Summer is here

It feels like we have made a number of big steps forward since the spring. During 2017/18, we delivered a number of small-scale primary programmes, covering phonics, maths, reading and comprehension, and a programme on EAL leadership. Encouraging progress has been made in many of the participating schools. We will be running similar programmes in year 2 and targeted at similar numbers of schools.

At secondary, we have also delivered programmes in maths and English and are working closely with Chellaston Academy, helping to plan Chellaston’s strategic school improvement fund activity that will support secondary schools with maths and English throughout 2018/19.

The Board has approved three significant activities, which will start from the autumn term:

  • Targeted Student Support, aiming to reduce the number of school moves made by secondary students in years 10 & 11;
  • Family Engagement programme to support families who find it hard to engage with their child’s education, starting with secondary schools; and
  • Emotionally Health Schools, a proposal aligned to the mental health green paper to support school leaders to develop policies and supportive environments conducive to positive emotional well-being.

We have allocated our Essential Life Skills funding, including a large grant to a consortium led by Derby County Community Trust, a number of small grants to providers working with Derby’s schools and schools, academies and Derby College have been notified of their Essential Life Skills allocations.

We have also awarded a number of collaborative science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) grants, which will deliver a range of activities that help schools and learning providers to improve outcomes for STEAM.

Our SEND peer review pilots have been succesful and we will be rolling out the peer review programme from the autumn term.

The OA Board has seen some changes and we are delighted to welcome three new appointments, Angela O’Brien, Debbie Gerring and Simon Carnall.

We would like to wish everyone across the city, especially those working with Derby’s children and young people, a relaxing and enjoyable summer break!

Derby OA Board activity

The Opportunity Area Partnership Board met on 7 June to discuss a number of proposals for new activity in the city.

The Board approved funding for a new 2-year scheme of Targeted Student Support, aiming to reduce the number of school moves made by secondary students in KS4. Students who change schools during these critical years have some of the worst outcomes in our school system, and we want to help them either to “stay put” or to make the transition successfully. The programme will include mentoring, support for transition and induction, and stronger protocols between schools so that the best solution can be found for each student. Landau Forte College will be co-ordinating the development and delivery of this programme for secondary schools.

Funding was also agreed for a 2-year Family Engagement programme. Parents and families are a vital support for pupils and we want to support families who find it hard to engage with their child’s education, starting with secondary schools. Building on the success of recent pilots, the heart of the programme will be community-based education events which will take place in local community venues with translation and other support on offer. At the same time we will launch a local media campaign to provide information about education in Derby in a number of languages, encouraging parents to get more involved. Bemrose School will be co-ordinating the development and delivery of this programme for secondary schools. The OA Board is keen to develop a similar approach for families with children in primary school and a working group is now developing ideas.

The Board discussed a proposal to help schools provide greater support for pupils’ mental health. The Board recognised the growing, significant need in this area, and liked the ambition of the proposals, but felt it was important to see the Government’s response to the recent Green Paper consultation on mental health before taking a decision. The response is due very soon and the Board wants to ensure that OA activity is aligned to any national policy announcements.

Science Technology Engineering Arts and Maths (STEAM) Innovation Fund

In the delivery plan for Derby Opportunity Area, our Chair, Kath Mitchell, set out her vision for Derby as a centre of excellence for education and employment in Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) subjects. As part of that the Board has approved a fund offering grants up to a maximum of £25k for a range of activities that help schools and learning providers to improve outcomes for STEAM including:

  • Providing a positive image for children and young people in STEAM subjects.
  • Improving academic outcomes in STEAM subjects and especially improving outcomes for disadvantaged young people in STEAM.
  • Striving for a better gender balance in children and young people following STEAM subjects.
  • Engagement in additional curricular experiences in STEAM.
  • Improving school and college based teaching and learning in STEAM via CPD and links with industry.
  • Creating positive pathways in STEAM, for example, through STEAM information, advice and guidance for young people.

Further information about the grant fund can be found at https://www.derby.gov.uk/education-and-learning/extra-curricular-activities/stream-grants/