Working together to make education better in our area

Published on: 31 Oct 2014

THE Downend area is at the forefront of moves to improve education in South Gloucestershire at a time of many changes.

William Roberts, head of Downend School, has been appointed to lead the South Gloucestershire Education Partnership, which is bringing together all schools in the district with colleges, the council and alternative education providers in a joint effort to raise standards.

The partnership follows an independent Education Commission, which identified a number of issues that had to be tackled, notably exam results for 16-year-olds.

Mr Roberts said: “Some of the things that are issues for all of us as post-16 provision, transition from primary to secondary school, teaching and learning standards, and inclusion. Many issues will take time to resolve, but everyone is up for the challenge and we are already seeing early fruits of partnership working.”

Recent developments have seen Government approval for a £3m studio school at The Grange in Warmley, sponsored by Cabot Learning Federation, West of England Aerospace Forum and Business West. It will open in September 2015 with 360 places for students aged 14 to 19 to develop skills for the hi-tech, advanced engineering and creative and digital industries.

The council is consulting on the closure of the existing secondary school on the site from 2017. A meeting for parents will be held on November 6.

Two long-serving head teachers retired at the end of last month after more than 20 years – Dr Rob Gibson, chief executive of the Ridings Federation at Winterbourne and David Turrell, head of the Sir Bernard Lovell School in Oldland Common.

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