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CEO’s Blog – 24th March 2023

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...

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...


I’ve moved offices again this week. I’m still at New Bridge but have transferred to the other side of a corridor.

My new office is approximately 1.5 metres by 2 metres – it used to be a cupboard! I’m feeling like a character in one of JK Rowling’s novels. It’s interesting that I appear to be moving to smaller and smaller accommodation, I hate to think what my next move will look like.

Anyway, while this week’s news has been dominated by Brexit, many of you may have missed the focus that the BBC has had on Alternative Provision. I watched quite a harrowing piece on an independent, alternative provision provider (available here).

I found it quite disturbing on a number of levels.

Firstly, these young people appear to have been so totally failed by the education system. I led some training on Tuesday evening at a high school in a neighbouring authority. We were able to explore the restrictions that mainstream schools are working under; the restrictions around what schools can now teach, the restrictions on when staff are able to intervene, the restrictions within the budget and the restrictions for staff to be able to spend time with children and young people to really get to know them. What amazed me was the massive financial amounts mentioned in the BBC film. They suggested that when the system fails the young people, the costs incurred (as the child becomes an adult) can easily total more than £400k. The economic cost doesn’t include the emotional turmoil that the young person will also, no doubt, go through.

Secondly, there appeared to be a lack of “risk taking” within the curriculum offer itself. Where are the pathways, the pre-internships, where is the community-based learning?

Some of these children and young people are the hardest to reach within our communities. I am a firm believer that the majority of solutions should be found within the state funded system, whether that be at mainstream schools, academies or at local authority Pupil Referral Units. We must “quality assure” provision for some of our most vulnerable people. The independent sector should be utilised to support where LAs and MATs do not have the appropriate provision – not for children and young people with low incidence disabilities or specific needs.

Have a great weekend everyone,


You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here


New Bridge Multi Academy Trust
Roman Road

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