Another record breaking year for Schools North East

The end of the year is always a time for reflection and here at Schools North East we want to look back on the fantastic year we have had. We have achieved some incredible things in 2018 – 2019, which, as always, we couldn’t have done without your support.

CelebrateEd – The Inaugural Northern Celebration of Education

On 11th and 12th July we welcomed almost 300 teachers from across the North to the inaugural CelebrateEd – The Northern Celebration of Education. This unique 2 day event was packed with over 60 sessions celebrating and sharing the best in educational practice and allowing teachers the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the North. We were very, very proud to welcome delegates and speakers from all 12 areas of the North East, Lancashire, Harrogate, the North Yorkshire coast, Bradford, York, North and South, from rural to inner city, and coast to coast, EYs, primary, secondary and Special.

We were also delighted to be joined by Alex Quigley and Professor Rob Coe for the keynote speeches, as well as a passionate call to arms from Schools North East Vice Chair and Head Teacher Ian Veitch to challenge the narrative of underperformance in our region. The event was a resounding success with #CelebrateEd trending on Twitter and fantastic feedback from those attending.

A huge thank you must go to our partners for the event – the All North Teaching Schools, Northumbria University, the Education Endowment Foundation, and SHINE. Over the next few years we aim to grow CelebrateEd into THE teaching event in the educational calendar; one involving thousands of teaching professionals, that not only shares best practice, but also leads the way in developing it as well. We aim to create something that acts as a magnet and a voice; a magnet that attracts ministers, funders, academics, researchers, but most of all fellow teaching practitioners; and a voice that influences how education policy and practice develops.

Ednorth and SHINE Partnership brings £500K to the region’s schools

CelebrateEd also saw the soft launch of Ednorth – our evidence based excellence programme that aims to ‘change the game’ and inspire transformational change in classrooms across the North East. Ednorth will foster and support a classroom culture of informed debate, research, collaboration and excellence; helping to drive regional and national education policy. 

We were delighted to announce that Ednorth has attracted the support of the SHINE Trust who will be supporting the programme with £500K of funding for school-led research projects in the North East. Keep your eyes open for how to get involved with Ednorth from September 2019.

Ground-breaking work on ‘Voice of the Pupil’

Following the initial pilot, the Voice of the Pupil project driven by Schools North East’s Healthy MindED Commission has been successfully rolled out across 30 schools in the region. School practitioners attended two full days of training to enable them to take part in research in their schools. The practitioners were presented with their certificates by Professor Dame Sue Bailey at the Schools North East Healthy MindED Conference in May. Professor Bailey praised the project as ‘one of a kind – nothing else is being done like this anywhere else – it is a nationally important piece of work and I will be talking to government and those who influence to take note of its findings.’

All the results have been painstakingly transcribed and a coding process applied to generate overarching themes. The final report findings should be ready for publication by Spring 2020.

Opportunity North East – £24 Million for our region

After campaigning for two years for the North East to become an Opportunity Area, we were delighted to have played such a significant part in bringing Opportunity North East to the region. This will see the investment of an additional £24 million in the most disadvantaged schools in the region. Schools North East is also very proud to be representing the region’s schools on the Opportunity North East Strategy Board alongside educational experts such as Professor Rob Coe. The funding will support:

  • targeted approaches to improve transition from primary to secondary school;
  • training for new teachers and to help improve the quality of teaching in North East schools;
  • young people to consider progression routes;
  • work with local businesses to improve job prospects for young people;
  • The ONE Vision Schools initiative which aims to support thirty schools in the North East, improve social mobility and raise aspirations for up to 25,000 young people.

Fund Our Future

Today the Education Select Committee has acknowledged the funding crisis in their report on the inquiry into spending. Schools North East has repeatedly called for investment in funding for education and March saw the launch of the #FundOurFuture funding campaign which aimed to support other campaigns throughout the country in highlighting the school funding crisis. The IFS 2018 annual report on education spending showed that over the last 10 years, funding per pupil has fallen by 8% (in inflation-adjusted terms). Schools North East analysis shows this to be the equivalent of £500 less per pupil since 2009. We asked schools, parents and everyone who has an interest in education to share an image of a banknote worth £500 with their child’s photo on it to put our children at the centre of the picture.

The events programme grows and grows!

This year Schools North East held 9 major events/conference as well as 10 single events/webinars. Overall, our events attracted over 3,500 delegates from across the North East and beyond. We had record numbers for our annual Patron’s Dinner and Summit 2018, both of which sold out with large waiting lists, as well as record numbers for our SBM Conference – the largest event of its kind in the country.

The quality of our speaker line-ups continued to grow, as national figures chose our events as a platform to gain maximum coverage for key changes. At Summit 2018, Amanda Spielman, HMCI Ofsted, exclusively announced the new Ofsted Inspection Framework. We were joined by Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Schools System, at Academies Conference 19 and at Healthy MindEd we were pleased to be joined by Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

This year we introduced a host of new events. As well as the success of our inaugural CelebrateEd, we launched Supporting Challenging Learners, looking at how alternative providers and mainstream schools can work together, and how to support and manage challenging learners.

As always without the support from our Commercial and Education Supporters and other companies who sponsor and exhibit at our events wouldn’t be possible. This year 50 new companies engaged with Schools North East to do what they can to support our region’s schools.

Helping schools to upskill and connect

This year saw the introduction of courses designed to significantly upskill those who attend and provide individual networks of support for them going forward. Our first ‘MAT leadership’ course was run in the Spring term and was a resounding success. Delegates from MATs across the region attended, supported by the RSC and ESFA and professionals from HR and Finance. In the Summer term, we also held ‘Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour’, run by John d’Abbro OBE, another resounding success with delegates. We aim to hold more of these courses in the coming academic year. 

This year also saw Schools North East support the launch of three new local SBM networks in Sunderland, Northumberland, and Newcastle and we will continue to support the existing networks across the region in the year to come. 

Jobs in Schools | North East

Jobs in Schools | North East, the regional Jobs Portal created by schools for schools had another great year helping our schools to save money on recruitment costs. 2018 – 2019 saw 1,254 vacancies advertised with each job being viewed on average more than 500 times!  

Schools North East’s reach continues to grow

Our reach continues to grow bigger and bigger, actively engaging with over 800 schools this year.

This year we have also seen nearly 100 new Partner Schools join the network, and 30 MATs sign up as Partner MATS, showing their commitment to working together for the future of the children in our region. This year also saw our first 9 non-North East Partner Schools sign up as our out of region reach continues to grow.

We want to say a huge thank you to all of our Partner Schools, sponsors, Commercial and Education Supporters and partners for their continuing support, which enables us to achieve everything we do. Those from outside of the region see our events and programme of activities and wrongly assume that government very generously funds us. Schools North East is a registered charity, we are entirely self-funding; we take no money from government, national or local, we generate all of our own income, and are completely independent. Schools North East answers only to you, our member schools. All of the income we make from our events go back into supporting our schools as they deserve.

Schools North East Rebrand

Last but certainly not least we worked in conjunction with Partner Schools to update our brand to better reflect the work of the network. This was unveiled at the Summit 2018.

We hope you enjoy your summer and we looking forward to what we can achieve together in the new academic year.

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