Schools North East summit sets big questions for region's schools

Hundreds of school leaders from across the region will gather today to discuss the challenges facing North East education

Jeremy Pardoe Alan Milburn MP
Alan Milburn MP

More than 400 education leaders from across the North East will gather to discuss the big challenges facing schools in the region.

In a keynote speech at St James’ Park, in Newcastle, on Friday the Government’s “social mobility” tsar Alan Milburn will try to answer whether schools can make England fairer.

In new research from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, Milburn warned of 60,000 children being failed by poor schools.

The report stated: “This research has unearthed a new and shocking gap in performance between similar schools serving similar communities with similar intakes of poorer pupils.

“But some schools are proving that deprivation needn’t be destiny. They have cracked the code on how to improve social mobility by helping disadvantaged children to excel in education.

“If some schools can do it, there is no excuse for others not to.”

In her first speech, the new regional schools commissioner for the North, Jan Renou will explore the big questions facing North East schools alongside Ofsted’s Nick Hudson and North East LEP vice-chair, Andrew Hodgson.

A panel, chaired by TES’ (Times Education Supplement) Ed Dorrell, will discuss what the political parties should include in their manifestos on education for the 2015 election.

And throughout the day head teachers will be challenged to come up with their own one minute manifesto ideas.

Other sessions will tackle the region’s looming leadership crisis in schools, improving outcomes for disadvantaged pupils and how schools can form effective partnerships.

The summit also calls on the region’s school leaders to share the good practice they have developed in their schools as inspiration to others.

Schools North East chair, David Pearmain said: “Our annual summit is growing in influence each year, bringing together local and national education leaders to try to explore solutions to the region’s education concerns.

“North East schools have much to be proud of, but there are big questions we need to face such as how we help improve the social mobility and life chances of all our pupils.

“The success of the Schools North East summit demonstrates the appetite amongst school leaders to work together, support each other and use our collective efforts to identify answers to the important educational questions for our region.”

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