Uniting and supporting Newham schools

7 December 2018 in Education
A meeting of Newham Council cabinet on Tuesday 4 December, was given an update on a new partnership open to all Newham schools but specifically designed to support maintained schools in the borough.​
This follows the cabinet decision in July to formalise the Mayor’s election pledge to unite the family of Newham schools and oppose further academisation by supporting Newham’s maintained schools.

Last night cabinet members heard about the discussion that have happened with schools, governors, parents, and young people, around the future of our schools and how best the council can develop a partnership which is focused school improvement.

The cabinet member for education Cllr Julianne Marriott, along with senior council  officers, have visited over 30 governing bodies, met with parents and school councils. The council has organised events with head teachers (including one attended by over 80% of maintained schools). There have also been discussions with elected members and representatives of teaching unions, as well as work to learn from the experience of other boroughs.

Cabinet also heard that an Education Partnership Board representing the whole range of Newham Schools from nursery to sixth forms, academies, maintained and free schools, has now been established.

This forum is a mechanism which will enable Newham schools to influence decisions about education in the borough. The Board has discussed issues of shared concern including SEND (special educational needs and disability) and minimum standards for council services to schools.

The work of the Partnership Board has been supported by the council through sharing of a wide range of detailed data and information. This ensures the work of the board is well-informed and the decisions made are based on the best factual evidence.

The paper outlines potential models for school improvement, which could be jointly funded by council and schools, with the aim of launching an initial offer by September 2019. This delivers on the Mayor’s manifesto pledge to oppose further academisation and support schools to remain within the local authority.

Cllr Marriott said: “I really appreciate the honest conversations I have had with heads, governors, parents and young people. We are now able to take the first steps to set up a partnership with all schools and education providers, rebuild trust and to help our schools be even better at preparing our children for adult life. This shows our commitment to election pledges to re-establish a sustainable partnership to unite the family of Newham schools and involve them in decisions about education.”