With the summer holidays upon us, I wanted to drop you a note highlighting some of our continued good progress and strong partnership working.
What with the World Cup, the Tour de France, Wimbledon, the glorious weather and the impending end of term, summer will be here and gone before we know it. The pace of work also continues to occupy us all and consume much of our time, so I do genuinely
hope that people have some rest time over the summer with family and friends, following what has been a very busy period.
Partnerships in practice
I remain impressed with our ability to forge strong partnerships to secure the very best we can for children and young people and all residents of Bradford.
We are starting to the reap the benefits of the strong partnership through the Opportunity Area Board, DfE colleagues and key stakeholders to secure investment in the key priorities for Bradford around education, skills and social mobility. There is a significant
investment in teaching and leadership, Essential Life Skills (which I know a lot of schools have benefited from), literacy developments at
a community level and Bradford leading the way in cutting edge research.
Relationships with Government and the DfE are being strengthened in every area and we hosted a
visit last Thursday from the Director of Social Care and Improvement to discuss opportunities for collaboration. It is fair to say that Graham Archer was struck by our ability to identify opportunities for collaboration which resonated with National Government.
The City of Research goes from strength to strength, making Bradford one of the most exciting evidence based research centres in Europe. This will look at the impact of health and social care on education, on what works in social care as well as prevention
and also other areas, for example dementia and active communities. I must thank Professor John Wright and Professor Mark Mon-Williams from Bradford Institute of Health Research, who have been inspirational and key to helping us to collectively develop this
concept which is getting interest both nationally and internationally.
We continue to develop strong partnerships at a local level and I am struck by the strength of arrangements across the education, skills and social care sectors. The strategies to support vulnerable learners and SEND are in progress and it is pleasing to
note that the Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) Free School will provide a bespoke provision at a local level to support some of our more
vulnerable learners. We have also received approval of a new education provision, including New College Bradford.
Social Care has also benefitted from securing £650,000 from the DfE to form a Teaching Partnership with Bradford University and Bradford College. The Council have also invested a further £450,000 to strengthen social work and £100,000 for foster care marketing.
The establishment of a Safeguarding Hub led by Ingrow and Long Lee Federation is providing additional capacity for the sharing of effective safeguarding practice within educational settings.
Outcomes are key; indicative results at primary level show improvement from last year. Actual results will be released on 4 September. These are also anxious times for learners, parents, teachers and leaders across the district who are awaiting the outcome
of results for GCSE and A Levels. We keep our fingers crossed.
There has been continued investment into developing pathways for young people into employment and skills as well as developing new Industrial
Centres of Excellence. We also have exciting plans to invest in other skill sectors including health and care and creative industries.
I am also struck by the number of initiatives led by young people, helping to develop a youth voice, including the concept of a City of Youth across the district. Some of the engagement and events with young people are second to none.
Recognising some of the challenges we continue to face, I genuinely applaud the efforts and commitment of our frontline staff across all services and I know that we have to work hard to invest and develop our staff in the light of what I see as aggressive
remuneration practices across the region, which is always in danger of destabilising other Authorities. But the commitment from teaching staff, youth staff and social work staff is second to none. I have also been to a number of leaving dos of late and what
shines through is the number of wonderful members of staff who have given their heart and soul to Bradford’s children over many, many years. I want to strengthen the culture of celebrating what we do and there will be events for celebrating social work 16
November 2018 as well as continuing to further develop the Education Awards (watch this space!).
It is also fantastic to see local leaders and schools being recognised nationally. At the Pearson Teaching Awards, an annual event which celebrates the work and achievements of exceptional
teachers, two schools in Bradford were recognised. Gill Edge, Co-Headteacher at Killinghall Primary School, was named as winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Gill received the award for her 14 years of service at the schools. Dixons Trinity Academy
was named as the winner of the Making a Difference Award. This award recognises the life changing impact inspirational teachers can have on young people.
Finally, as I said at the outset, I hope you get some rest and recharge your batteries over the summer period and look forward to seeing you over the summer or in the new term.