one that they’ve recently experienced, takes some of the stresses out of the transition into the world of work. The wonderful part of this strategy is that it isn’t dependent on a young person being “ready” at 18 or 19. They can be 22, 33 or 40!! It’s all about stage not age. We personalise our offer. My latest news (that I promised last week) fits directly into this agenda. I’m hopeful we can release it next week.

Have a great weekend,


You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here