With the autumn term all but put to bed and a much earned festive break on the near horizon, I wanted to take a brief moment to thank you for your support this year and to give a brief glimpse of what is to come in 2016.
More than 600 of you have engaged with SCHOOLS NorthEast conferences, seminars and workshops over the past term – including a phenomenal 25% increase in school delegates at our annual Summit to hear Sir Michael Wilshaw speak.
We have worked with 13 schools in the region to embed the Good Careers Guidance Benchmarks Pilot which is progressing well.
Your evidence on exam board irregularities this summer was channelled through a SCHOOLS NorthEast submission to the House of Commons Education Select Committee. The submission was referenced repeatedly and the exams regulator, Ofqual, was encouraged to liaise with North East Head Teachers. The subsequent event with Ofqual Chairwoman Amanda Spielman was attend by more than 1/3rd of all North East secondary schools.
In 2016, we will have a packed programme of initiatives, national lobbying work and networking events, including:
- Launch of Jobs in Schools | North East – in mid- to late-January, SCHOOLS NorthEast will launch the country’s first dedicated regional recruitment portal for schools. This is in direct response to calls from schools to support teacher recruitment and retention. The portal will launch with a jobs board that offers schools an affordable platform to advertise all teaching and support roles for one low annual fee. It has been designed by Head Teachers and School Business Managers and has the backing of the North East universities and teaching schools. Further information is available here
- Launch of the North East Schools-led Commission into Mental Health – As announced at the Summit 2015, the UK’s first schools-led Commission into mental health will be undertaken in our region
- Ofqual consultation – following our work in the autumn term profiling the exam board issues experienced by schools, we intend to continue our direct lobby of Ofqual to improve exam board standards
- National funding formula – the Chancellor’s autumn Spending Review outlined plans for a consultation on school funding. We will assemble a working group to develop a robust submission on behalf of North East schools
- FutureReady – An unmissable, high-calibre careers conference on your doorstep.
On behalf of the SCHOOLS NorthEast team, I’d like to thank you for your continued support and we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Director, SCHOOLS NorthEast