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The Future of Schooling…

The Future of Schooling...  Next week I’m chairing a national meeting exploring what the future will look like for schooling in England. I’m certain there will be considerable discussion about specialist schools, PRUs and Alternative provision. The discussion is...

CEO’s Blog

Welcome back, everyone. I hope you have all had a wonderful summer. Say it quietly, but it feels like we are getting back to some sort of post-covid normality. This week we have seen the children, young people and staff return to all our schools and organisations....

CEO’s blog

Over the next few days, all of our schools will be preparing to break for the summer vacation. I’ve written in my blogs, on many occasions, just how disruptive this year has been.  Only this last week we have seen a really significant rise in positive cases and the...

CEO’s blog

Hi everyone, I hope everyone has had a good week. The success of the England football team certainly seems to be being discussed in most of our schools and organisations.  It’s really the lift that everyone has needed.  Let’s hope for a great game and a positive...

CEO’s blog

After the last few weeks’ hectic pace, things this week, in schools, have finally started to settle down. However, most of our schools and organisations are still significantly affected by Covid outbreaks. We’ve more children and young people having to self-isolate at...


A really short blog this week, I’m afraid.

The reason – Ofsted were in our Future Finders college on Thursday and Friday.

Future Finders is a small specialist college that prepares the students for working life.  It’s based in Pennine House on Union Street in Oldham.

Jaina, the head there, received the call on Tuesday.

We’ve always viewed inspections as an opportunity to showcase our work and to take advice on how we can improve.

We treated this inspection in the same manner.  The 2 HMIs were experienced and really well informed.  Most importantly, they were very approachable.  They managed to see a couple of our work placements (at David Lloyd and Avro).  They conducted “deep dives” into 4 young people.  That involved observing them in lessons, scrutinising their progress and interviewing them individually.  The HMIs checked policies and ensured our safeguarding processes were and are fit for purpose.  They regularly met and fed back to Jaina about their observations and findings.

On Friday the inspection team were able to share their provisional thoughts with the Future Finders staff.  Unfortunately I’m not in a position to disclose the overall judgement, but, needless to say, we are pleased with the proposed outcome.  The process is subject to an Ofsted scrutiny before the final report is available in about 4 weeks.

So it’s been “all hands to the pump” this week supporting Jaina and the team.

My personal thanks go to our central and executive team who so readily offered support and help.  Also a huge well done to the team that work alongside Jaina – it’s always stressful when you are scrutinised.  Thanks also to Phil and Ken who spoke to the inspectors in their roles as directors.

Finally can I again thank our young people and their families.  Our students were remarkable (as always) and our families supportive.

The timing of the inspection could have been better (end of a half term in the middle of a pandemic) but we are where we are!!

There are still good vibes coming out of Tameside re Hawthorns 2 – hopefully more detailed plans can be circulated in the second week of June.

Have a restful break everyone – please stay safe.


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


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