Category: Young People

Delivering on our election pledges

Back in 2015 at the last local elections, Nottingham Labour pledged to ‘guarantee a choice of places for every child at a local primary school.’ Since then we’ve been working hard, alongside Council officers and with our local schools to meet this pledge.

In 2015, 91% of children and parents received their 1st or 2nd choice primary school. Today, (16th April 2018) on national offer day, we were able to offer 97% of children and parents their 1st or 2nd choice, and every child in Nottingham City has been offered a primary school place.

We’ve worked with local teachers and school governors to build new school buildings and expand good schools in areas where demand is high. Nottingham is a growing city, with both economic and population growth outstripping the national average.

In recent years Nottingham Labour has invested over £40million to create new schools places, new jobs in local schools and improved school facilities and learning environments. We will have created 4778 new school places when our expansion programme is completed.

More families are choosing to live and work in Nottingham, our local schools are more popular than ever and now that Nottingham City has the highest proportion of Ofsted ‘outstanding’ rated schools in the region, demand has been rising. Our investment has improved schools, dealt with growing demand in Nottingham’s primary schools and significantly increased the proportion of families securing their preferred primary schools.

Our most recent investment created 210 additional places at Mellers Primary, in Redford, which was officially opened by Jermaine Jenas, Jawaid Khaliq and Ellie Downie back in November. Construction works are underway now at primary schools in Bestwood, Bilborough and Wollaton to ensure that we continue to improve good local schools and meet our 2015 election pledge.  

You can find more information about primary school national offer day and our school investment programme here: http://www.mynottinghamnews.co.uk/higher-percentage-of-pupils-get-first-choice-primary-school/#5ad44dc651180

 

Cllr Sam Webster
Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills
Nottingham City Council

 

Nottingham’s Pioneering Schools Model Goes From Strength to Strength

In September 2017 we launched the Nottingham Schools Trust, a groundbreaking new model for local schools to work together, share resources and drive improvements by cooperation and collaboration. The first Trust of its kind in the country is made up of 30 local schools, enabling Council maintained community schools to join together in a not-for profit charitable structure.

The Trust isn’t restricted to Council maintained schools. Of the 30 member schools, 3 are standalone academies and 3 are schools for children with special educational needs. Since the launch of Nottingham Schools Trust more schools have expressed an interest in joining and Foxwood Academy, a special school in Bramcote recently became the newest member school, and the first member school outside the Nottingham City boundary.\

The member schools are:

Bentinck Primary School
Berridge Primary School
Cantrell Primary School
Carrington Primary School
Dovecote Primary School
Fernwood Primary School
Forest Fields Primary School
Foxwood Academy
Glade Hill Primary School
Greenfields Community School
Haydn Primary School
Heathfield Primary School
Hempshill Hall Primary School
Henry Whipple Primary School
Hospital and Home Education and Learning Centre
Melbury Primary School
Mellers Primary School
Milford Academy
Oak Field School & Sports College
Old Basford Primary School
Rise Park Primary School
Robin Hood Primary School
Rufford Primary School
Seely Primary School
Snape Wood Primary School
Southglade Primary School
Southwold Primary School
Walter Halls Primary School
Welbeck Primary School
Westglade Primary School

The Nottingham Schools Trust has also been successful at bidding for additional funding to support school improvement and the success of many of the member schools is one of the reasons that Nottingham City now has the highest proportion of outstanding schools in the region.

The underlying aims of the Trust are to collaborate, participate and respond to the needs of children across the City of Nottingham. Every school, as a member, has a voice in the decision-making process, through the Trust’s open and transparent governance.

Moreover, the Trust values the diversity which exists in member schools and actively encourages each school joining the Trust
to maintain and further develop its own distinctive culture and identity.

Since Nottingham City Council gave the go ahead for the establishment of the Trust the number of new Academy conversions has fallen to zero, helping to protect the community status of many of our local schools. There’s also been a great deal of interest from other areas of the country where there is a desire to introduce a similar model – run by schools, for schools, in the interests of local children.

Councillor Sam Webster
Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills
Nottingham City Council
Twitter: @cllrsamwebster

More information about Nottingham Schools Trust can be found here:
nottinghamschoolstrust.org.uk

Nottingham Labour delivers three school expansions to create 480 school places for Nottingham children by 2020

Three Nottingham City schools will expand by the end of 2019, creating 480 school places and 26 nursery places.

The three schools are:

  • Westbury Special School in Bilborough, which will have 60 additional primary and secondary places by August 2018, following investment of £4.75m
  • Glade Hill Primary School in Bestwood, which will have 210 additional primary places and 26 additional nursery places by September 2019, following investment of £1.8m
  • Middleton Primary School in Wollaton, which will have 210 additional primary places by December 2019, following investment of £4.1m

These expansions come under Nottingham Labour’s wider £41.9 million expansion plan to create thousands of extra school places across the city, and are the last three schools to be expanded as part of this programme.

This phase of expansions will create new teaching, teaching support and other in-school jobs along with additional employment and training opportunities during construction.

We are investing in our schools because we know there is a demand for places. Nottingham is growing economically, new homes are being built and more families are choosing to live and work here. Nottingham Labour is committed to providing a good school place, close to home for every child in Nottingham City.

Our careful planning and continued investment means that we have enough primary school places to meet the current and future demand. Last year we were able to offer every Nottingham child a school place, with nearly 95% of children being offered a place at their first or second-choice primary school – up 2% from the previous year.

We now want to build on this success and create 2,250 more secondary school places by 2022 and will be bidding for funding to do so.

Councillor Sam Webster
Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills

More Nottingham care leavers are entering employment, education or training

This year 67% of Nottingham City Care Leavers are either in employment, education or training, a significant increase on last year that places Nottingham as one of the best local authorities in the country for the future prospects of Care Leavers.

A designated Leaving Care service which solely works with those aged 18-25 has managed to support a significant number of Nottingham’s Care Leavers, with individual support packages that enhance their abilities and teach new skills, providing them with practical support for interviews and job applications. This ultimately provides them with the opportunity to live independent and successful lives after leaving our care service.

The priority that we have given to this area of our work is reflected in the fact that it forms a manifesto target, where we have pledged to offer apprenticeships or permanent jobs to 10% of care leavers within the council, setting an example to other employers with our own practice. To deliver this, the Leaving Care Service is working closely with the Nottingham Apprenticeship Scheme.

Further and higher education has also proved attainable for Care leavers, and we are proud of the 16 Nottingham care leavers who are currently at University. Work to ensure that care leavers have appropriate and additional pastoral support from FE providers is taking place through identifying designated contacts and improving communication between providers and Personal Advisors. The impact of this is starting to be seen, with examples of more collaborative and earlier support being implemented when issues arise, resulting in college places being sustained.

This approach has led to year on year success. In 2016/17 Nottingham City had 58.7% of care leavers aged 19 – 21 in education, employment or training and the average for local authorities who are similar to ours was 47.7%, meaning we are well out performing other parts of the country. We are also proud of the work and progress we have achieved and are particularly proud of our staff in the Council and Futures Advice who are providing Nottingham’s Care Leavers with the support and help they need.

We are not complacent however, and will continue to work hard to maintain and build on this progress.

Councillor David Mellen,
Portfolio Holder for Early Years and Early Intervention

Youth Takeover Day

Last Friday, 25th of November, young people from the Youth Cabinet and Children in Care Council joined Councillors, Council officers and MP’s in Nottingham as part of a youth takeover day within the City.

The programme was part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge, a national initiative to encourage organisations to engage with children and young people.

The day offered young people an insight into making decisions and gave them the chance to put their opinions forward. The scheme was also designed to give Councillors, and others who were buddied up with the young people, new ideas and a fresh approach to the way they work.

Labour Councillors involved included myself, Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years and the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Jackie Morris. Young people joined also joined Nottingham South MP, Lilian Greenwood and Gedling MP, Vernon Coaker.

Teams of young people took over the restaurant at Loxley House, designing the menu and cooking for the day, as well as taking over the Communications and Marketing team at Nottingham City Council.

Nottingham Labour is committed to engaging with young people and we believe offering these sorts of experiences can be a great way for people to find out what they might want to do in the future.

Last year the Children’s Partnership Board adopted a new Participation Strategy to ensure the voice of young citizens is embedded in the decision-making processes of the Council and its partners.

Additionally the Youth Cabinet and Children in Care Council are excellent initiatives that aim to engage young people with politics.

Cllr Sam Webster

Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment & Skills