06 Mar


It’s been my privilege, this week, to chair some of our schools’ invitational meetings. These meetings prove an invaluable opportunity for the schools to celebrate their practice and also to share their self-evaluations. It’s an amazing way of ensuring that governors and trustees are kept informed of each school.

The week started with Hollinwood’s meeting. This was the only one I couldn’t attend as I was working with some schools over in Yorkshire. The feedback from the rest of the team was incredibly positive. Everyone informed me that, as always, the staff team at Hollinwood Academy continue to provide the children and young people with the highest standard of education.

On Wednesday it was the New Bridge School site meeting. When sharing their excellent practice, we heard of some stunning work involving the use of technology with some of our young people in our Interactive and Autism bases. As you know, I am so excited about the potential of how our iPad initiative will transform the learning opportunities for ALL our children. Our teams at New Bridge School are working at a world class level to research and test innovative models of practice. The evidence we saw, in film clips, is nothing short of remarkable.

On Thursday we moved up to New Bridge Learning Centre. Dawn was able to showcase some of the amazing pastoral and “well-being” work that takes place with the young people. We sometimes forget that ensuring the well-being of all our learners is one of most significant foundations that our organisations provide. Learning, at every level, can only take place if the young people are in a place of safety and are confident that their emotional needs are being met.

On Friday the spotlight was on our learners at our Medtia site. Two groups of young people joined us to present about their enterprise initiatives. As well as having some excellent products for sale, I was particularly interested in the transferable skills involved in sourcing products, marketing them, selling them and working out the profits. One message that came through loud and clear from the young people was the power of team working. With that in mind Phil Arnold and Dan Wood, two of our Assistant CEOs, are exploring how we can support the young people in setting up their own companies.

Next week we will move onto the Springboard Project, Spring Brook Lower, Spring Brook Upper and Hawthorns.

On a different note, I’m aware that all our heads wrote to you, on Monday, with an update regarding the national coronavirus outbreak. I can assure you that our teams are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and we will ensure we take appropriate advice from all key partners. If anything changes I will contact you as a priority. Can I request that everyone supports us by taking the hygiene protocols that are being promoted?


You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here