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The education sector never stands still. The 2019-20 academic year began with another change of leadership in the local authority. Interim Director of Education Alan Stubbersfield left, handing over to the new substantive post holder Alison Hurley in October. We introduced ourselves to her at the earliest opportunity and Alison attended meetings of our Steering Group and the Heads’ Group. We look forward to further developing our role as representatives of a significant number of the city’s schools in the wider Bristol education picture.

Connections through networks are the most powerful element of the partnership. Heads and Business Managers’ groups have held regular meetings throughout the year, and the Governors’ group this year has become increasingly effective, organising bespoke events in response to requests from schools. The subject leader networks have expanded in number, and through the moderation exercises, teachers in year groups have been connected with each other.

Whilst year’s activities have been somewhat disrupted by the Covid-19 emergency, one of our two major events, the INSET Day in January, took place, but the conference was disappointingly cancelled. We are very hopeful that it can be rescheduled in the new academic year. Some of our pupil events took place before the lock-down, some were completed during the lock-down, but our big summer sporting event and our plans for our sports day and major musical event fell victims to the virus.

One of our most significant achievements was winning a bid for funding from the Local Authority, late 2018, to develop our practice with regard to “disadvantaged” students. The Gap Project seeks to improve understanding of the ways in which children’s outcomes may be affected by disadvantaged circumstances, and to build a bank of knowledge and resources which all schools may use consistently to improve outcomes for those children. Eight schools are currently working directly on the project, with their Pupil Premium Leads now meeting regularly. Whilst each school in the project has identified its own priorities for development, they are working together to develop a more effective Pupil Premium reporting strategy that can be used by all schools to serve the needs of the children. The anticipated end of year report, sharing that practice more widely, had to be put on hold as everyone’s attention was diverted to meeting the needs of those pupils after the closure of schools was announced.

Our Common Transition Protocol, designed last year by our SEN working group, has undergone a review and is being
widely used by schools this year to provide children with a smooth transition from year 6 to year 7 primarily, although is relevant for any transition, whatever year group.

The corona-virus has provided an unexpected demonstration of the power of NW24. Throughout this period, the group email has been a lifeline for school leaders and governors, who have engaged in constant dialogue about the challenges faced. As we have all grappled with the daily briefings, guidance and instructions coming from government, health services and local authority, we have been able to get instant answers to our questions and reassurance from our colleagues. This has been an invaluable source of professional and emotional support, demonstrating that the culture of collaboration and information sharing is well and truly embedded in our partnership.

Click on each of these below to find out what actions the Partnership has been engaged in to achieve our objectives…
Raising or maintaining standards in all schools.

Improving the stability and security of school systems so they can deliver the most efficient provision for children.

Establishing the NW24 Partnership as a hub, which provides support to and a voice for all its stakeholders.