Schools join up in ambitious bid to raise results

A GROUNDBREAKING partnership of Nottingham secondary schools, including Bulwell Academy, has been given a £500,000-plus boost by the city council.

The aim is to raise standards and improve behaviour by young people who face some of the greatest difficulties with their education.

In an innovative move, city head teachers have worked together to jointly appoint staff who will work with pupils currently at risk of exclusion or without a school place.

These youngsters will be guaranteed an education tailored to their needs and will be supported by some of the best staff from across the city schools.

The Nottingham City Secondary Education Partnership is based on government recommendations contained in the Taylor Report, published earlier this year, and it will put Nottingham schools at the forefront of national developments.

The city council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, Coun David Mellen (Lab), said: “The scheme will benefit some of the city’s most challenging young people. We fully support this approach.

“It is vital that we continue to work in partnership with schools to ensure that young people are provided with the opportunities, skills and qualifications to continue in education, employment or training.

“It is anticipated that eventually this initiative will mean that no vulnerable pupils are excluded from mainstream schools. We believe this approach will continue to improve outcomes for the city’s young people.”

The head teacher of Bulwell Academy, Paul Halcro, said: “I am pleased we are co-operating with the city’s other schools to improve the life chances of young people.

“It is very pleasing that the council has shown its faith in us as schools for this key project.”

Anne Witheford, head teacher of Fernwood Academy, which was recently rated ‘outstanding’ by inspectors of OFTED (the government’s Office for Standards in Educatiion), said she was proud to be chairman of the partnership.

She added: “The main objective is to avoid permanent exclusions and give young people the best chance we can for them to succeed.”

Twelve Nottingham schools and academies have worked together in partnership for the last three years.

The Taylor Report: Improving Alternative Provision was written by Charlie Taylor, the government’s expert advisor on behaviour.