RECOMMENDATIONS AND targets to bring top-class education to schools across Oldham are outlined in a new report published this month.
Baroness Estelle Morris chaired the Oldham Education and Skills Commission to conduct a wide-ranging review of the local education offer in 2014.
The independent body spent more than 18 months of evidence gathering and discussions with schools, colleges, businesses, education professionals, young people and families.
Now, in their 84-page report, they identify areas of best practice and underachievement, investigating the challenges faced and developing a path to future success for the borough.
The report also sets out a vision to create a ‘self-improving education system’ where schools, colleges and all interested parties work together in a new collaborative partnership.
There are 19 recommendations and focuses on achieving two key targets by 2020 to see all performance indicators at the national average or above and to have all education providers judged ‘good’ or better by Ofsted.
The report was launched by former Education Secretary Estelle Morris and Jim McMahon at The Radcylffe School in Chadderton.
Estelle Morris, who was a teacher for 19 years, said: “I’m delighted to publish this report and I believe this can be a significant moment for Oldham.
“A good education system is critical to this town’s future success. It needs high standards and a highly-skilled workforce and this report can play a major role in the future of education and training to achieve that.
“Our report identifies some good foundations are already in place but we also know that is not the same story everywhere.
“Those who work in schools and colleges have a key role but we also believe the whole community has a part to play in this.
“There’s no reason why Oldham’s children can’t be the best in the world and they should aim high.
“This report explains how we help them do that and I would urge everyone to read it and consider what part they can play.”
Cllr McMahon was recently elected as the Oldham West and Royton MP and this was his last engagement before officially stepping down as Council Leader.
“There couldn’t be a more fitting final task for me as Council Leader than to receive this report – it is hugely important for Oldham,” he said.
“This matters whether you are a parent, carer, governor, teacher, school head, local business owner, or member of a voluntary or community group.
“A high-performing education system underpins all our ambitions for Oldham to regenerate and become a more vibrant place to live and work.
“We already have some great local practice. Holy Trinity C of E primary school at Dobcross has just been named the 12th best in the country, for example.
“But we need more and we also need to be smarter about supporting people into meaningful employment or further and higher education.
“This report makes it clear that we all need to focus on supporting every child to be ‘school ready’, ‘life ready’ and ‘work ready’.
“I thank Estelle and the Commission for their dedication in putting this report together.
“What’s vital now is that this torch is picked up by all partners to move these recommendations forward and ensure we continue this challenging – but very necessary – improvement journey.”
The OESC report can be downloaded at www.oesc.org.uk