CEO's Blog - 24th March 2023 Our Organisation... The weeks are flying by and we're nearly at the end of the Spring term, so here's a snapshot of life at every one of our schools and settings. We're growing all the time, but our offer remains the best in special...
Our gallery shows a selection of photographs from across our Academy.
CEO’s Blog – 17th March 2023 – ‘Thank You!’
CEO's Blog - 17th March 2023 'Thank You!' Well, if you've been following the updates on social media this week, you might just have noticed that almost 100 of our young people have been lucky enough to travel to Disneyland Paris. A trip that started on Monday...
CEO’s Blog (10th March 2023)
CEO's Blog (10th March 2023) It was International Women's Day this week, and it was great to see our schools and settings marking the occasion with their activities and learning opportunities. Of course, we shouldn't only celebrate our women and girls for just...
We are looking for our next CEO…
We are looking for our next CEO... It's probably been the worst kept secret for a while, but I'm writing my blog this week to let everyone know that we are actively looking for the next CEO of the New Bridge Multi Academy Group and MAT. After many years working as...
CEO’s Blog – Student Voice (24th February 2023)
CEO's Blog - Student Voice (24th February 2023) A few weeks ago, before the half term break, I said I would be reporting on how we listen to the Student Voice across our MAT and wider Group. Well, this week, I'm able to do just that, as some of our schools and...
It’s been an interesting week with regards to national policy direction. Earlier in the week I chaired a meeting of Special Schools’ Voice, a group of chief executives and chairs of some of the large organisations that support special schools. We meet on a termly basis to ensure we are all appraised of the latest developments coming from Government.
It was quite alarming to hear the picture from across some of the regions. These were the messages that we heard:
National Funding formula – it was noted that this initiative appears to have been delayed until 2018. The Government is determined to rationalise all pupils’ funding to equalise the differences that they perceive are presently within the system. In a nutshell, it would mean that every child would have the same funding attached to them, regardless of where they are within the country. We are uncertain as to what the impact of this may be on different areas! On a similar note, many special schools are presently reporting significant challenges due to an increasing number of children, many of whom have more complex and overlapping needs.
Health Service support – colleagues reported that many schools were becoming increasingly anxious about the perceived removal of health support. This appears to be starting with School Heath Advisors/Nurses but there were also strong rumours about the reduction of support from health professionals including Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, and CAMHs teams. The Special Schools’ Voice executive committee shared schools’ experiences, many of which were particularly concerning.
Education, Heath and Care Plans (EHCPs) – it has been mentioned at various national and local events that over 80% of statements have now been converted to EHCPs. Timelines have generally been adhered to but there appears to be an ongoing challenge in relation to writing appropriate outcomes. To support the health areas within plans it was noted that North Summerset had provided an excellent assessment tool.
19-25 – a number of schools have contacted Special Schools’ Voice very concerned about the Department for Education’s position in relation to no longer allowing Further Education providers to commission courses from their local special schools. There is some excellent practice around the country that follows this model and it would be shame to stop these innovative solutions as a result of perceived prejudices.
Assessment – it was noted that there had been little movement with regards to the publication of the Rochford Review. Rumours circulate that there may be a release prior to Christmas…….
I attend these meetings to ensure our Group is always appraised of the central direction of travel. As the system becomes more and more disparate, there are not as many colleagues within local authorities briefing schools about these wide ranging and significant policy changes. Special Schools’ Voice and New Bridge believe it is much better to try to lobby Government, not only to ensure they are aware of our challenges but also to put our schools and organisations in a position to be able to positively respond. It is essential, as we travel through these very challenging and changing times, that we try keep a degree of continuity and stability.
To think, I used to be a music teacher!!!!
Have a great weekend,
New Bridge Multi Academy Trust
Phone & Email
0161 870 9386