27 Jan

It’s been a really busy week again within the Group.

On Tuesday several of our colleagues attended a conference at the AJ Bell Stadium that centred on assessment. A number of nationally renowned speakers outlined the direction of travel in relation to assessing our young people’s progress. All the speakers had exactly the same message – that our collective systems (of both curriculum design and assessment) need to improve.

Some of the latest national statistics are frightening and truly terrible:

  • School leavers with additional needs are more likely to be NEET (not in education or training)
  • Only 7% of young people with additional needs are in paid employment of 16 hours or more
  • People with additional needs have higher levels of unmet mental health needs (36% of young people with additional needs as opposed to 8% of other children)
  • People with additional needs are likely to be exposed to poorer health, poverty, poor housing conditions, social disconnections and overt discrimination
  • More than 60% of those in prison have literacy levels that are below Level 1 in reading

As I mentioned last week in my blog, keeping pace with all the latest central government changes is challenging. I truly believe that to make inroads into some of the areas listed above, schools need to be both innovative and entrepreneurial. It’s a challenge that schools have to embrace. The best schools have to take ownership around the outcomes for all our young people.

Our dashboard measures both the academic and ‘learning for life’ skills progress that our children and young people make but crucially also ensures that all our pupils and students are placed on an aspirational pathway. We want all our young people to play a part in our communities. They may live in supported housing, live independently, volunteer, access community placements, enjoy leisure activities or move into the world of work – most likely a combination of all of these. Our schools and provisions are in a privileged position where all our staff share these ambitions.

When I do presentations I often show a video called ‘Animal School’..

We used it to develop our curriculum. Let’s not let our children become kangaroos!

Have a great weekend,