Bradford District faces some big challenges and it will take the energy, efforts and resources of us all – the Council and public services, local people, communities and businesses – to meet them. None of us have all the answers but we all need to think about what we can contribute to creating the kind of place we want to live in because we can achieve far more working together than we ever can alone.
We believe that every child in the Bradford District should have the opportunity to realise their full potential and that working together with determination, purpose and ambition we can achieve this.
Improving educational attainment and making sure that all our children go to a good school and have a great start in life are among the biggest and most important challenges that we all face. It is crucial to the future success of our young people and of the district.
In the past, improvement in education hasn’t gone far enough, fast enough. Things have to change. We know we have to get better, there are no excuses. Urgent and sustained action is needed to drive up educational results.
That’s why a year ago we asked independent expert Professor David Woods to review efforts to improve educational attainment. As we put his recommendations into practice we are more determined than ever to make sure that all our children go to good schools and get the great start in life they deserve.
The Council is challenging schools to deliver urgent improvements with a particular focus on writing, reading and numeracy.
We are working to ensure that schools are well equipped and supported to drive up their standards and that success is shared across the district.
The Council has invested in school improvement, developing school leadership and supporting school governors to lead improvement.
To meet the challenges we face we need to:
We have to work together.
Like all councils, Bradford has to cut spending and in the future we’ll have a lot less money than we’ve all been used to.
We can only make the changes needed to give all children a good school and a great start if the Council and other public services work together with pupils, parents, communities, business and the voluntary sector to change the way things are done.
We all need to be ambitious to deliver the improvements in education that our children deserve. We want all our schools to be good by 2018.
Achieving those improvements is a joint effort and responsibility with everyone involved having their part to play. The Council can offer a range of support and help to families, children and schools but we can’t deliver the change we need on our own.
Improving schools is a team effort and accountability is shared between schools, Bradford Schools Partnership and the Council but parents and families, local communities and businesses and the Government all have their part to play.
Together we all have to take responsibility to improve schools and standards. It’s only by working together that we can make the most of all the resources we have to create the best chance of success for all our children and young people.
So as well as our offer we have to strike a new deal with parents, schools, organisations and communities and ask what they can do to play their part and help?
That’s why we are proposing a Bradford Education Covenant that outlines the part the Council will play and what others need to do.
The Council will:
Parents getting involved in their children’s’ education is critical to school improvement and has a significant effect on educational achievement and continues to do so through adolescence and adulthood.
Students’ expectations are another big factor in how well they do at school and parents play a massive part in shaping their children’s expectations, aspirations and attitudes to education.
We are asking all parents to work together with us and with their schools to play their part.
A child’s first teachers are its parents, its first school is its home and high involvement of parents in their child’s education leads to better exam results and a better future for their child.
Children only spend about 15% of their waking lives in school so what they do outside is just as important to their future as what they do in it.
We are asking all parents to work together with us to:
The Council will do all it can to ensure that children and young people are able to realise their full potential, by:
We are asking all children and young people to work together with us to:
Children and young people need to do this because motivated and responsible pupils have a better chance of achieving success.
The Council will continue to support and challenge schools to improve by:
Increasingly, schools themselves are at the heart of driving school improvement and in future we might see schools doing more to lead and deliver school improvement with the Council doing less directly.
We are asking all schools to work together with us and:
All our schools need to do this to help us achieve our shared ambition of making sure every school is good by 2018.
We aim to produce confident and skilled students who progress into good jobs and careers after school so we have to ensure that they have routes into employment and higher education.
We are working with partners to help people into employment through Get Bradford Working, the biggest local employment and skills programme of its kind. The Council will also:
We’ll keep working hard to help prepare young people for work but with far less public money we will have to focus resources where they make most difference and work hard to secure money from regional and European initiatives.
Businesses and other employers can also play a significant part in delivering good schools and a great start for our children and young people and helping them to achieve their potential.
We are asking businesses and other employers to work together with us by:
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.
The old adage that it “takes a village to raise a child” still holds true.
Everyone, whether they are parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbours or local firms and employers can make a positive contribution to the growth and development of young people.
Securing a successful future for all of us depends on securing a successful future for the young people of the district.
People right across the district are playing their part in providing sporting, youth and pre-school activities, many giving up their free time to do so. Others are using their skills to help run our schools for example, by becoming school governors.
Without these efforts we cannot achieve our goals, so we are asking everyone to play their part in giving all our children a good school and a great start in life.
We are asking everyone in every community and neighbourhood across the district to play their part in making a positive contribution to the growth, development and wellbeing of young people. This could mean getting involved as a volunteer reader, helping with out of school activities like sport or just keeping an eye out for the wellbeing of young children and young people.
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.
The Government sets the policies and allocates resources and powers to schools and local authorities.
The Council will:
We are asking the Government to work together with us and:
We need government to do this because we have one of the fastest growing populations of young people in the country, we will need extra places equivalent to two new secondary schools by 2018 and we need rapid improvements if all our schools are going to be good.
The Council is working closely together with schools, parents, children and young people, communities and public and private sector partners to find ways of getting the results we all want to see with a lot less money than we have been used to.
Some of our plans and ideas to provide all our children with a good school and a great start have been presented above.
Together, they form part of a Bradford Education Covenant which outlines the Council’s pledge to take action on education, along with what it is asking of others to ensure our young people get the best possible start in life.
We want to know what you think of those plans. Do you have any other ideas about how we can provide a good school and a great start in life for all our children and young people with much less money?
Is there anything more that you think public services, parents, communities or business and government could do? Is there anything you can do to help and play your part in a new deal for the district?