Pride as Harrogate Grammar School is selected as regional hub

Harrogate Grammar School has been selected to be one of only six pilot ‘Teaching School Hubs’ announced by the Government.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 12:10 pm
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 12:12 pm

The new hubs will play a key role in leading and coordinating school improvement activities across their allocated areas.

Richard Sheriff, Director of the Red Kite Alliance, which Harrogate Grammar is part of, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to lead on this exciting new project which aims to build on the success of the Teaching School movement and help coordinate and magnify the impact of this work across our region.

Harrogate Grammar School has been chosen as a regional hub by the Government.

“This is not about one Alliance having all the answers, it is about ensuring that the capacity and expertise we have across all our schools is used effectively to ensure no school is left behind.”

The three-year pilot will involve the Red Kite Alliance taking a lead role in school-led improvement activities across four North Yorkshire districts: Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate and Richmondshire.

At this stage the pilot will be limited in scale but this is subject to change in future.

“This is a real ‘test and learn’ pilot and the Department for Education (DfE) are keen to work with us to see what works and what doesn’t,” Richard said.

“This gives our region a fantastic opportunity to help shape government policy for schools nationally based on real evidence from our schools and their leaders.

“We established our values together very early on in our partnership and they underpin our work; professional generosity and ethical behaviour are crucial to us in working in the interests of children and young people.”

Richard has said that he hopes that this development will help make people more familiar with the organisation.

“Any new development like this is often seen as a threat and particularly when it is led by an organisation you don’t know. We appreciate this and want to reach out and demonstrate our commitment to building a strong, sustainable network of partners that can be inclusive as well as ambitious and innovative.”

He is clear however that there is not a fixed view of how this will work best. He added: “We first want to understand all that is already going on within and between the schools in our allocated area. We are keen to get out and listen to school leaders and start to understand the needs of the schools so we can shape provision to the local context.

“This is about us working intelligently to act as a ‘multiplier’ of the good practice that already exists rather than pretending to have all the answers.

“The Teaching School Hub is a way of partnering to weave a golden thread to pull together the different school improvement activities happening across our region. If we can get this right it will mean all schools can benefit and no school, however remote, is left without the support it needs to serve its children.”

The Red Kite Alliance is a partnership of 45 schools across North Yorkshire and Leeds which have been working together for over 10 years.

The Alliance is involved in a range of school improvement work from providing initial teacher training to the provision of leadership development programmes for staff.

It is this track record of collaboration and impact which led to the selection as a Hub.

Each Hub has to have an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school as a lead institution and Harrogate Grammar School.

Richard added: “There are other outstanding schools in our Alliance and this gives us strength in depth across the partnership. It is this broad alliance of schools that gives Red Kite our capacity and sustainability.

“It is never about just one school, it is about being stronger together.”