May Update

The OA Board met earlier this month to discuss the progress of OA programmes so far and discuss the need for any new activities in the final year. As a result of this conversation, and following the success of our Primary School Improvement programmes the Partnership Board have agreed to extend the Phonics, Reading, Writing and English as an Additional Language programmes for an additional year. They have also agreed to commission further work in Primary Maths and Secondary English and Maths.

The Board also agreed to provide a proportion of match funding to support Derby Theatre’s application to the Youth Performance Partnership Fund. Derby Theatre were successful in their application and have secured £1m of Arts Council funding to continue the arts work of This Is Derby for an additional three years. The Board are also considering options to secure funding for the sports side of This is Derby to continue next year.

Additionally, following the progress of the SEND peer challenge programme, the Partnership Board approved further SEND funding to respond to matters emerging from the main programme. This additional funding will support:

  • Specific leadership training for SENCOs to enable them to lead the improvement of quality first teaching and the deployment of teaching assistants in their schools that better meet SEND needs.
  • Direct targeted support to help schools identified through the peer challenge process that have significant difficulties in introducing SEND improvements.
  • Training for front-line classroom teachers, teaching assistants and practitioners on priority SEND topics.

A group of service providers have now been appointed to provide an extensive programme of Speech Language and Communication (SLC) support for the next 18 months. This programme offers support to help early years’ settings (nurseries, PVI providers, Children’s Centres, childminders and school’s with Foundation Stage classes) to improve their SLC provision.

IMG_20190520_160825The first TALK Derby Network Meeting was held on 20th May at the Derby Conference Centre, with over 130 EY settings in attendance. The meeting provided EY settings with information on the support and training available to them through TALK Derby, as well the opportunity to network. To find out more about TALK Derby, or to sign up for training, visit:

Funding has now also been approved for a 12 month city wide SLC campaign to promote learning across early years, primary and secondary. The campaign will raise the profile and promote the importance of SLC development across the city, giving a range of audience’s, including parents, childminders, early years professionals, health professionals, teachers (both primary and secondary), and businesses, access to information, tools and resources.

Funding has also been approved to vary the Department for Educations existing Grant with Nasen, the Early Years Disadvantage VCS Grant. The variation will provide 36 qualified EY SENCOs (in addition to the 24 already committed in the existing Grant), CPD for 120 EY Professionals, Training for 15 EY SEND Reviewers and 60 EY SEND Reviews.

Derby’s research school, Wyndham Primary Academy, has been funded by the Opportunity Area to provide two leadership training programmes for Derby schools. Each programme offers three days of face-to-face training with lots of practical tools to take away and support implementation, two coaching sessions and a follow up network impact event. The aim is to build capacity and support sustained impact which is bespoke to an individual school needs. The two programmes are:

  • Leading Learning: Developing an Evidence-Informed CPD Approach – Using evidence based practice to enhance teaching & learning. A chance to explore the evidence for a range of different strategies and plan for effective implementation and evaluation of new approaches.
  • Effective Use and Evaluation of the Pupil Premium A chance to develop, implement and review an evidence based high impact Pupil Premium strategy and framework. Developed by the Education Endowment Foundation and Research Schools Network, this 3-day programme draws upon the most recent and robust evidence of impact. For more information about any of the opportunities available in Derby, please email

The Primary Business Links project is now up and running. The project is an exciting opportunity for primary schools to access expert support in embedding career related learning into the curriculum and connect to local employers. It aims to broaden children’s horizons, supporting them to see the links between the subjects they study and the world of work and dispel the stereotypical images they develop from a young age, including gender stereotypes. Watch out for further information over the coming weeks.

IMG_20190530_132842This Is Derby held a symposium on the 24th May to celebrate the success of the programme so far and discuss how the work fits in with the wider work and priorities of Derby Opportunity Area. The event took place at Pride Park Stadium and included performances by young people involved in This Is Derby, a congratulatory video from Minister Nadim Zahawi, panel discussions, a research presentation and an exclusive preview of the This is Derby documentary – all while overseeing primary pupils take part in ELS activity on the pitch.

For more information about any of the opportunities available in Derby, please email


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