Subject: SCHOOLS NorthEast Weekly Update - Week 40

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The SCHOOLS NorthEast Weekly Update goes out to every Head Teacher in the North East every Tuesday, but if anybody else in your school or LA would like to receive the Update, please send their name and email address to

In this Issue

Bumper end of term edition!

After a very hectic year this will be the final Weekly Update of 2011/12. Because of this we’ve crammed a lot into this week’s Update and treated you to a special bumper edition. We hope you continue to find our Updates useful and if you have any suggestions for future editions please get in touch.

  • A roundup of the latest in local and national education news
  • Details on ACG Sports Summer Camps
  • I AM Learning: offer for games-based homework, revision and assessment system
  • SCHOOLS NorthEast Venue Finder for schools and businesses
  • Receive a free anti-homophobia DVD

Focus on…Destinations

The only destination you’re probably thinking of now is where you are going for your holidays. But before you start packing your cases, the DfE has released new data on pupil destinations.

The Education Destination Measures show the destinations of young people the year after KS4 and the year after taking A level or equivalent qualifications (KS5), by both local authority and individual school. The figures released refer to the 2008/9 cohort’s destinations in 2009/10 and do not include Independent Schools. To be included in the measure, young people have to show sustained participation in an education destination in all of the first two terms of the year (October-March) after they completed KS4 or took A level or equivalent qualifications.

Nationally, 85% of young people were recorded as being in a sustained education destination in the year after KS4.  In the North East this figure was 83%. However, in the North East, 69% of young people were recorded as being in sustained education in the year after they took their A Level or equivalent qualification/s (KS5) compared to 64% nationally.

The North East has a significantly higher percentage of KS4 students going on to apprenticeships (7% in the North East against 4% nationally) and a lower percentage of students at school sixth forms (26% in North East and 36% nationally.)

56% of KS5 leavers in the North East went on to sustained education in Higher Education Institutions, higher than the national figure of 52%.  Of these 8% regionally went to Russell Group Universities, which is equal to the national average.

For both KS4 and KS5 leavers, the North East has a higher ‘education destination not sustained’ rate than the national average. For KS4 leavers this was 12% in the North East and 9% nationally and at KS5 this was 10% regionally and 8% nationally.

The regional figures mask some significant variations between local authorities. 13% of young people from Newcastle were at Russell Group Universities a year after completing KS5 compared to 3% of young people from Middlesbrough.  In Hartlepool, 6% of KS5 leavers went onto an apprenticeship compared to 2% in the neighbouring borough of Darlington.

School level data is also available demonstrating the differences in destinations of students from different institutions within a local authority.  Durham Johnston School in Durham (5%) and Egglescliffe School in Stockton (4%) had the region’s highest percentages of students going to Oxford or Cambridge. Durham Johnston also had the highest percentage of students going to other Russell Group Universities, equal with St Leonard's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Comprehensive School, also of Durham, at 25%.  In six schools in the North East no students went on to a sustained education at a Russell Group University.

At KS4, Thomas Hepburn Community Comprehensive in Gateshead had the highest number of students progressing to apprenticeships (17%), while at KS5, Blyth Community College had the highest apprenticeship take up of 13% of students.

The Government has said it was publishing these details so parents had greater information on which to base decisions.

Schools Minister Lord Hill said: "We are opening up access to this new data so people can see how different schools and colleges and local authorities perform.

"It is interesting to see how well some local authorities in more deprived areas, and some schools and colleges in those authorities do in terms of students going to our best universities, compared to those in other parts of the country."

Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg said: "These figures show there is still a major divide between rich and poor in our education system. What is worrying is that the Government risks making things significantly worse, by abolishing the education maintenance allowance, trebling tuition fees, and getting rid of advice services. At the same time, schools need to be far more ambitious for their pupils to get into top universities."

Responding to the finding that over 15% of schools nationally did not send any students to Russell Group Universities, Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union, said: "There is still a postcode lottery in the UK when it comes to education. Unfortunately where you live still makes a difference on how you get on in life.  We cannot afford to have areas in the country where it is unheard of for people to go to Oxford and Cambridge."

The figures do come with a warning as they are still being evaluated and remain subject to further testing to determine their reliability. As such, the figures should be treated with caution and the DfE are keen to hear feedback on the usefulness of the data and how it is reported . You can give your view via this evaluation questionnaire (to be completed by 1 October 2012):

What’s your view? Is this data useful or can it be misinterpreted?  What analysis should be available to support this data and how might schools use this information? What trends do you think we might see in the data from 2010/11 and 2011/12? Let us know what you think:

Further reading

Local news by area




North Tyneside


South Tyneside





Top national education news

The best Head Teachers are ‘odd’

Ofsted Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has advised aspiring school leaders that to succeed as a Head, you have to be a little bit “odd”. Addressing members of the Future Leaders Programme, Wilshaw said “Don’t be afraid to be slightly maverick…do things out of the ordinary; don’t necessarily be a conformist.  Strange is sometimes good. The best heads are often quite odd people - I think I was one of them.”

Male primary teachers on the increase

The number of men training to be primary school teachers has increased by more than 50 per cent in the past four years. Figures from the Teaching Agency (TA), which is responsible for initial teacher training, show the increase among men is five times greater than among women. Interim chief executive Lin Hinnigan said primary teaching was becoming a more attractive option as a career.

Gove turns down group's bid for extra education funding

Education Secretary Micheal Gove has turned down a bid by a group of the lowest-funded local education authorities for extra funding. Schools run by members of the group, known as f40, get up to £600 less in basic grant per pupil than the local council average. They had asked for £99m to share between them until a new national funding formula is introduced in 2015. Gove blamed the economic situation as reason to turn them down.

Youth employment hindered by lack of work experience

A new report, produced jointly by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the TUC and thinktank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), calls for urgent action to make Britain's complex labour market more "youth friendly", and prevent a generation of young people being trapped in unemployment.

Commenting on behalf of the National Association for Head Teachers (NAHT) Susan Young gives her view on the report indicating that education levels are not a problem for employers but lack of experience is. She stated: “As the report spends several pages pointing out, employers are increasingly likely to want some kind of work experience from new staff at a time when teenagers are decreasingly likely to have found a Saturday job, paper round, or any other way of earning cash which provides that desirable skill and experience. The most likely way in which employers find school leavers poorly prepared for work is simply their lack of experience.”

Resources and opportunities

SCHOOLS NorthEast Venue Finder for schools and businesses

We are delighted to announce that our Venue Finder will going live on Friday 20 July!

The service will help schools and educational organisations access high quality venues easily as well as offering venues a way of promoting their offer to the education market. The Venue Finder will be incorporated onto our current website 

Venue Finder is free for schools to both access and advertise on, and is open to commercial venues for a small fee. Simply email for further details.  

Looking for school to school support in your area?

The National College have just launched a nifty tool to help you locate the nearest LLEs, NLEs and Teaching Schools in your area.  Plug your postcode into the search box and up pops a list of all of the accredited school to school providers nearby with their contact details so you can get in touch.

Have a go by clicking here.

Host high-quality male graduates in a 10-day primary school placement

The Primary Experience Programme is a new scheme launching in autumn 2012. It offers 1000 placements to high-quality male graduates, who intend to start ITT in September/October 2013, the opportunity to gain 10 days’ valuable experience in a school. This year it’s focusing solely on supporting men who want to start a teaching career in a primary school.

Your primary school will earn up to £375 per placement, depending on the length of the placement, and will be reimbursed the cost of each CRB check. Multiple placements are encouraged as they often enhance the whole experience for participants, teachers and schools. Schools can also get a £500 bonus for every booking of five or more placements.

Find out more and sign please Click here

Keep your pupils active over the summer months

If you want to keep your pupils active over the summer holidays and give your parents affordable child care why not tell them about ACG Sports camps? ACG Sports are working in partnership with Keep Kids Active CIC to deliver 5 day multi sports events during the Summer school holidays.

The multi-sports camps running at various locations throughout the 6 weeks holidays and are open to children across the region aged between 5-11 years old. It is a fantastic opportunity for the children to get involved in fun activity sessions, delivered by professional coaches.

Due to the fantastic support received by partner schools and venues, the cost of the event is just £3 per child per day. To advise parents how to book a place for their child/children, please call 0191 5194322.

Get ready for the new school year – dry erase boards offer

If you’re looking to restock your cupboards for the upcoming year make sure you stock up on dry erase board packs for Numeracy, Literacy and Science. With packs of 30 available from just £18.99, you can supply a full class for a relatively low cost.

SCHOOLS NorthEast Commercial Supporter and local company Eduk8 is offering SCHOOLS NorthEast members the opportunity to get 20% worth of free additional resources or 10% discount on all orders placed this term. Visit or phone 01434 672336 to find out more.

Engage your students through game based learning

I am learning is a games based homework, revision and assessment system which has been recently procured by Northumberland for 160 of its school. 

I am Learning is pleased to offer all North East schools the opportunity to try all their resources for free over the summer months and for a full month after the summer holidays. Experience first-hand why Northumberland LA considered this the premium resource choice for their schools. 

For more information email visit or and don't forget to mention SCHOOLS NorthEast.

Poverty proofing the school day

Children North East are developing a toolkit to help 'poverty proof the school day', supported by the North East Child Poverty Commission and pupils and staff from 4 schools in the region. As part of this process, they are collecting evidence about current practice in schools relating to supporting pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

They have developed a very short survey (7 questions in total including ones on uses of the Pupil Premium and CPD of staff) which can be found here ( and which they are asking schools in the region to complete by the end of July. All schools completing the questionnaire will receive a summary report of the responses. If you’d like more information on this project please contact Stephen Crossley at .

100 free anti-homophobia DVD’s

Show Racism the Red Card has been given a grant by the Northern Rock Foundation to provide schools with 100 free ‘Homophobia; Let’s Tackle it’ DVD’s.  The DVD’s are on a first come first served basis and the only condition to receiving one is that Show Racism the Red Card receives a review by your school. Email or call 0191 257 6200 to secure your free DVD today.


SCHOOLS NorthEast Summit – 19 October at St James Park

Now in its fourth year, the SCHOOLS NorthEast Summit is the annual event bringing together the North East's school leaders and leading educationalists and decision makers to discuss the issues, practice, challenges and opportunities that will shape education now and in the coming years. The programme includes a wealth of high profile speakers including former Education Minister and architect of the academies programme, Lord Adonis and a wide range of useful workshops and inspiring sessions.  Last year’s event sold out, with over 300 school leaders attending.

Delegate places cost just £80 for Primaries and £100 for Secondaries with discounts for SCHOOLS NorthEast Enhanced Members and group bookings.

For more information and to book now please click here or email .

Subject Inset day for teachers – 19 October 2012

South Tyneside Association of Secondary Heads would like teachers from across the region to join them for a subject inset day. Different subjects will be hosted by different secondary schools in South Tyneside and the schools will feature high quality speakers

The inset day will take place on 19 October 2012 between 9am and 12.30am and cost just £50 (plus VAT).

To find out more please email

Over the last 7 days we learnt…

That’s all folks!

Phew… what a year!  The pace of change has been rapid and SCHOOLS NorthEast has tried to be there for every announcement, reform, review and reaction. On behalf of North East schools we have informed, advocated, negotiated, celebrated and facilitated! 

Over this academic year, SCHOOLS NorthEast has sent you 40 newsletters with articles focussing on the full spectrum of issues facing education in our region…school structures, attracting the best teachers, making the most of your Pupil Premium and much, much more!  In addition we have tried to keep you informed of the latest developments in education and how they impact on our region through rapid response, special updates and even live tweeting from the Education Select Committee!

We have held over 40 events for our members including breakfasts with business, lunches with MPs, twilights for Governors, black tie dinners and all day session for hundreds of Heads. 

SCHOOLS NorthEast is an educational charity and we are entirely self-financed.  It is only through the generosity and support of our Enhanced Member schools and Commercial Supporters that we are able to exist. 

So thanks to everyone who has helped.  Your contributions, ideas and encouragement are greatly appreciated and a particularly thanks our Board Members, especially to those retiring this year. We hope that all of the North East’s fantastic school leaders get the relaxing summer break you deserve!