Supporting evaluation and use of evidence in Oldham

The Opportunity Area have today announced the successful Oldham Insight School, alongside the announcement from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) of a new Associate Research School. This shows Oldham’s investment and commitment to using evidence and evaluation to inform practice. The two organisations will work together and with the wider Opportunity Area programme. They will help to improve social mobility in Oldham and make the best use of our local resources.

For more information on who and what they are, and the differences between them:

Oldham Sixth Form College Associate Research School
Following a national selection process across the Research School Network, the EEF announced extra funding for a new Associate Research School at Oldham Sixth Form College. This builds on the work that Oldham Research School have done over the last two years to develop capacity around the use of evidence within Oldham. It also recognises the commitment to evidence-informed practice, capacity and capability of Oldham Sixth Form College, as a Teaching School, MAT and regional science centre.

The Associate Research School brings an injection of expertise to help the Research School work with and support more schools and teachers in Oldham. This will be through professional learning programmes and events to use evidence and develop their teaching and learning.

The Oldham Sixth Form College Associate Research School is working with the Oldham Research School at Greetland Academy. The Research Lead for the Associate Research School will be: Louise Astbury lay@osfc.ac.uk

Oldham Insight School
The Oldham Insight School aims to provide Oldham’s school leaders and teachers with practical findings from some of the Opportunity Area projects. The Insight School will involve teachers and schools with the evaluation of Opportunity Area projects. They will share findings, reports and case studies to support the understanding of the impact of the work and help drive improvements.

The Insight School is a collaboration between three of Oldham’s Teaching Schools. Each has committed a senior member of staff to work for the Insight School:

  • Harmony Trust Teaching School Alliance (Mel Eccles)
  • Oasis Innovation Teaching School Alliance (Robert Caudwell)
  • St Chad’s Teaching School Alliance (Jo Appleyard

Dr Claire Forbes from the University of Manchester joins them in September 2019 as the school’s Researcher in Residence.

One research project is already underway, with the official launch of the Insight School in September 2019.

More information about the Insight School will be out in August. Follow us on Twitter (@OldhamOA) for the latest news.

The Oldham Insight School is born

We are delighted to announce the creation of the Oldham Insight School!

The Oldham Insight School aims to provide Oldham’s school leaders and teachers with practical findings from some of the Opportunity Area (OA) projects. The research they publish will help inform schools about what parts of the OA projects they can use and how. Also, the reports and case studies they produce will support understanding of the impact of the OA work.

The Insight School is a collaboration between three of Oldham’s Teaching Schools. Each has committed a senior member of staff to work for the Insight School.

The Teaching Schools and staff members are:

  • Harmony Trust Teaching School Alliance (Mel Eccles)
  • Oasis Innovation Teaching School Alliance (Robert Caudwell)
  • St Chad’s Teaching School Alliance (Jo Appleyard)

Dr Claire Forbes from the University of Manchester joins them in September 2019 as the school’s Researcher in Residence

One research project is already underway, with the official launch of the Insight School in September 2019. More information about the Insight School will be out in August. Follow us on Twitter (@OldhamOA) for the latest news.

Event: Maths Mastery readiness and training

26 June 2019 from 9am-12pm at Earl Mill, Dowry Street, Oldham, OL8 2PF.

This summer, Northern Alliance Teaching School are hosting a free maths mastery training event in partnership with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) and Maths Hubs.  The event is for primary teachers and head teachers.  Come along to find out more about what the training involves:

  • An introduction to mastery
  • How to prepare a school to be ready to implement teaching for mastery
  • Initial steps in leadership and in classroom teaching
  • Strategies to overcome potential barrier
  • This is also an excellent opportunity to network with other schools who are developing mastery readiness.

To book, please contact Mireille Mawdsley, (mmawdsley@cranmeredt.org, 0161 785 5062)

We look forward to seeing you there!

Oldham Opportunity Areas Team

Visit the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics website for more information on Maths Mastery

Event: Oldham aspirant school leaders

The White Hart, Lydgate, Oldham, OL4 4JJ, Wednesday 12 June 2019

Despite continuing challenges and levels of accountability, school leadership remains a vibrant, life fulfilling role. Areas like Oldham need even more great leaders, and secondary, primary and special schools in Oldham are working closely with each other
to promote a greater sense of ambition and optimism amongst the workforce and make leadership of learning in Oldham schools sustainable in the long term.

As part of this strategy there is a twilight event on Wednesday 12th June at The White Hart in Lydgate. The event will be attended by aspirant leaders along with head teacher colleagues (ideally each leader will bring their HT) where delegates will hear from existing heads and sign up to be part of an Aspirant Leader data base. This will lead to Aspirant Leaders having opportunities for leadership coaching and being the first to hear of relevant job opportunities that may be available locally.

It should be stressed that such opportunities (promotions, secondments, job swaps etc.) will only be realised with the agreement of all parties. This work is intended to encourage leadership development for colleagues who volunteer to take part. Colleagues will need to be proactive in pursuing opportunities, this initiative is funded by the Opportunity Area and enables us to create a space in which we can encourage aspiration and opportunity

Technical Education comes to Oldham

At the Opportunity Area (OA) Partnership Board meeting in April, we learned about plans to set up our exciting new technical education offer.

Developments in technical education will open up a world of opportunities to young people and provide additional ways to progress into careers or higher education.  Apprenticeships are already offered in Oldham and the new T Levels will be introduced from September 2020, but this is only part of a local plan to deliver a high-quality technical education offer.

Alan Benvie from Oldham College told us about the work happening to introduce a great technical education offer in Oldham.  This offer will be co-designed and piloted between Oldham College and a small number of secondary schools in Oldham.  Alan also updated us on the developing partnership between Oldham College and the Gatsby Foundation.  This partnership will focus on how best to interpret and communicate the ways you can progress through technical education into careers or higher education, which will be crucial when we begin to promote the value of following a technical pathway to our young people.  To start with, the technical offer will focus on the construction and digital industries.

To help young people, parents and carers, teachers, and employers understand what technical education will mean for them, there will be:

  • roadshows
  • taster days
  • the chance to spend time in a workplace

More information will be out soon.  Follow us on Twitter @OldhamOA for the latest news.

Employers are at the heart of the design of the new technical qualifications and pathways. T levels and Apprenticeship programmes will provide skilled workers to local employers. We are keen to involve interested employers right from the start. Email us at OpportunityAreas.OLDHAM@education.gov.uk to express your interest or to find out more.

We also heard from Rob Caudwell who spoke to us about the new Oldham Insight School (OIS). The OIS is led by a consortium whose members are OASIS Charitable Trust, The Harmony Trust and Sola Fide C. of E. Multi-Academy Trust.  The consortium will work in partnership with the University of Manchester to evaluate the work of the Opportunity Area and provide us with valuable insights into the impact of our work. A crucial role for the OIS is to help schools in Oldham improve by sharing research and evidence. Rob is speaking to us in detail at the next board meeting and we look forward to hearing more.

We met another welcome addition to the OA team in Patsy Kane. Patsy will be working with school leaders in Oldham, supporting them on key school improvement initiatives. Patsy has a wealth of experience and expertise, which led to the award of an OBE in the New Year’s 2019 honours list! We will enjoy the benefits of Patsy’s presence in the team.

James Kempton, Chair of Oldham Opportunity Area Partnership Board