18 Nov


This week we have welcomed over 40 visitors from all over the country to our sites.

On Monday colleagues from Lincolnshire came to see the developments at Hollinwood Academy. The towns within Lincolnshire are spread out right down the East of the country which means that working collaboratively and co-operatively is particularly challenging. A number of key schools, along with the local authority, are looking at ways in which the children with high functioning autism can better have their needs met. I know that they are looking to replicate the work of Hollinwood Academy; we will obviously support them in any way we can.

On Tuesday we hosted a number of teaching schools from across the North West. We are looking at establishing a new North West Teaching School network that supports other schools in the region. We are presently planning a conference to explore the recommendations of the Rochford Review on assessing progress. We have provisionally booked the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford to allow schools from across the North to begin to understand the revised systems.

On Wednesday our training centre accommodated more than 30 colleagues from all over the country. We had been asked by SSAT to run a conference entitled ‘Leading Outstanding Special Schools.’ It was wonderful to showcase our work at New Bridge School, the Learning Centre, Hollinwood Academy and Medtia Square. The feedback on the day was unanimously positive and a number of colleagues commented on how the staff in each part of our organisation had such a positive outlook and how the relationships they had with the children and young people shone through.

On to Thursday and yet more visitors, this time from London. We have just started working with the Whitefield School in Walthamstow. Their Multi Academy Trust is close in size to our own and works with very similar young people. Jamie, who leads their post 16 provision, came up to explore our post 16 curriculum and offer. He visited Medtia Square, the Learning Centre and our new Atrium Café and met many of our young people who were able to tell him about their experiences. It was great to hear Sam talking about his work at Premier Inn, Leah explaining how she supports in the nursery, our Digit4ll pathway students clarifying the opportunities they have to develop their technical skills and our Lumenus students reminiscing about visits to Cardiff, London and Finland.

I firmly believe that as the school based system becomes more diversified it is incredibly important to build and maintain sustainable networks. The New Bridge Group will continue to learn from the very best practice both within this country and internationally and our children and young people will continue to feel the benefit both now and in the future.

Have a great weekend,