Government scraps National Teaching Service

The Government has abandoned plans to create a National Teaching Service (NTS) following an unsuccessful pilot in the North West of England.

The initiative, launched by former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in 2015, was intended to recruit good teachers to work in deprived areas. The goal was to see 1,500 of the country’s “top teaching talent” matched to the schools that need them the most, by 2020.

The North West pilot aimed to enlist up to 100 teachers to work in eligible primary and secondary schools across the region from September 2016. The TES reports that just 54 teachers were recruited after only 116 applied. In total, only 24 of those recruited have so far been matched with schools, according to the TES.

A Department for Education spokesman confirmed that the NTS “will not be progressing”, adding:

We are pleased with the level of interest in the pilot and the calibre of the successful candidates. However, following a review of the outcomes, we can confirm that we will not be progressing with the further rollout of the National Teaching Service.

We recognise that it is vitally important that schools, particularly in challenging areas, can recruit and retain excellent teachers, and we are determined to continue to support them to do this.

We will use the lessons learnt from the pilot to secure a better understanding of how to support schools in the future, and will set out future plans in due course.

 

 

Bright Tribe no longer sponsoring The Durham Federation

Academy hub sponsor Bright Tribe has decided not to take over The Durham Federation, comprised of Fyndoune Community College and Durham Community Business College.

The schools were put in special measures in September 2014, but a monitoring inspection carried out in April 2016 established that the leaders and managers were taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.

A spokesperson for Bright Tribe said that the Federation joining the trust “is not viable” due to the “level of financial support required to subsidise the operation”.

A Department for Education spokesperson told SCHOOLS NorthEast: “We are disappointed that we have not been able to secure a sponsor for Durham Federation at this time.

“We are now working closely with Durham local authority and the Durham Federation interim executive board to formulate a new plan for the schools.”

Bright Tribe is among five sponsors chosen by the Department for Education last year to set up academy hubs in the north of England. The former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced at the time that nearly £5m would be given to the sponsors to drive up standards in areas of “greatest need”.

Bright Tribe was the subject of an Education Funding Agency review of its financial management and governance which found a number of breaches of the Academies Financial Handbook.

The Department for Education listed Bright Tribe as a “well established sponsor with a proven track record of successfully managing geographically dispersed academy hubs, making it well-matched to the challenge of working in the north”.

‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men’

Nicola
Dame Nicola Nelson DBE, Head Teacher at Beech Hill Primary School , Newcastle

Children are our future. Children are tomorrow’s workforce, parents and citizens. It is increasingly clear that the current lack of investment by our government in their well- being will shape the future of the country. As such, their well-being matters to all of us. This is not new information to head teachers  but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find solutions to the growing mental health issues brewing in our children and the general feeling of despair in some.

Research indicates that the following factors can impact hugely on children’s happiness and well- being;

  • Living with someone who is mentally ill or who has suicidal tendencies
  • Experiencing divorce or parental separation
  • Living with someone who has an alcohol or drug problem
  • Being a victim or witness of neighbourhood violence
  • Experiencing socioeconomic hardship
  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Having a parent in prison
  • Being treated or judged unfairly due to race or ethnicity
  • Experiencing the death of a parent

Lord, that is a rather larger proportion of children in our schools!  The compound impact of more than one of these factors has been proven to influence their life chances and futures; these can lead to social, emotional and cognitive impairment; high risk taking; disease, disability and social problems; and even early death.

As a nation we pay enormous attention to the well- being of our economy, the state of the weather, sporting league tables, the City and stock market. This captures this interest of national newspapers and takes up pages of the media every day.

I strongly believe the time has come to make more efforts to monitor the well- being of our children;  we need to devote more resources to understanding how they are doing and to ensuring that their childhood is as good as it can be. In both my schools we have heavily invested in Thrive and have 15 staff trained as Thrive practitioners- because we recognised our children are under enormous social pressures. I would not have wanted my childhood to be so intensely monitored on social media, I can not remember being assessed at every age but can recall playing out into the late evening with friends and feeling very much part of a community.

It takes a community to protect a child and it is clear to me that society has a role that is more important than ever before to protect those children within it who are at risk of, or who have suffered from, the factors above. I place great weight on the importance of positive childhood experiences, aiming to provide children with opportunities to maximise their potential. So Friday in school is ‘ Fun Friday’ with children choosing which enrichment activities they would enjoy, mixing with like-minded children from across the school. We have organised for children to serve their community, for example by creating strong and lasting friendships with the elderly residents next door in the retirement home, with some children opting to visit their new friends at weekends too. We encourage the children to take pride in their local area and look for opportunities to help others. This is rewarded with a Duke of Edinburgh style award. The impact in the community has led to parents coming together to organise community trips to Lightwater Valley during the summer holidays and asking to use the school hall for community activities. We are seeing great change. The community cares. The children are receiving focused mental health help alongside a childhood that may provide some stability in what can seem a bit of a mad world.

I am aware this is a small step in the right direction and my pupils are building a strong sense of character. They are children to be proud of, and live in an area that provides several opportunities to test their mantle. We can only provide them with tools to help keep perspective, and opportunities to feel success.

I have no idea how this focus on building strong children will have on my SAT results but I am a head teacher, I care for children, I care for their futures.  They need to be educated to lead happy lives but the emphasis is on happy. And educated.

‘Once you learn to read you will be forever free’ ( Fredrick Douglas)

Children’s Commissioner launches ‘Growing Up North’ inquiry into children’s life prospects

SCHOOLS NorthEast strongly welcomed the launch of the Children’s Commissioner’s ‘Growing Up North’ inquiry into children’s life prospects, on Tuesday.

However, the composition of the inquiry’s expert advisory panel, highlighted below, has caused serious concern about the quality and inclusivity of the initiative, as it fails to contain a single North East representative despite seeking to address issues in the region.

A map of where members of the expert advisory panel are currently based:

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The Children’s Commissioner’s inquiry aims to find out why some children in the North fall behind their counterparts in the South. It echoes the SCHOOLS NorthEast strategy, launched in October, calling for a sea change in the region’s basic skills levels, as well as better support for schools so that they have the capacity to make vital improvements – to recruit the right teaching talent and in tackling mental health issues.

SCHOOLS NorthEast has set out four key areas that must be tackled as an urgent priority to deliver a step change in education in the region:

Continue reading “Children’s Commissioner launches ‘Growing Up North’ inquiry into children’s life prospects”

North East schools ranked in The Sunday Times Schools Guide

Congratulations to the North East schools mentioned in the 2016-2017 edition of The Sunday Times Schools Guide! This is the 24th edition and it identifies the 2,000 highest achieving schools in the UK, ranked by their recent examination results.  The following North East schools appeared in this year’s list:

Darlington 
32. Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College
32. Hummersknott Academy
339. Carmel College

Durham 
15. Edmondsley Primary School
48. Sedgefield Community College
99. St Benet’s RC VA Primary School
132. Durham Johnston Comprehensive School
142. Thornhill Primary School
190. Durham High School for Girls
229. St Leonard’s RC School
263. Sedgefield Hardwick Primary School
320. Durham School
362. Barnard Castle School
400. St Margaret’s CofE Primary School

Gateshead
209. Emmanuel College
210. Fellside Community Primary School
228. Rowlands Gill Community Primary School
334. St Peter’s RC Primary School
407. St Mary and St Thomas Aquinas RC Primary School

Hartlepool 
51. Hartlepool Sixth Form College

Middlesbrough 
194. St Edward’s RC Primary School
429. Acklam Whin Primary School

Newcastle
11. RGS Junior School
48. Newcastle High School for Girls Junior School GDST
62. Royal Grammar School
66. St Oswald’s RC Primary School
113. Knop Law Primary School
137. Dame Allan’s Girls’ School
202. Dame Allan’s Boys’ School
210. Sacred Heart RC High School
212. St John Vianney RC Primary School
251. Westfield School
255. Newcastle High School for Girls GDST
360. West Jesmond Primary School

North Tyneside
374. Whitley Bay High School

Northumberland
244. Queen Elizabeth High School
381. Longridge Towers School
390. The Duchess’s Community High School
403. The King Edward VI School
498. Bede Academy

Redcar and Cleveland
52. Prior Pursglove College
234. Saint Bede’s Primary RC Voluntary Academy
250. Galley Hill Primary School
291. Newcomen Primary School

South Tyneside
21. Whitburn CofE Academy
132. Cleadon CofE Academy

Stockton-on-Tees
13. St Therese of Lisieux Primary School
26. Red House School
44. All Saints Academy
130. Yarm School
153. Junction Farm Primary School
204. Egglescliffe School
378. Teesside High School

Sunderland 
169. St Michael’s RC Primary School
236. Grange Park Primary School
411. Benedict Biscop CofE Academy

How tough is recruitment? Responses needed for Government lobby

THE Government continues to claim that there is not a looming recruitment crisis in schools and yet last year 9 in 10 of you said you expected it to be harder to find staff this year.

SCHOOLS NorthEast has repeatedly made the case that more support is needed to grow the talent pool for schools in the region.

The Department for Education has previously published worrying statistics regarding a shortfall in trainee teachers and in the past week has dropped plans to run a National Teaching Service to support schools in deprived areas.

We need your help to evidence the need within schools. Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey and provide more insight into school recruitment in the North East. 

At your request, we have also taken practical steps to support you with recruitment and to reduce the cost of advertising posts. SCHOOLS NorthEast launched the region’s most cost-effective recruitment portal in January 2016. For one small annual fee, as little as £150/year for partner Primary Schools and £400 for partner Secondary Schools, you can advertise unlimited teaching and non-teaching vacancies. Visit www.jobsinschoolsnortheast.com or email info@jobsinschoolsnortheast.com for more information.

Level 3 early years educator: numeracy and literacy requirements consultation – SCHOOLS NorthEast response

Last month, the Government launched a consultation on whether early years educators need GCSEs in Maths and English.

Since 1 September 2014, staff who hold the early years educator qualification must also have achieved grade C or above in GCSE English and Maths, but some employers in the sector have reported that this has made retention and recruitment of staff more difficult.

SCHOOLS NorthEast asked for your input on the matter, to ensure that our consultation response reflects the views and experiences of North East early years providers. Based on your replies, we have submitted the response below.

The importance of early years education

As a network of schools, we recognise the vital importance of high quality early years provision. The Review on Poverty and Life Chances reported in 2010 that they had found “overwhelming evidence that children’s life chances are most heavily predicated on their development in the first five years of life”. In other words, early years matter.

The North East has the highest proportion of Good or Outstanding early years provision (91%) of any English region. This is perhaps part of the explanation for the North East’s impressive recent performance in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. In 2013, our region lagged significantly behind all other regions on the proportion of pupils achieving a good level of development at EYFSP, but this gap has closed over the past four years and the 2016 figures saw the North East leapfrog four other regions.

The proportion of pupils achieving this level increased by 23.2 percentage points in the period; by far the largest increase of all regions. This is testament to the quality of early years and primary school provision in our area, and SCHOOLS NorthEast believes that more should be done to ensure that a greater number of parents in our region use the fantastic provision available to them.

However, despite the high quality of early years provision available in our region, too many children are starting primary school who are not ready to learn. Head teachers from across the North East have reported children arriving at school still wearing nappies, unable to count to ten, recite the alphabet, feed themselves or speak in sentences. This suggests to us that many parents are not taking up the high quality early years provision available in the North East. We are particularly concerned that, according to Ofsted’s 2015 early years report, nationally 42% of eligible 2-year-olds from lower-income backgrounds are not taking up their free childcare entitlement, as schools in our region see this as an effective way of closing the disadvantage gap early on.

Numeracy and literacy in the North East

Numeracy and literacy are the foundations on which all other skills are built and, as such, we believe that it is essential that basic numeracy and literacy skills are developed and nurtured during a child’s early years. This is particularly important in our region, where there are worrying levels of adult numeracy and literacy.

The 2011 Skills for Life Survey by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that the North East found that around 1 in 3 adults in the North East have numeracy levels of a 7-9 year-old or lower and that around 1 in 5 adults in the North East have the literacy levels of a 9-11 year-old or lower. This means that our region has the second lowest levels of adult literacy and joint lowest levels of adult numeracy when compared to other English regions. When only adults with English as a first language are taken into account, the North East is bottom of the table in both. These low numeracy and literacy levels mean that there are a significant number of adults in our region who lack the basic skills needed to access good jobs and further training. This has a knock-on effect not just for our schools, but also the regional economy.

With this in mind, we are in strong agreement with Professor Nutbrown when she writes, in her review of early education and childcare qualifications, “As a country we need to raise our expectations of what it means to work with young children, and attract the best people into the workforce. Literacy and mathematical abilities are essential for anyone working with our young children”. The Government’s decision to introduce the GCSE requirement for level 3 staff was, therefore, a step in the right direction – albeit it one with unforeseen negative consequences.

Impact of the GCSE requirement

It is clear that the introduction of the GCSE requirement has caused recruitment problems in many early years settings. Some training providers have reported a significant drop in the number of applications for level 3 courses, whilst some early years providers have had difficulties recruiting staff because candidates do not have GCSEs in English and maths. There are also concerns that level 2 staff are leaving the sector because they now feel that progression to level 3 is out of their reach. On top of this, the imminent introduction of 30 hours of free childcare will put further pressure on the sector.

As a result of all of these challenges, some providers are concerned about their future viability and this is very concerning. Given the importance of good quality early years provision – and the vast majority of provision is either Good or Outstanding – it is essential that providers are not forced to close in large numbers.

The case for GCSEs

The principle that level 3 Early Year Educator staff should also have achieved a C or above in English and maths is one that SCHOOLS NorthEast supports:

  • It is good for the children: Research, including the report by Mathers et al (2011) commissioned by the DfE, has found that a higher qualified early years workforce has a positive impact on the quality of provision. The 2015 DfE research brief on “Effective pre-school, primary and secondary education project (EPPSE 3-16+)” showed that receiving high quality early years provision had a long-term positive influence on both educational attainment into secondary school, but also on social-behavioural development.
  • It is good for the sector: Given the vital importance of early years education, it is essential that the profession is held in the esteem that it deserves. The Nutbrown Review noted that it was important to “put an end to the view that early years is an option for those who are ‘not bright enough’ to do other jobs, or a ‘last resort’ for those who have left school unqualified”. We agree with this and think that a GCSE requirement raises the status of the profession, which is important in attracting talent that may not otherwise have chosen a career in the early years sector.
  • It is good for practitioners: Achieving a C or above in English and maths GCSEs opens up many new and exciting options both within and outside the early years sector. It also has the potential to raise aspirations and expectations.

School leaders in the region that we consulted were particularly keen that early years staff had good English language skills; “educators need to be fluent speakers, readers and writers of good English”. As one school leader noted “we can’t have practitioners modelling learning to our most vulnerable children, when they themselves haven’t got a basic understanding”. Heads were keen to point out that early years staff act as role models for children and have to communicate important information to parents both orally and in writing.

Whilst GCSEs are not the only way of demonstrating a good standard of literacy and numeracy they are, as one head put it, “a demonstration that there is a deeper understanding over time”. There is concern that other level 2 qualifications are insufficiently vigorous and focus too much on simply passing the test, rather than developing sustainable skills.

School leaders also felt that there was a difference between childcare and early years education. If a qualification is to be called Early Years Educator, then candidates should be expected to have a good understanding of the subject and how to engage young children in learning. As Professor Nutbrown noted in her Review; “An early years practitioner should be sufficiently confident in their own literacy and numeracy to bring a story to life imaginatively and help children explore through play concepts such as number, size, weight and shape – and they must be able to do this in a way that engages and enthuses young children to enjoy learning and to discover more”.

Alternative qualifications

As has already been noted, there is currently a shortage of aspiring early years practitioners with the requisite GCSE qualifications. This is despite the fact that the majority of young people finish key stage 4 with a C or above in their English and maths GCSEs – at the end of the last academic year, 61.2% of pupils in the North East achieved this. However, as the Social Mobility Commission noted in their 2016 Annual Report: “just 35 per cent of white British girls who are eligible for FSM – the socioeconomic group that forms the majority of the childcare workforce at present – achieved this level last year”.

This disconnect between workforce and qualifications presents a dilemma, with three potential solutions: upskill the group that has traditionally made up the childcare workforce, downskill the level 3 position, or entice new groups into the sector. Of these three options, the first is the most difficult (but most desirable) and the second is certainly the easiest (but also the least desirable).

The consequences of the introduction of the GCSE requirement demonstrate the difficulties of trying to upskill a workforce without providing the necessary support and structures. If the Government is serious about getting the GCSE requirement right, it needs to provide support and funding to aspiring level 3 staff who do not have the appropriate qualifications. Otherwise, these individuals are forced to pursue these qualifications on their own, often with great difficulty and at great personal expense.

More generally, the early years sector is severely underfunded and will be placed under even greater financial strain when free provision is extended from 15 to 30 hours. If the Government expects the early years workforce to be more qualified, it must provide more funding to the sector to pay the higher wages that more highly qualified staff would expect. As it is, there are other choices for those with few qualifications that often pay better than the early years sector, such as retail or hospitality.

Whilst we believe that the GCSE requirement should be the Government’s long-term objective – and that the Government should arrive at a strategy to make this work – we are also cognisant of the very real threat that this requirement currently represents to many early years providers. As such, it may make sense to revise these requirements temporarily to address the short-term shortage in qualified staff. We think that the Government could consider the following options:

  • Have two level 3 positions – Early Years Educator which has the GCSE requirement and level 3 Early Years Practitioner which does not. There could then be clear incentives – whether in terms of wage scales or child to adult ratios – for Practitioners to gain GCSEs to achieve Educator status. This would allow providers to choose which level 3 staff would suit their setting and parents to make decisions on providers based on this.
  • Revert to level 2 functional skills in English and maths as a temporary measure. If this course was chosen then the Government who have to lay out a very clear strategy for how and when the switch to GCSEs would take place. There should also be support, incentives and a clear expectation for staff with functional skills qualifications to upgrade to GCSEs.
  • If a bespoke qualification is developed, it should be on top of existing level 2 qualifications and should be evidence-based, with a strong pedagogical focus. Any bespoke qualification would have to be rigorous, particularly in ensuring that candidates have a good standard of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  • Given that the literacy demands of being an Early Years Educator are far higher than the numeracy demands, the Government could consider retaining the GCSE requirement for English, whilst temporarily relaxing the maths requirement to allow level 2 functional skills. This is problematic, in that it suggests that the literacy and numeracy are not of equal importance. It does, however, recognise the realities of the role.

To reiterate, we agree with the principle that level 3 Early Years Educators should also have GCSEs at C or above in English and maths, but recognise that this is not currently practical and puts some providers at risk of closure. Given the importance of early years provision to children’s future life chances, we would support a compromise solution in the short-term to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of early years staff to meet the growing need for places. In the meantime, we would encourage the Government to formulate a long-term strategy to meet the GCSE requirement goal.

Over 9 in 10 children in the North East are in either Good or Outstanding primaries, latest Ofsted Annual Report reveals

The education watchdog released its Annual Report today, lauding the progress made by schools across the country in the past five years, but remarked the education system is “still short of world class”.

This is the final report released under Ofsted’s outgoing Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, who will be stepping down in January.

At a regional level, the report found that 92% of primary school pupils in the North East (203,382) are in either Good or Outstanding schools, compared to 75% (110,067) in secondaries which, despite showing improvement, are still lagging behind other parts of the country.  Overall, 86% of North East pupils are in Good or Outstanding schools.

The report shows that there has been an 18 percentage point increase in the number of primary pupils in Good or Outstanding schools in the region compared to five years ago. This equates to nearly 57,344 more pupils.

At secondary level there has been a 7 percentage point increase, which means there are now 1,401 more secondary pupils at Good or Outstanding schools in the North East.

Well over 90% of pupils in Newcastle, North Tyneside and South Tyneside are in Good or Outstanding schools, whilst only around 70% of Northumberland pupils are.

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(The above take into account all schools; nurseries, special schools and PRUs in addition to mainstream primaries and secondaries. They are based on judgements as of 31 August 2016.) 

The gap between primary and secondary performance in the Northern regions has been a major focus for Sir Michael, as well as the North – South divide in education. He broached both subjects during his keynote speech at the SCHOOLS NorthEast Annual Summit in 2015.

Mike Parker, Director of SCHOOLS NorthEast, commented:

“We would like to congratulate the fantastic efforts of primary schools across the North East. We also welcome the news that around 60,000 more pupils in our region are in Good or Outstanding schools compared with five years ago.

“Sir Michael is right to say access to excellent education has long been a dividing line in the country. However, the picture regarding the region’s secondaries is not quite as black and white as Sir Michael paints it.

“At secondary level, we have seen good and outstanding school numbers rise significantly in recent years, which is testimony to the skills and dedication of our secondary leaders.

“However, schools’ focus on being Ofsted-compliant is to the detriment of other, more important issues.

“Ofsted has become too high stakes for schools to innovate, because taking the risk to test new methods could be very punishing.

“Whilst Sir Michael has made an important move in fundamentally shifting Ofsted’s focus, our experience of working with Amanda Spielman tells us there will be a new narrative from the schools watchdog and the education system, under her leadership.

“Perhaps the new Chief Inspector will provide a more nuanced, innovative approach and hopefully set a better tone for schools.”

Ofsted Annual Report 2016: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ofsted-annual-report-201516-education-early-years-and-skills 

Ofsted press release: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ofsted-annual-report-201516-englands-education-system-still-short-of-world-class 

Sir Michael Wilshaw’s speech: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-power-of-education 

Apprentice in waiting!

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Barbara Slider, Head Teacher at Shiremoor Primary School

Despite the current, changeable challenges, I do love my job. Although, it isn’t exactly the job that I thought I was signing up for just over three years ago! Even in recent years, the expectations of Headship are far greater and more removed from the day to day management of the school. I am a strategic leader required to think forwards without being bogged down in small matters that, whilst they require attention, would shift my focus too far, and to be able to do my job, I need a strong Deputy who is fully capable of dealing with the day to day matters arising.

 

I am so lucky that I have such a Deputy. And does she want to be a Head? Yes, she does. She could be leading a school already. So why isn’t she?

I like to think that because she enjoys working with me so much, is well reimbursed for her efforts and enjoys a wide variety of opportunities, that there isn’t an offer good enough to entice her. In the meantime, I am providing her with an opportunity to learn her craft. That was an opportunity that I had too and it was invaluable in making me see that I could do… when I was ready, and that I had already had experience of dealing with the daily issues arising for Heads. (Not that we can ever predict what will happen next!) She is a living apprentice Headteacher.

Having worked alongside me, as the wind beneath my wings, for several years, she is fully conversant with the joys of my job because she shares them with me. She sees the huge improvements that we have made to the use of space in school. She takes pride in the teaching and learning standards that we have achieved. She enjoys the enhanced parental voice we have cultivated. She values the extended provisions we now offer. She appreciates the positive changes we have made to staff working practices. She revels in the successful direction that we have taken our Teaching School.

But….when she takes that next step, she knows that there will be no going back.

Whilst being the Head is so satisfying, she achieves the same satisfaction whilst also retaining her pleasure in spending time with children, staff and parents in a way that I can’t do as often anymore. Very occasionally, she can even teach! And I do miss the children.

She also recognises that we don’t yet know what our future holds for the Headship role. Previously, one of the barriers to Deputy Heads’ moving into Headship was the concern about a deficit in their knowledge of finance (Only a true concern if your school office isn’t running as efficiently as it should!). Now a barrier to applying for Headship will undoubtedly be the very real prospect that this role may mean being a CEO of multiple schools and what skillset this will require.

So how can I support her in readiness to step into the headship arena? Continue to inspire her by showing passion for the role and that the job satisfaction I derive from it is energising and sustaining despite the challenges we face. Equip her with the skills to handle the responsibilities of the role and to make the most of the opportunities she will receive for personal development by guiding her and coaching her in her decision making. Finally, supporting her to realise that in taking a leap of faith into headship she will have the scope and authority to influence a generation of young people by creating her own learning culture which inspires and excites learning and development.

I urge more Heads to give a true apprenticeship to the Heads of tomorrow so that the step seems less daunting when it happens!

RGS wins top award at prestigious TES Independent School Awards

bernard-trafford-collecting-the-tes-awardRoyal Grammar School Newcastle (RGS), has won the Senior Leadership Team of the Year award at the prestigious 2016 TES Independent School Awards.

The award recognises the work RGS has done, in particular to promote mental health and wellbeing amongst its students, with the judges commenting it was ‘A clear example of the SLT putting their pupils’ welfare first’.

The senior leadership team, together since 2011, has crafted and led the ‘ReTHINKing learning and wellbeing’ project. This has shaped the School whose nurturing of students and staff alike means children thrive emotionally, learn effectively and achieve highly. Recognising that a strong link between the academic and pastoral enhances all outcomes, a new role was created combining the monitoring of wellbeing and academic progress.

Continue reading “RGS wins top award at prestigious TES Independent School Awards”