Transformational education programme for West Cumbria

An education programme has been launched in West Cumbria to raise standards in the classroom.

The £1.7 million WELL programme is funded by Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and has been developed by Cumbria County Council and the Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders (CASL).

Strategies will be developed to recruit, retain, and develop high quality teaching staff, including the creation of a West Cumbria Educational Leadership Academy.

This will develop current and future school leaders, encouraging leaders to adopt and use best practice from business and industry in an educational context.

A fund will also be established to help teachers develop their knowledge, with an emphasis on visiting schools around the UK to learn from best practice.

Other plans include the creation of a west Cumbria-wide curriculum plan to underpin Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership’s strategy for inclusive economic growth.

Strategies enhancing children’s ‘cultural capital’ will be drawn up, to ensure access to sporting events, theatre, and the arts.

The ‘closing the gap’ initiative will develop best practice techniques for teaching children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This will include measures to raise attendance levels, create better home-to-school relationships, and improve careers advice.

Subject weaknesses across the two boroughs will be addressed and efforts made to improve students’ ‘working memory, cognitive flexibility, and attention’.

A particular focus will be ‘transition points’ like the switch from primary to secondary where children can often fall behind. And a fund will be created to give poorer households access to books and resources.

Poor attendance will be addressed through a range of measures, including improving home-school relationships, with measures to reduce exclusions, including the creation of facilities to keep young people in school where possible.

The wellbeing element will provide mental health training for staff, develop early identification and intervention techniques, and create a network of mental health first aiders.

Read more