Monday, 7 May 2007

It's strange but one of our City Councillors raised an important issue in a comment on the blog...

It was about children missing from education and whether I gave it sufficient priority. The Councillor couldn't find any evidence on the blog that I was taking the issue seriously, especially since she/he had read that Rosemary Archer had attended a session on the subject recently.

Actually I did go and on 22 March my blog reads as follows "And finally I went to the Children Missing Education Conference at Elland Road... Jane Hall and her fantastic colleagues had put together a half-day programme which they were running twice today... Jane had asked me to talk at the afternoon session. The highlight of the session was a performance by Intake High School students who were brilliant! Chris"

It was a coincidence perhaps that The Observer had an exclusive on Sunday about the estimated 100,000 children missing from school. The article highlighted the fact that 70,000 Year 11s simply don't turn up for their GCSEs. 15,000 Year 11s are not registered at a school. And 5,800 Year 9s in 2005 didn't turn up in Year 10!

Professor Stephen Heppell is involved with an organisation called The inclusion Trust to begin to address this issue. " These kids could fill the new Wembley Stadium" He is working on a unique programme called 'Not School' which he estimates could pull 50,000 of these young people back into learning.

Colleagues in Education Leeds have been working on this agenda for the last three years and we have established some brilliant practice but we all need to think about how we do even better... for a start we need to find out about Stephen Heppel's work.

No comments: