Get Inspired - Ideas

Get Inspired

Friday Insights Round-Up (15 Mar)

15 March 2019: posted by BigChange

Caitlin Ross, Big Change Impact Manager
Caitlin Ross, Big Change Impact Manager

The Friday insights round-up from our Impact Manager, Caitlin, this week includes highs and lows in the Chancellor’s office Spring Statement, and a harrowing link between UK knife crime and exclusions from school, plus the need to safeguard vulnerable pupils.

You can also watch Voice Bradford feature on BBC One with their 50 Things program, and read an encouraging example in teacher and leader agency from Chicago, shared by Bill Gates.

Spring Statement

Big news this week from the Chancellor’s office via Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement, which revealed that while there are some welcome expenditures coming – such as free period products; pads and tampons for secondary schools – there will be no new funding for schools. This will be a disappointment for many in the education and learning space, especially as the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) estimates that schools need an additional £5.7 billion to deliver the kind of education that young people deserve.

In light of this level of austerity, the work of our project partners to help create a learning ecosystem that sets all young people up to thrive in life feels even more crucial. We’re looking forward to support projects working to bring this about in the areas of early development, inclusion as strength, and teacher and leader agency.

Knife Crime and Safeguarding Needs

The Difference’s Shaun Brown wrote an article for the Times Education Supplement this week addressing the UK’s knife crime epidemic, and what it means for how we need to think about safeguarding. Knife crime provides us with a key example of the complexity that surrounds the issue of inclusion and young people’s safety. For Shaun, the best way of navigating this complexity is to keep children safe through what he calls ‘proactive safeguarding’.

Proactive safeguarding allows for a more preventative approach by making sure all adults and children in a school are involved in safeguarding, promoting the inclusion of parents in safeguarding measures, and involving pupils in peer safeguarding. This allows young people’s learning community to look out for the changes in behaviour that may indicate challenging or dangerous experiences outside of school, and work together to keep them safe. We’re proud to be supporting The Difference and their important work of promoting best practice in inclusion throughout our education sector.

Spotlight on Voice Bradford

Our project partner, Voice Bradford received attention for their excellent work in early years development this week – featuring on BBC One‘s Look North. Since being funded by Big Change, their program 50 Things To Do Before You’re Five has received £1million in Department for Education to scale to 13 additional local authorities.

We’re proud to have supported such a scalable and impactful program. Demand for 50 Things comes as no surprise since its activities help to promote some of the most impactful areas of early years learning, including speech and language, literacy, numeracy and parental engagement.

Bright Spot: the Chicago School District

This week also saw a case study in the importance of evidence driven interventions and teacher and leader agency, written by Bill Gates. The study examines how Chicago, once one of the worst school districts in the US, started to make gains in educational outcomes.

Schools tracked the most important factors in high school graduation rates, and adapted their systems to make sure they could help students make gains in the areas that could best help them go on to thrive after high school graduation. Schools also empowered their teachers and leaders to experiment, using their passion and knowledge alongside data and research to develop solutions to help keep their students on track to graduate and succeed.

Have a brilliant weekend everyone!