Bradford Education Covenant

We believe that every child in the Bradford District should have the chance to realise their full potential and that working together with determination, purpose and ambition we can achieve this.

Improving educational achievement and making sure all children can go to a good school are among the biggest and most important challenges we all face in the Bradford District. Providing young people with the right skills and knowledge within an excellent school system is crucial to their future success and wellbeing and that of the district.

In the past, improvement in education hasn’t gone far enough, fast enough. We know we’ve got to do better, there are no excuses. We need urgent and sustained action to drive up education results.

Things have to change and together we all have to take responsibility to improve educational achievement in our district and give all our children a great start in life. The changes we need can’t happen unless we all, public services, schools, parents, business and communities, work together.

We have to make sure that children are ready for school and ready to learn, to accelerate the rate of improvement in achievement and to ensure that young people leave school ready for work and life.

Achieving those outcomes is a joint responsibility with everyone involved having their part to play.

So we are setting out what the Council can offer but we are also asking families, schools, business and employers, the Government and young people themselves to work together with us to do all they can to create the best chance of success for all our children and young people.

The proposed Bradford Education Covenant will outline the action the Council will take along with what it is asking of others to ensure our young people get the best possible start in life.

The Bradford Education Covenant

What the Council will offer

Keeping schools and education as a top priority

Improving schools and educational attainment, so that all our children are able to achieve their potential, will stay at the top of our priorities. We will support all Councillors to be effective champions of children, parents and learning and work with schools and parents to develop a vision for education as we pursue our ambition of making all our schools good by 2018.

Driving school improvement

The Council will work to put schools themselves at the heart of driving improvement. We will challenge schools and governing bodies and hold them to account for their performance, taking rapid and robust action where there are issues that may be preventing a school from making progress, whatever type of school it may be.

Promoting learning from the very best

We already have some outstanding school leaders and teachers. We will work even harder with schools to identify, celebrate, promote and share best practice and support them to assist each other to accelerate improvement.

Attracting, retaining and developing the best school leaders and teachers

We will invest resources in attracting, retaining and developing the best school leaders, teachers and classroom assistants. We’ve already set aside £660,000 to do this. Part of this commitment will involve promoting Bradford District as an attractive career choice for the best teachers and school leaders. Government policy is to increase the numbers of Academies so we will be proactive in seeking out high quality academy sponsors to attract to the district.

Providing school places by working together with government

The Council will work with the Government to ensure the district gets the money it needs to provide enough school places and keep schools well equipped. We’ve invested £700,000 to match the Government’s money for extra school places but we need more money and more places.

Helping to make sure children are ready for school

Support will be there for families and children through the ‘early years’ helping to make sure children are ready for school and can do their very best at school from day one.

Supporting children and young people to be ready for work and life

Working closely with the business community, the University and colleges, the Council will provide real opportunities for skill development and jobs when young people leave school. We’ll continue, in partnership, to deliver the innovative Industrial Centres of Excellence, each covering a different economic sector, linking schools to employers’ needs and we’ll support business to get the right young person, with the right skills through our Apprenticeships Hub.

Raising aspirations through cultural opportunities

Providing chances for students to benefit from enriched cultural learning by maximising the District’s unique local learning opportunities and facilities - for example, with the National Media Museum and City of Film. This will provide inspiration to our young people and stimulate creativity.

Bradford Council’s Education Ask

Parents

  • Access a nursery place – 15 hours a week is free and it can make a big difference to your child’s development 
  • Involve yourself in your child’s education, encourage and celebrate their learning 
  • Make learning fun at home, read, count and play every day with your young child 
  • Make sure your child is at school on time, attends regularly and doesn’t take unauthorised absence 
  • Support your child to get their homework in on time 
  • Support your child to get involved in out of school activities

Parents need to do this because their involvement in children’s education from an early age has a significant effect on educational achievement, and continues to do so into adolescence and adulthood.

Children and young people

  • Make the most of opportunities for learning at school and at home 
  • Take responsibility for your own education, build your skills, ask questions, take notes in class and get your work in on time, discover your talents – it’s your life, your future, your choice

Children and young people need to do this because motivated and responsible pupils have a better chance of achieving success.

Schools

  • Put yourselves at the heart of driving school improvement, working together in partnership, recognising that all types of school are part of a wider education system and need to share solutions and ideas to raise education attainment 
  • Be active in the district’s networks of schools, assist each other each other to challenge and address failure and support the lowest performing schools to learn from the highest performers 
  • Share resources and expertise to invest in teaching, learning and facilities 
  • Take timely and robust action to deal with performance, governance, attendance and any other issues in your school to provide the very best education experience and outcomes for your pupils 
  • Support students to identify future careers opportunities

All our schools need to do this to help us achieve our shared ambition of making sure every school is ‘Good’ by 2018.

Business and employers

  • Support and become involved with an Industrial Centre of Excellence or Bradford Pathways 
  • Encourage your employees to volunteer for the reading in schools project and to offer mentoring for young people at school 
  • Provide meaningful work placements to your local schools and be an active partner in educating young people about potential careers 
  • Provide apprenticeships for local young people

Businesses need to do this because good education and good skills mean greater growth. In engineering alone the UK needs 1.82 million workers with relevant skills by 2022.

Communities

  • Everyone in every community and neighbourhood to play their part in making a positive contribution to the growth, development and wellbeing of young people 
  • Get involved, for example as a volunteer reader

We need our communities to do this because everyone shares in the social and economic benefits of improving education and everyone can play a part in helping to achieve it.

Government

  • Provide the funding for the district to have enough places for all our children 
  • Provide funding and support to help increase education achievement in the district, for example invest in a local programme to drive rapid and sustainable improvements 
  • Support us to attract outstanding teachers, leaders and, in line with Government policy, Academy chains to the district 
  • Trust local education partners and devolve more powers to local authorities to tackle failing schools and hold academies to account

We need the government to do this because we have one of the fastest growing populations of young people in the country and will need extra places equivalent to two new secondary schools by 2018.

Comment on The Bradford Education Covenant

If you would like to comment on The Bradford Education Covenant, or have other ideas about what might be included in it, email school.improvement@bradford.gov.uk