08 Nov

Graham

Welcome back everyone.

I hope you all had a great half term.

I’d like to start this week’s blog by thanking our full year staff and holiday club teams. It was great to see so many children and young people enjoying each other’s company. Our “extended school” offer ensures that our young people can engage in appropriate activities in the holiday period and our families can be assured that their children are safe and secure with staff that they know well. Our 48 week offer is quite unique.

At the beginning of the week I attended a Special Schools’ Voice meeting in Birmingham. The national steering committee, with the support of schools and membership organisations, has successfully contributed to many developments over the past 4 years. We believe we have influenced significant policy areas including school finances, the structure of MATs, the formation and growth of special free schools and the capital investment into oversubscribed and popular special schools. We are currently actively pursuing a number of other key areas including the regional anomalies relating to health provision, the growth in numbers of young people with additional needs, initial teacher teaching and ways to further influence the post 16 (and post 19) agenda. There was a general consensus that there appeared to be an awful lot happening within our schools.

I was really pleased that earlier in the week John, Dan and our Horizons team started at The Guinness Partnership. As you know, we were successful in bidding to run their catering and café facilities. We are presently offering a reduced service as the café is being fully renovated and modernised. In a few weeks our young people will have access to a “state of the art” kitchen area. It’s going to be great.

Our trustees have also asked me to explore extending our town centre provisions. Presently we have Springboard and Medtia. As you know, our new free school (Springboard) was purposely designed and provides an amazing learning environment for around 40 of our young people. Our partner organisation, Horizons, is based in our Medtia building. John and his team now support more than 100 young adults (amazing seeing as we started off with 6!!).

As you will also be aware, over the last couple of years some of our Key Stage 5 curriculum pathways have also worked out of this building. As we have more and more young people choosing our pathways (Digit4ll, Activ8, Lumenus, Pre-Internship etc.) there is a need to ensure we create the most appropriate learning environments we are able. The Medtia building is now getting quite busy so we do need to explore some improved options. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will be in a position to give you more information.

As usual, a busy week!

Have a great weekend,

Graham

You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here