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Hi everyone,

This week’s blog is only going to focus on “good news”.

I’ve been fortunate, this week, to attend some of our schools’ invitational meetings.

I’m going to start with Hollinwood Academy. It was wonderful to hear about the amazing “blended offer” the team have developed over the last few months. Many children have, by necessity, had to work from home for periods over the last few months. It was really super to hear and see the creative and innovative solutions our teams have put in place to ensure a continuity of the learning journeys.

Next on to New Bridge School and Learning Centre. What I’ve been most delighted about is the way these two organisations have responded to a growing and more diverse population. We have now almost doubled the size of the organisation in the last 10 years. This is testament to our successes. Families and young people make a positive choice. They see our ambition. They see how we care for the children and young people. They see how collaboration with our communities has made the offer absolutely outstanding. Families also love the fact that we continually collaborate with our communities to ensure learning doesn’t stop at 16 or 19.

That leads me on to Horizons. We managed to keep a small group operational in Horizons. We are hoping to welcome back most of the young people later this week. Can I personally thank all our families for their understanding and the trust they place in us – Horizons will continue to grow over the next number of years and ensure there is always a positive pathway for those young people who want to benefit from the offer. The directors of the company are presently looking into how we secure an extended provision for older adults.

This coming week we’ll get to hear of the good news stories from Hawthorns, Spring Brook, The New Bridge College and The Springboard Project.

I’d like to quickly mention the New College. What the team have achieved in our newest building is nothing more than astonishing. This will be an asset for all our students for years to come. Jenny and I had to do a film for a number of Norwegian schools on Friday. Joe and Abi, from our Digit4ll team, sorted us out. Thanks guys. They ensured our microphones were good and that the filming was secure. I know a number of people are editing it over the weekend so that it can sent over to around 400 Norwegian schools. What we are achieving in the North West isn’t going unnoticed! I believe the Apple team have some very interesting and exciting plans. I make no bones about the fact that we will continue to learn from other schools and organisations, wherever they are. We will bring the very best practice back into our Group. Collaboration and trust.

I also heard this week about a couple of really exciting initiatives that will hopefully start to really take shape in the next few months. The first is our staff “well-being” strategy. I’m passionate about ensuring we learn lessons from 2020. We will get something positive out of it! One of the key issues, for me, is to ensure that all colleagues feel that New Bridge Group is an amazing employer. We need to attract and retain the very best staff. They continue to be the heartbeat of our organisations. We need to consider many, many areas but particularly terms and conditions, pay, training and development and work:life balance. We have to value every single individual within our schools and centres. I want to make sure that all our staff, at every level, have the opportunity to particulate and influence our direction of travel. I’m not frightened of saying that we want to be the employer of choice, now, and over the next few years. The best staff deliver our children and young people the best outcomes.

The second initiative is a rebranding (and re-thinking) of our training and development strategy – The Path. Every single individual who works in any of our schools and organisations can expect the very best support from the Multi Academy Trust and Group.

So, we’ve lots happening now and some super plans for the future.

Creating Meaningful Futures. Learning together, learning for all, learning for life.

Stay safe,


You can find all Graham’s previous updates and blog entries here


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