With the school year rapidly coming to a close and a well-deserved break in the offing there are just a few things we wanted to highlight with you all:-
Manchester Schools Alliance Autumn Term Conference – 25th September – Etihad Stadium
Attached is the draft programme for what will be the first of bi-annual full Headteacher & Principal Conferences. At the conference we will update you on progress and activity of the MSA to date, as well as plans and ideas for the year ahead. Most importantly we will need you as members to drive the ideas and areas of focus for the future of the MSA. Please hold the date in your diaries, further details will follow.
DfE Consultation: Primary assessment and accountability under the new national curriculum
Following the announcement on Wednesday morning of the proposed revised approach to the above we will be coordinating an MSA response to the consultation. The consultation is scheduled to close on 11th October so we will have the opportunity to discuss the matter at our conference on the 25th September but will welcome your early comments and contributions prior to then so we can hopefully bring a draft response to the conference for all MSA members to consider. Unfortunately the timescales for the Curriculum Consultation preclude us from coordinating a considered and agreed MSA response, nevertheless, it will be useful for us to also begin to discuss how we might collectively lead an approach to interpreting and implementing the new curriculum within the Manchester context.
Primary Headteacher Secondments – Schools Direct
We have progressed discussions with a number of Heads who came forward following the recent advert for support to the MSA. It was felt that the first piece of essential activity for the group would be to raise awareness of the Schools Direct approach to teacher recruitment amongst our schools and advise on the activity we are coordinating in partnership with Schools Direct and our two universities to ensure the right supply of high calibre staff are secured for the City’s schools. We have sought to ensure an even spread across the city from the nominated Heads and will be asking them to undertake individual engagement with other schools in their locale at the start of the new year so that we can ensure we meet the September deadline for submitting our recruiting intentions for 2014/15.
Heads Mentoring Scheme – Mentoring for New Head teachers
We know from discussions across the City that a number of you are already active participants as either Mentors or Mentees in a variety of local, regional and national programmes. We also know that many of our Heads are missing out on this valuable developmental opportunity from both perspectives. Added to the very particular demands of headship in a City such as ours we have decided to launch a targeted mentoring scheme for new Heads and those Heads new to Manchester. The provisional brief for the programme is attached and we would welcome nominations from those Heads willing to act as Mentors.
Digital Futures Conference Follow-up – Digital Futures
Following the Digital Conference in June we have held discussions with partners across the city; such as the Chamber of Commerce, Code Clubs, the Museum of Science and Industry and a number of the City’s digital enterprises. We have already progressed some work to engage schools with the Code Clubs programme and will be working to further support the uptake of these into the new school year. To help us continue to develop the right sort of engagement and support it would be helpful if all schools could complete the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/R87G89J. For those of you who weren’t able to join us on the day attached is a very short flavour of what you missed, please do also complete the sections of the survey that are relevant to you.
Lastly, over the summer break we will be considerably developing the content on the MSA website, including such things as full video footage of the showcases and panel discussions at the recent Digital Futures conference for you to catch up on what you may have missed. So if you haven’t yet registered your school and signed up individually please do so soon and give us your comments and feedback on what we should include and expand. If you need help on how to register please contact us directly.
There will be much more to discuss at the start of the new year and at the conference in September, but until then, have a good break.