30 Sep

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The week started for me on the West Coast mainline! As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I had been asked to do some presentations in London for Capita.

Although travelling to conferences can sometimes be a bind, it does allow me a couple of hours to work on the train with very few distractions. I managed to put together a timeline for our new free school, The Springboard Project. So far there are 96 action points and areas that need developing! It’s going to be a very exciting time for the whole Group.

Our vision for the Key Stage 4 pupils is similar to our very successful Pathways model. The young people would have the opportunity to initially experience a variety of alternative curriculum pathways – we are presently exploring the viability of a farm/animal welfare, a valeting centre, bike maintenance, painting and decorating, hospitality and catering; there will be more to follow. Once they had sampled a variety of options, the students would then work alongside an industry expert and job coach, moving into a ‘real world’ situation. This model has worked brilliantly with our new café venture at First Choice Homes and we would envisage that it will lead directly into apprenticeships and employment.

One of the advantages of presenting at conferences is that I also get to hear of the latest innovations and developments from across the country. This week I came across a model of recording Education, Health and Care Plans in a person centred manner. If any of you are interested, you can google RIX Wiki. I have passed the information onto our team who are developing our Progress and Attainment Dashboards. I’m certain that these systems will allow what can be quite a bureaucratic process to become much more meaningful for our young people and their families.

I would like to send my condolences to Faye’s family. Faye was a very lively and spirited member of our Year 10 group and our team and the young people have been devastated to hear that she passed away earlier this week. I know many of the staff have been there to support her family through these last few days. Many of us have taken comfort in remembering the antics Faye got up to whilst in school and on her many visits and residentials. Faye loved school. She belonged with us and I know for certain that she loved her classmates (most of the time!) and the staff who supported her. She also taught us so much. She will be dearly missed at New Bridge.