May Half Term Newsletter Summer 2023 New Bridge Group May Half Term Newsletter - Summer 2023 Please take a look at the New Bridge Group and Multi Academy Trust Half Term Newsletter, for a brief update on what's been going on this past half term! ...
Our gallery shows a selection of photographs from across our Academy.
One of our own, flying the flag…
One of our own, flying the flag... This week, one of our Executive Directors, Shirley Woods Gallagher, had a piece published about preparing autistic students for the world of work. You can read it here:...
CEO’s Blog (5th May 2023)
CEO's Blog (5th May 2023) Hello everyone, I hope you are having a great week. This week, I wanted to talk about something that I believe has been one of the best parts of my job as a Multi Academy Trust CEO, and that is meeting the young people in our schools. It is...
CEO’s Blog – 28th April 2023
CEO's Blog - 28th April 2023 Happy Friday, everyone. I wanted to focus my blog this week, on sharing a message from our Chair of Trustees, Steve Williams, about the exciting news that we have appointed a new CEO for the New Bridge Group and New Bridge...
Thank you, Jenny Dunne
Thank you, Jenny Dunne Hi everyone, I wanted to take a moment this week, to express my gratitude for the incredible contributions Jenny Dunne has made during her time here with New Bridge. As you may have heard, Jenny has accepted a new position as the...
I had an interesting meeting with the Department for Education on Wednesday that really helped me to understand the context in which our schools operate.
The national data shows quite clearly that the number of children who are in support of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) that are now attending special schools as opposed to having their needs met within mainstream is increasing. The latest data suggests that almost 50% of these children and young people are now in special schools in and around England. Mainstream schools are now excluding children and young people with EHCPs at a higher number than ever before. To further complicate the picture, more and more children with ‘additional needs’ appear to be being educated at home.
All of these statistics relate directly to all our schools where we see rising rolls and increased waiting lists. It could be argued that increasing numbers is ‘good news’ but actually, from a strategic perspective, it is becoming increasingly challenging to manage. These are some of the reasons:
- Our schools were designed with an optimum number in mind
- We believe we work best with certain group sizes and adult to child ratios
- It’s unfair to expose our children to a constant churn of new pupils and students
- Our curriculum offer is designed to work with certain numbers of children
- Recruiting appropriately qualified staff is a challenge in itself (initial teacher training recruitment is down 30% again this year)
- Ensuring staff are inducted into all of our schools puts considerable pressure on our training and development teams
So what can we do about it? In the short term, our business teams have put bids in to the Education Funding Agency to try and extend our buildings. This will really help us put in extra classrooms and specialist teaching areas and enable us to meet some of the present challenges. We need to work with our 2 teaching schools to bring more teachers into our teacher training programmes – this will allow us to grow our own teachers of the future.
Most importantly, I believe, we need to work with mainstream schools to get them to have a greater understanding of the needs of children and young people with additional needs. We can’t keep building extensions to our schools and increasing our rolls. Myself and Anne Redmond, The Executive Principal at Kingfisher, have been commissioned by the Opportunity Area to develop this work – it really is needed as a matter of urgency. I’ll arrange some meetings later in the year to keep you all appraised of the work.
Have a great weekend,
You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here
New Bridge Multi Academy Trust
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0161 870 9386