31 Jan

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It’s been an amazing week. Young people engaged in all sorts of activities and (yet another) National Award.

So, let’s start with what is fast becoming a “must do” in school diaries – Young Voices. This year, in line with our increased engagement in the Arts, children from Hawthorns, Hollinwood, New Bridge and Spring Brook all sang their hearts out on Wednesday evening. They, along with 8500 others, filled the Manchester Evening News Arena. If ever a photograph encapsulated our children, in our Trust, it was this one..

The picture wasn’t staged. It features the children from all of our schools (other than the Springboard Project, who were too old to participate!). It’s tricky to source a more powerful picture that so neatly puts into an image what we all passionately believe in. For me, it portrays an image of trust, friendship, acceptance, co-operation….. the list could go on. It also speaks to me of the power of cultural capital, as Ofsted now term it. Children having fun and engaging in a wider learning process. Last week I blogged about the skills that employers are now looking for – this picture simply portrays the attributes that our communities are crying out for. What incredible children we have in our schools. As always, my thanks goes out to all our amazing staff who accompanied the children to allow the experience to take place.

And on to Jordan, who I’m delighted to tell you was presented as the winner of the Vocational Special Achievement Award at The British Education Awards last night. The British Education Awards is a highly prestigious ceremony and was this year held at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester.

The British Education Awards (BEA) is a unique award ceremony designed to celebrate students who have excelled at their level of study, with the categories including; GCSE, A-Level, Vocational and Higher Education. Students must also excel outside of academia, for example in Sport, Music, Voluntary Work, etc.

What I love about the BEA is their openness to include all students. They realise that achievements and attainment cannot always be measured in simple terms. Jordan stood alongside graduates from Oxford and Cambridge, youngsters from the grammar and independent school sector, apprentices from the RAF and young people from across the UK who had achieved in their own right. No glass ceilings in our world.

Sul Miah, from our Trust, was privileged to support in the planning of the event. For our Trust to be mentioned in the same breath as The Royal Airforce, The Al-Habeeb Foundation, The Prince’s Trust, Hilton Hotels and the University of Bolton is absolutely marvellous. Here’s a taste of our incredible evening..

What a week – what a Trust.

Best wishes,


You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here