In this latest #BeeWell blog, Janice Allen, former Headteacher at Falinge Park High School (Rochdale) details the partnership work being undertaken in Rochdale with Right to Succeed. Janice details how they plan to use the #BeeWell data to strengthen this work.
In April 2021 we made contact with Right to Succeed, a charity that supports communities in areas of high deprivation to give children and young people the best start in life. Many of us who work in areas of high deprivation had seen the problems we had faced prior to the pandemic exacerbated to a degree that was unsustainable. Even with internal re-structures, for example, funding wider Safeguarding teams in schools, it felt like a tsunami of challenges that schools did not have the capacity to deal with. Our statutory and voluntary partners were overwhelmed too and there was no signal it would subside any time soon.
We were aware of Right to Succeed through the work they had undertaken in Blackpool with the Opportunity Area and in North Birkenhead with the Cradle to Career programme. We also knew they had undertaken a project in Manchester, one of our GM borough partners, on developing inclusion and reducing exclusions. Local Authority Officers and School leaders came together to see if there was an opportunity for place based change
The factors of co-operation were already there in Rochdale, the birthplace of the Co-operative movement and the existing town wide commitment to ‘Raising Rochdale’ Secondary Headteachers had worked together for a number of years under the auspices of Rochdale Pioneers and we had given financial and time commitments to working together. We now brought in our new partner: Right to Succeed.
It was not easy – a small group of us worked hard from April 2021 to August 2022 to get buy in, to develop a borough wide approach to inclusion. During this period, we held inclusion working groups where Deputy Heads from each of the Secondary schools came together on a six weekly basis to look at strategies to improve attendance, reduce exclusions and develop an understanding of inclusive practice. We couldn’t wait for the Right to Succeed project to start but we knew we needed the backbone and facilitation they provided. Additionally, our Chair of Pioneers Trust was promoting the #BeeWell data we had, with Heads meetings devoted to understanding the data and what it meant for all of us.
In September 2022 we launched the Discovery Phase of the work with Right to Succeed. This has included a commitment every half term for inclusion deputies to come together with Right to Succeed staff where we have worked to:
This is where #BeeWell plays a significant part.
We have commitment for the next two years for Right to Succeed to work with school leaders on a delivery plan. Key to this will be using the #BeeWell data. All schools have shared their individual information with Right to Succeed and the analysts at Right to Succeed are mapping this with the data they have collected to provide rich areas of focus in the delivery phase. The mapping of provision that has been undertaken will be mapped against #BeeWell neighbourhood data so we can target resources more effectively. The information from #BeeWell will be able to support the targeting of interventions in specific areas and for specific cohorts.
The work undertaken is truly co-constructed and co-designed – exactly the principles that #BeeWell developed initially as they set off on the project. The opportunities it provides for us in Rochdale as we develop our inclusive practice and respond to the challenges we face are potentially hugely positive. The ability of #BeeWell to contribute to the Children and Young People’s Plans, AEC Locality Pilot, Local Inclusion Plans and GM’s trailblazer devolution agreement to support skills development are as yet unknown. But we are proud that Rochdale are at the forefront of this work within GM, pioneering a collective and co-operative, locality model for our young people and families that draws in charitable organisations and uses the data provided to us by #BeeWell to help us target effectively. Our ambition for this work is to provide key learning, insight and a blueprint for collective working that has the potential to be rolled out and improve outcomes across GMCA in the future.