Record year of achievements for SCHOOLS NorthEast

It has been a record year here at SCHOOLS NorthEast, and in some respects a year of firsts. We expanded the team last summer, and since  then our engagement, our output and our activity has grown and grown.

The end of  term, and the end of the academic year, is a good place to reflect on the achievements of the year that has past. Like all schools, it’s a time to reflect on the good times, and sometimes the challenging times, before we start all over again in September.

At SCHOOLS NorthEast we are proud of the work that has been delivered on your behalf. We have been delighted to work with you all on helping to improve the education of the children in our region.

We have outlined a few of the biggest achievements, and highlights, below as well as some of the headline-grabbing decisions and changes made in the education world this year.

From all of the team at SCHOOLS NorthEast, we wish you a relaxing summer and we look forward to seeing you again in September.

The year that was…   

There are four main pillars to the SCHOOLS NorthEast Shaping Our Future strategy 2017-2020 – Evidence-based education; recruitment and retention; pupil mental health; and, improving basic skills in the communities around schools.

On Evidence-based education, we …

  • Worked to deliver a network for teaching professionals in the region keen to engage with evidence-based education which is now well underway, including…
  • Working with schools across the region to establish an Evidence Champions network, and…
  • Signed a partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation to support work to support the creation of a culture of evidence-based practice in the region – a key element of our programme of activity next year.

On recruitment and retention…

  • Efforts to support schools to recruit and retain staff saw more jobs than ever before posted to Jobs in Schools|North East. We also supported a new DfE programme to attract international teaching talent to fill gaps in specialist subjects in the region.
  • We had record numbers of school leaders engage with our programmes this year – with nearly 3,000 delegates alone attending our events this year.
  • SCHOOLS NorthEast has had greater engagement with the Department for Education, including running focus groups with teachers in the region to shape national policy on recruitment and retention of teachers in challenging areas; and, also supporting the pilot and the rollout of a DfE national recruitment jobs portal which is in its fledgling stages.

On pupil mental health…

  • Successfully piloted a new Healthy MindED Voice of the Pupil work stream which will be rolled out to c.30 more schools next term with CPD training and networked support for professionals.
  • We helped c.160 schools get involved in a new mental health research project led by the Anna Freud Centre.
  • Working with partners in the health sector on new mental health ‘trailblazers’ that the Government is establishing across the country.
  • Ongoing engagement with the NHS Northern England Clinical Networks in support of pupil mental health

On ensuring communities around schools better support education…

  • SCHOOLS NorthEast has been a key part of the North East Literacy Forum which developed and launched the Read North East campaign to promote parental engagement in reading with children pre-school.
  • The charity has supported the shaping of the education strand of the planned North of Tyne Devolution deal – shaping education plans and providing the support of the Jobs in Schools|North East platform for recruitment and retention.

In addition, headlines include…

  • Working with the National Literacy Trust and Penguin Random House, SCHOOLS NorthEast helped secure 15,500 free books for schools across South Tyneside and Middlesbrough with accompanying CPD on engaging primary aged children in reading for pleasure.
  • The Gatsby Careers Benchmarks, piloted in this region thanks to the work of SCHOOLS NorthEast and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, became the golden thread in the new National Careers Strategy.
  • SCHOOLS NorthEast celebrated its 10th anniversary!
  • Holding nine major events including the annual Summit and SBM Conference and 13 single issue events – the most events we’ve ever held.
  • Launched the brand new SCHOOLS NorthEast webinar programme.
  • We brought more big names in education to the North East including Sir David Carter and the Rt Hon David Laws, as well as Olympian Sally Gunnell. Next year we have Amanda Spielman and other major speakers lined up to come to the region…
  • SCHOOLS NorthEast signed up 41 new Partner Schools, a 12% increase on last year.
  • SCHOOLS NorthEast worked with school business managers to launch the new South Tyneside SBM network.
  • We recorded the highest turnover ever for the charity this year.
  • Embedded a brand new staffing team, the biggest we’ve ever had.
  • Virtual Communities are now under development and is soon to be launched.
  • We have had record engagement with our communications and social channels, including an 11% increase in Followers on our Twitter, and a 110% increase in likes on our Facebook.
  • We had a 29% increase in engagement in the media from 2016/17, with coverage on subjects such as funding, the Northern Powerhouse and Alternative Provision.
  • SCHOOLS NorthEast now has a monthly column in Tes for the first time in its history.
  • SCHOOLS NorthEast secured the first-ever media partnerships for our major events programme with Tes and Schools Week.
  • Alongside our loyal supporters, in the last year we have had 31 new companies who have joined us as members and an additional 19 organisations who have sponsored some of our bigger events. A special thank you to the main sponsors of our events this year: CEM Centre, CER, Edukit, EEF, First Class Supply,  GCSE Pod, Muckle, Pebble, vInspired, Ward Hadaway, and Womble Bond Dickinson.


The year that was for education in this country…


1st September 2017          

New exclusions guidance comes into force

Increase in primary PE and sport grant funding

Removal of general funding rate for the education services grant (ESG)      

Students begin studying new GCSEs graded 9 to 1 in the last subjects to convert over   

Maintained school governors gain powers to remove elected governors     

First school year since abolition of employment tribunal fees

First school year of “Analyse School Performance”, replacing RAISE        

14th September 2017           

National funding formula for schools and high needs policy paper published

21th September 2017          

DfE publishes response to consultation on short inspection proposals

9th October 2017           

Teaching Excellence Framework: lessons learned

4th December 2017          

“Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper” published

4th December 2017          

“Careers strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents” published

14th December 2017           

“Improving social mobility through education” published

8th January 2018          

Damian Hinds becomes Secretary of State for Education

1st February 2018           

DfE submits evidence to the STRB: 2018 pay award for school staff

16th March 2018         

“Alternative provision: vision and reform” published

16th March 2018          

School exclusions review: terms of reference published

April 2018                 

DfE Teacher Vacancy Service pilot launches

10th April 2018           

DfE drops plan to regulate all out-of-school education

4th May 2018         

“Principles for a clear and simple school accountability system” published

8th May 2018         

DfE “Supporting mental health in schools and colleges” research published

23rd May 2018         

“The future of the Social Mobility Commission” document published

23rd May 2018         

Department for Education publishes single departmental plan

25th May 2018        

GDPR requirements come into force

25th June 2018          

“Childhood obesity: a plan for action, chapter 2” published

27th June 2018        

Ofsted change statistical reporting of inspection outcomes for state-funded schools

30th June 2018        

“Reducing teacher workload” document published

What a year it has been. Have a lovely, restful summer break and we’ll see you on the other side!


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