Oldham Education and Skills Commission aims to make schools stronger by working together

PLANS FOR a new and revolutionary school-led system to raise education standards across Oldham have been unveiled.

The recommendation is the first to be revealed by the Oldham Education and Skills Commission (OESC), chaired by former Education Secretary, Estelle Morris.

Launched last summer, the independent commission was tasked with developing a shared vision that will result in a step change in children’s education.

Its final report will be published in September but this first recommendation will lay down clear foundations for the future.

The schools-led system would be a new type of partnership sharing responsibility equally between the council, schools and the community to drive up aspirations and achieve better outcomes for young people.

Estelle Morris believes all local schools and staff can each make a vital contribution to wider and sustainable education success.

“This would see a fundamental change for the responsibility for education across Oldham – and it’s the start of a crucial journey,” she said.

“This plan is about all schools coming together regardless of age-group, governance, sponsorship or denomination, or whether you are an academy, local authority-maintained or free school.

“What really matters here is that shared vision for every child to reach their full potential.

“What also really matters is that if you’re an educator in Oldham you’re now saying you have a responsibility for the education of every local child – not just those you are directly responsible for day to day.

“How we all fulfil that challenge is by working together on genuinely equal merit and in a new culture of collaboration where each school shares data, accepts and offers best practice, where targets and progress are shared, where all learn and improve together – and where children reap the benefits.”

The new body would agree shared values and collaborative working arrangements and also new guarantees of education standards for students, parents, teachers and leaders.

Councillor Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader, sponsored the launch of the OESC.

He said: “Our ambition is for Oldham’s children to get the best possible start in life and I welcome this proposal as a launch pad for getting on with that job.”

“I am looking forward to receiving the Commission’s final report and the council has already committed significant funding to pay for the changes needed to establish this school-led system.

“The Council welcomes the proposal for this new partnership and we will play our role as an equal partner to ensure the achievement of these shared goals.”


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