Yorkshire education leaders join forces to improve standards

Education leaders from around Yorkshire and the Humber have gathered in Leeds today to set the foundations to improve attainment levels across the region.

The summit which was organised by Leeds City Council’s education leaders and held at Leeds Town Hall, brought together elected members, business leaders, school, university and college leaders, and local authority officers from Yorkshire, the Humber and Lincolnshire to share learning and build on existing successes to improve educational achievement and performance outcomes for children and young people in the area.

Over 270 Delegates heard how the region’s 15 local authorities are working with Ofsted, a group of pathfinder schools and a group of independent advisers to identify ways to tackle some of the causes of under achievement in the region, and to provide specific actions.

The central theme of the conference was a debate around ‘What is education for?’ and how it needs to look in order to meet the needs of young people, the communities that they live in, and the employment needs of local businesses given the regeneration that is predicted for the region.

The views of inspirational young people, business leaders and education professionals were heard throughout the day.

Councillor Judith Blake, deputy leader of Leeds City Council and executive member responsible for children’s services said:

“Yorkshire has a wealth of resources and successes across business, sport, the arts and learning, so it only makes sense to join forces to tackle issues of under achievement which some parts of the region face.

“There is a genuine commitment across the region to address the needs of our children and young people and to meet the needs of employers, higher and further education, and our rich and vibrant communities. Which is why we have organised this very successful summit to propose a regional collaboration for improving the life chances of our young people, making the region more prosperous and a great place to live, work and learn.”

Speakers at today’s conference were:

Professor Mel Ainscow CBE, Professor of Education and Co-director of the Centre for Equity in Education at the University of Manchester

Phil Ball, Managing Director of Kodak UK Lord Baker of Dorking

Lord Baker, Former Education Secretary, Chairman of Edge Foundation and Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council, deputy leader and executive member for children’s services.

Paul Brennan, deputy director of children’s services for Leeds City Council

Baroness Sue Campbell of Loughborough CBE

Rosemary Campbell - Stephens, freelance consultant specialising in leadership development

Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers

Andrew Hodkinson, principal of West Oaks Special School, Leeds

Professor Margaret House, Vice Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University

Stephan Jungnitz, ASCL specialist in college and post-16 matters

Phil Lawson, assistant executive director at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

Professor Steve Peters, consultant psychiatrist working in business, education, health and elite and Olympic sport.

Andrea Richardson, head of early help services in Leeds City Council

Peter Roberts, principal and chief executive of Leeds City College

Caroline Rowley, Regional Director for the Association of Colleges

Sile Sibanda, year 11 pupil at Rawmarsh Community School, Rotherham


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk