Letter from Deputy Director - Education and Learning

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Please see letter below from Marium Haque, Deputy Director - Education and Learning.

Welcome to the new academic year.

I hope that you had a restful and enjoyable break and are ready for the challenges ahead.   In particular, I welcome our new headteachers and principals who are joining us in Bradford.   Thank you for committing to working here in our vibrant and exciting city ensuring we make a difference to the lives and opportunities for all our young people.    I would like to take this opportunity to let you know of the changes in the Education and Learning Service working directly with schools.

Staffing Changes

At the end of this month, Yasmin Umarji will retire from her post as Strategic Manager Education and Learning.  I am sure you will join me in thanking Yasmin for her service and commitment to Bradford schools over the past twelve years, latterly as the Strategic Manager.  Yasmin will be greatly missed not least for her unflagging energy and enthusiasm.  She is going to travel the world with her husband and try not to think about us too much: our very best wishes for the future go with her.

Sue Lowndes has been appointed as our new Head of School Standards and Performance.  Sue joins us from a similar post in Wakefield where she led the development of Wakefield Traded Services and significant improvements in support for schools.  Sue will be making arrangements to visit as many schools and academies as possible and will also be at events and meetings of headteachers in order to get to know you.

We have two new Education Advisers joining us this term, Alice Ngondi to work with our special schools, PRUs and secondary schools and Craig Batley who will work with our Primary Schools for half of the week. Alice brings a wealth of experience in leadership and will add real capacity to our offer to schools.  Craig Batley is an experienced primary headteacher, trainer and school improver.

Jane Arundale, one of our education advisors, will also be retiring in October. Jane has given 35 years service to Bradford schools and the Local Authority. She has been instrumental in helping many of our schools facing challenging circumstances improve. Our thanks and very best wishes to Jane as she enters this new part of her life.

We also welcome two new colleagues to our SEND Services; Niall Devlin has recently been appointed as Strategic Manager for Integrated Assessment and Psychology. Niall brings with him a wealth of experience in this area. Jane Hall has also commenced with us as the new Transformation and Compliance Manager. Both Niall and Jane will be keen to engage with you as we continue our improvement journey for SEND.

Our School Improvement Offer to Schools and Academies

I am committed to working in partnership with all our schools and academies.  To that end I have undertaken to provide all schools, free schools and academies with a keeping in touch visit (KIT) from an experienced education adviser over the course of the academic year.   This will be at no cost and will be fully subsidised by the Local Authority. One of the advisors will contact you to arrange the visit which will have an agenda focused on standards and will last for half a day.  You will receive a written note following the visit.  Our priorities for KIT visits will be for those schools due an Ofsted inspection. All schools and Academies will have the offer to purchase additional support and advisor time from the LA, should they wish to do so.

LA Maintained schools designated as P3 and P4 schools will receive the support of a named education advisor to assist with the drawing up and monitoring of plans for improvement.  P3 schools will receive one day per term of this support and P4 schools will receive 2 days per term of support.  This will remain fully subsidised by the LA and so at no cost to the school. Any additional support can be purchased from the LA. Details of packages and support can be discussed via the School Standards and Performance Service.

We are intending to grow our traded services to schools and academies this year.  I hope you have all registered with Skills for Bradford so you can see and use the services on offer.  More Education and Learning Services will be available from this website and eventually services from across the wider council.  Alongside this, we will also be co-ordinating the offers to schools from other partners.

I wish you all a successful year.

Marium Haque

Deputy Director

Education and Learning

Children's Services

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council



Published: 10/09/2019
Audience: All Headteachers and Principals
Contact: Marium Haque

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