Opportunity Areas (OAs) are partnering with other regions to share some of the best practice that we have picked up over the course of the programme. For many places, teaching and learning using online methods has been a challenge during the COVID-19 period. Oldham OA, in partnership with Oldham Learning, is working with Tameside LA to share our evidence-based approach . Our joint work it to help schools in both boroughs develop digital strategies, and improve the quality of and access to digital learning.
In early autumn 2020, we commissioned the Oldham Sixth Form College EdTech Demonstrator School to conduct research. The aim of the research was to identify the barriers and challenges that our schools, young people and families face when teaching and learning online. We expanded this research to include Tameside and you can find a copy of the full report here. Insights and recommendations from the report have been crucial in informing the next steps in Oldham and Tameside.
Using these insights, Tameside worked with a school-led group to develop a plan to support the quality of digital learning. This joint approach has seen:
- Tameside commission digital expertise directly from schools
- appoint a digital project manager
- the current Oldham OA digital CPD offer available to Tameside schools
Both Oldham Learning and Tameside see this as the start of a partnership to strengthen school improvement activity in both Local Authorities.
We are also looking at ways that we can support Tameside through the expansion of some of the other successful Oldham OA projects into their Local Authority. Early conversations have focused on emotional health and mental wellbeing for young people.