New partnerships to be set up in Manchester to further improve education

A brand new Manchester Schools’ Alliance and a Strategic Education Partnership are to be set up to help further improve education and skills in the city, and as a response to the nationally changing educational landscape.

Plans to set up a Manchester Teaching School and a dedicated education ‘Think Tank’ are amongst the ideas to be taken forward by the new schools’ Alliance.

The work of the Alliance will complement that of a new citywide Strategic Education Partnership that is also being established to help further improve education and skills in the city.

Led by schools themselves, the Alliance will provide leadership to schools, and will build on good relationships that already exist between Manchester schools to make these stronger still.

One of its early priorities will be to establish a Manchester Teaching School that would play a key role in training future teachers and in providing professional training and development to teachers already working in the city’s schools.

Although there are a large number of Teaching Schools in the North West, there isn’t currently one in Manchester.

The proposed Manchester Teaching School will be led by a small group of outstanding Manchester schools and one outstanding sixth form college, supported by a larger group of very good primary, secondary and special schools.

A proposal to set up the Teaching School, including an application for funding to do so will be made to the National College by the new Manchester Schools’ Alliance.

The Alliance will also develop a forward looking ‘education think tank’ with representatives from education, business, creative industries and politics to explore innovative ideas that would be of use to schools.

Jenny Andrews, Deputy Director Children’s Services, Manchester City Council, said: “Despite the changing educational landscape nationally schools have been very clear with us that they still see themselves as part of the Manchester family of schools.

“There are already strong professional links between many schools that provide leadership and support to each other, particularly amongst neighbouring schools. The Alliance will create a citywide safety net of guidance, support and leadership for all Manchester schools, driven by the schools themselves.

“It’s a very positive step on the road to further improving education and skills in the city.”

Working alongside the Alliance will be a new Strategic Education Partnership (SEP) that will be led by the city council, supported by the new Director of Education and Skills.

It will act as the link between central government and local schools – linking schools to key stakeholders including businesses, colleges, the universities, and others.

The Partnership will also link schools into the wider city policy agenda and will bring partners together to agree key educational, skills, and employment priorities for Manchester.

It will be chaired by the Leader of the Council, and members will include representatives from schools, the council, businesses, industry, health partners, and higher and further education.

The SEP and the Schools’ Alliance are being set up against a backdrop that nationally is seeing big changes in education and the relationship between local authorities and schools.

Councillor Afzal Khan, Executive Member Children’s Services, Manchester

City Council, said: “This is about building strong links through from the classroom to the world of work to enable all pupils to take full advantage of the opportunities available to them in the city.

“We’re determined to ensure that all our young people achieve their potential and go on to achieve fulfilled lives and economic independence in the future.”