Tender alert: Youth Leadership and Youth Ambassadors

An exciting opportunity for organisations and partnerships with a track record in youth engagement and youth voice.

Deadline for bids is Tuesday 11th December 2018

We are looking for a single provider or a partnership of organisations to help the Opportunity Area engage and involve children and young people in Stoke-on-Trent through the development of leadership skills, social action projects and Youth Ambassadors. This tender specification aims to enhance the engagement work already happening in schools, colleges and elsewhere, build on existing good practice and extend it to introduce the concept of Youth Ambassadors.

Further information can be found at:



Geographical Association and Association for Science Education Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF) CPD provision in Stoke-on-Trent

The Geographical Association and Association for Science Education TLIF offer

The Geographical Association and Association for Science Education have been awarded a TLIF contract to provide fully funded CPD for primary and secondary teachers from November 2018 to develop the critical use of evidence in geography and science classrooms. The target group of schools for this offer are those that are in Ofsted category 3, but schools who are Ofsted rated 1 & 2 may be able to get involved.

The aim of this provision will:

  • strengthen teachers’ subject knowledge and build confidence and capability in curriculum planning and teaching
  • help teachers teach reformed geography and science qualifications and curricula effectively, focusing on knowledge application, the critical use of data and evidence, construction of arguments and geographical and scientific investigation
  • make more efficient use of teacher planning time through provision of practical planning tools and quality-assured curriculum plans and resources.

DfE information can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/develop-the-critical-use-of-evidence-in-geography-and-science and further information on the Critical thinking for achievement project here: www.geography.org.uk/Critical-thinking-for-achievement

Opportunity Areas: ‘Building the foundations for change’ case studies

The ‘Opportunity Areas: Building the foundations for change’ document published last month provides a snap-shot of activity in each Opportunity Area across the country. This includes our very own Stoke-on-Trent case study on the Better Together project that will ensure every primary and secondary school in the city is linked with a social worker and educational psychologist to identify children and families at risk of running into difficulties. Follow this link to access the case study document.


Live tender: the Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area Partnership Board wish to appoint an organisation to deliver opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to experience the wider world

‘Exploring the Wider World’ tender

Closing date: 28/11/2018

In the Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area Delivery Plan we said we would provide opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds attending early years settings to experience and build understanding of the world. We said we would do this by developing a richness of experience for all children which will be reflected in the early years curriculum through a range of activity.

This project, therefore, aims to provide an appropriate offer for children attending Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) early years settings for in and out-of-setting experiences so that children can have a positive learning experience outside their normal environments.

These experiences will incorporate the early years Good Level of Development measures within the Early Years Foundation Stage and offer positive cultural experiences.

For details please log into the Supply Stoke and Staffordshire Authorities Sourcing Portal: https://supplystokeandstaffs.proactishosting.com/

Guidance on how to respond to a tender/contract opportunity can be found here:


If you require any further assistance the ProContract help desk on:

Email: ProContractSuppliers@proactis.com

Research Schools Network event on Friday 30th November 2018

Date for the diary: event taking place in Stoke-on-Trent, hosted by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Research Schools Network, including Stoke-on-Trent Research School.

The purpose of the event is threefold, and will enable local system leaders and senior leaders to:

  • Explore the importance of using research evidence to drive school improvement
  • Explore the challenges presented by engaging with research evidence
  • Help shape future policy by interacting with and influencing key stakeholders

The Research School network firmly believe that driving change and school improvement via research evidence offers the best bets for improving student outcomes, and that this aligns very firmly with the aims of the Opportunity Areas.

The event is designed for CEOs of local academy trusts, local headteachers and Deputy Heads, and system leaders, including NLEs, SLEs, NLGs, Teaching School Leads, and LA/Diocesan leaders. We will be joined by local Teaching Schools Councils representatives, and speakers from the Chartered College of Teaching.  There will also be a facilitated workshop for those attending, so that key stakeholders have the opportunity to share ideas, and for those views to be collected and shared more widely so that they have an impact on future thinking and policy.

Here is a link to further details on the Research School website:


And a link to the flyer:



Essential Life Skills providers – now launched!

The Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area Partnership Board today has announced the awarding of Essential Life Skills (ELS) large grants to 12 providers. These providers will offer a range of extra-curricular activities that will compliment the direct allocations of ELS funding to schools and colleges.

The attached list of providers is here.

For more information, please contact David O’Connell: david.oconnell@stoke.gov.uk

Date for the diary: ‘Informing and Challenging Our Practices and Pedagogy’ – Research School and Opportunity Area conference at Keele Hall, 4 April 2019

This conference will highlight the work of both the Research School and the Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education partnership as well as showcasing the work and impact of the Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area. See 4th April Conference Flyer and more information to follow.

Stoke-on-Trent schools can use their Research School wallet to access the conference. For more details, please contact Russell Spink: r.spink@knste-shaw.org.uk

Funded professional development for school leaders

Many existing and aspiring school leaders in Stoke-on-Trent have already registered to access a fully funded National Professional Qualification (NPQ) course.

Fully funded NPQs are open to all teachers and senior leaders in the Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area. They are aimed at those who would like further development to be a high performing middle or senior leader. The qualifications include:

  • National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)
  • National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)
  • National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)
  • National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL)

A full list of the NPQ providers can be found here.

If you would like any further information about how you or a member of staff can benefit from this offer, please get in touch.


Free Breakfast Club support for schools in Stoke-on-Trent

If at least 35% of pupils in your school are recorded as eligible for free school meals, or 50% as Ever 6 Free School Meals, then you may be eligible to receive support through the National School Breakfast Scheme.

It is funded by the Department for Education, and run by Family Action, in partnership with Magic Breakfast. The programme will support over 1770 schools in disadvantaged communities, including Opportunities Areas, to improve access to healthy breakfasts and learning.

Eligible schools will receive a £500 start-up grant to set up their breakfast club, and schools who do not currently have healthy, sustainable breakfasts already in place will receive free breakfasts.

The funding for food is only available until March 2020 – but the Magic Breakfast will work with you to put a longer term, sustainable plan in place. If you want to explore the benefit of removing the hunger barrier to learning for your pupils, please click for an expression of interest form.

Further information on the programme is here and here.


Ruth Miskin Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF)

Be one of 108 schools to participate in Ruth Miskin Training’s TLIF-funded professional development and leadership programme ending in March 2020.

The programme will focus on the teaching of phonics and early reading and writing with Read Write Inc. Phonics. The final 36 primary schools are being recruited now. Click for full details here. 

To see eligibility criteria, find out more and complete the expression of interest form, go to: www.ruthmiskin.com/tlif

Schools need to pay for Read Write Inc. Phonics resources and have 2 INSET training dates available before March 2019.

The government is committed to raising life chances for every child – regardless of background. The focus for the Department for Education’s Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF) funding includes Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area. The aim is to improve pupil outcomes, thereby making a significant contribution to tackling social mobility.