Terms of Reference of the Barnsley Alliance for Schools and the draft Education Improvement Strategy approved

Cabinet members have today (Wednesday, 27 November) agreed the terms of reference of the Barnsley Alliance for Schools - the strategic partnership for improving the quality of teaching and learning standards in the borough.

The Barnsley Alliance is the local approach to sector-led education improvement, by which school and academy leaders - those who know education best - are supporting each other to improve provision and outcomes for all Barnsley pupils.

The revised strategy will help refocus priorities along with raising levels of attainment and progress for all children and young people.

The Cabinet report explained how the Alliance will drive the strategic priorities of the council’s revised Education Improvement Strategy. This includes the implementation of a detailed risk evaluation framework aimed at ensuring schools and academies are offered tailored support and challenge to help the delivery of their school improvement priorities.

In addition, the strategy sets out how the Barnsley Alliance will further support improving the progress of vulnerable and disadvantaged children. These include children and young people with special educational needs (SEN); children experiencing care; those for whom schools are in receipt of pupil premium grant or who are receiving free school meals, as well as children and young people who are excluded or are at risk of exclusion from their school or academy.

As a result, the council and its partners will drive the continued raising of teaching and learning standards across the borough and through this will enhance pupil aspirations and drive social mobility. This approach also develops the local workforce and helps build social capital through education.       

This place-based, partnership approach will help put Barnsley schools and academies in an even stronger position in meeting the needs and aspirations of all the borough’s children and young people so that they can achieve their potential.

Rachel Dickinson, Executive Director for People, said: “Barnsley has made great strides in bringing educational outcomes into line with, or in some cases exceeding, national expectations.

“While excellent teaching and school leadership is central to improving education outcomes, this alone will not succeed in accelerating improvement to bring attainment and progress above national standards and to achieve the excellence we aspire to. Our response needs to ensure that we support and strengthen families and communities where children may experience barriers to well-being and achievement, so that we break the cycle of poor outcomes and quality of life that endure in some of our communities. The circumstances of some young people’s lives should not hinder achievement.

Therefore this strategy is supported by and operates in conjunction with, others such as the Barnsley SEND Strategy, the Neglect Strategy and our All-age Early Help Strategy. Whatever their background or circumstances, our children and young people deserve the most positive educational experience and to achieve the best possible outcomes.”

The report can be read in full here.

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