Spring Into Action

Over the last few months the Opportunity Area Partnership Board have approved a number of new OA projects. Including, awarding the Research School funding to deliver two key programmes in 2018/19; Leading Learning: Develop an Evidence-Informed CPD Approach and Effective Use and Evaluation of the Pupil Premium. The Research School will also be supporting Derby’s schools in 2019/20.
The board discussed an opportunity to secure Arts Council funding for the city over the next three years, which would help to sustain its ‘This is Derby’ activity and approved a proposal to support students transitioning between primary and secondary schools, more details of both programmes are given below.
We’re pleased to announce that the Board also approved the new Derby OA logo. The winning entry in the design competition came from Ravensdale Junior ScFinal logo JPGhool and has been digitised by a student from the University of Derby. For a copy of the logo please email Derby.OppArea@Education.gov.uk
There’s been a lot of activity on our Emotionally Healthy Schools Project recently and training has now begun for Designated School Leads for Mental Health (DSLMH). 94 schools have signed up to the programme and 44 have already have started their DSLMH training. Thanks to all schools who provided input into the web portal consultation. A service specification has now been drafted in line with the findings of the consultation and will go out to tender in the near future.
The OA transitions working group has developed city-wide transition arrangements for Year 6 pupils moving into Year 7 in 2019, including common transfer days, improved information sharing and support for vulnerable students. With the purpose of beginning the important dialogue between primary and secondary schools, a transitions information exchange event took place on Thursday 4th April. 400+ students so far have completed the Year 7 survey of their transfer experience. Responses are providing a wealth of valuable information and will ensure that the student voice shapes the work.
We’re also working on improving the recruitment and retention of teachers in Derby’s schools. Over 100 interviews took place recently for this year’s Derby NQT Pool, with over 70 trainees now looking to start careers as teachers in Derby. Further interviews will be taking place in March which may add more candidates into the pool. The Board also recently approved funding for a new recruitment and retention project, Teach Derby, which will be starting later in the year.
The Family Engagement (FE) Next Steps Careers Fair in Normanton on 28th February was a resounding success. There was a great turnout of over 100 young people and their families. Employers ranged from the Police and Fire Service, to Rolls Royce and Bombardier, all providing information on career pathways and apprenticeships. Primary FE activity continues with a full day event held on 2nd April, for all primary school FE leads participating in this OA project. This networking event provided an opportunity to share good practice with the aim of creating a shared vision across the city that will lead to increased engagement between schools, families and local communities.
Through the Essential Life Skills programme, we allocated £1m of funding to schools across Derby, based on a pupil premium formula, to delivery activity to support the development of skills such as confidence, resilience and teamwork. Schools have told us about the fantastic range of Essential Life Skills work underway across the city, So far over 860 sessions have been delivered to 4,023 students. 1565 (39%) of these were eligible for pupil premium.
In addition to schools funding, the ELS programme awarded £1m of funding to Derby County Community Trust to lead a consortium of sport, art and culture organisations to deliver ELS activity to young people across Derby, focusing in nine specific wards, with an additional hub targeted at children and young people who attend special schools. Over 1,600 children and young people have engaged and activities over the last month and activity will continue for the remainder of this academic year. For information on activities happening in your area please email Derby.OppArea@education.gov.uk.

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