Turnarounds and transformations in our classrooms

It’s amazing what can be achieved when everyone’s noses are pointing in the right direction.

Four years ago Belle Vue Boys School in Bradford was placed in ‘special measures’ – the educational equivalent of life-support – after the inspector Ofsted judged the school inadequate in every respect. Placed among the country’s worst-performing secondary schools, the outlook was bleak. Closure was a real possibility.

Fast forward to 2018 and the school – renamed Beckfoot Upper Heaton – is turned around. This month Ofsted gave it a ‘good’ rating, with improvements in results, pupil behaviour and staff morale.

This transformation came about because the city came together, drew up a plan and delivered. A sponsor was found to turn the school into an academy. Funding was raised and new buildings replaced tired school blocks. Everyone, and everything, was pointing in the right direction.

A similar transformation has taken place at another Bradford secondary. In 2014, Carlton Bolling School was placed in special measures by Ofsted. But headteacher Adrian Kneeshaw, a former boxer, didn’t take it lying down. Major changes were made, everyone bought into the vision and the school got off the ropes. In October 2017, Ofted rated it ‘outstanding’ – the equivalent of peak physical fitness. The school had results in the top 5 per cent of the country last year and has been invited to join the World Class Schools Quality Mark. Knockout.

As chairman of Bradford Economic Partnership, I know that our corporate sector also has plenty of Yorkshire grit.  Three years ago, Morrisons, one of the country’s biggest retailers and a proud Bradford company, was feeling the pinch. In 2015, the dynamic duo of chairman Andrew Higginson and chief executive David Potts were brought in to shake things up. They have been massively successful. In September, Morrisons unveiled a 40 per cent rise in half-year pre-tax profits to £200m.

I was delighted to see senior staff from Morrisons and other leading businesses last month at the launch of the Economic Strategy for Bradford District 2018-2030. Our aim is to increase the value of Bradford’s economy by £4bn, to get 20,000 more people into work and upskill 48,000 residents.

It’s a big challenge. Unlocking the city’s growth potential is critical and our young and enterprising people hold the key.  Walk around Bradford and you can feel it: a quarter of our population is under 18 and there are 35,000 self-employed people here. But employment rates lag behind the UK. This is linked to a skills gap: 14 per cent of our working age population have no qualifications compared to 8.3 per cent nationally. 25 per cent of our working age population are qualified to degree level compared to 37 per cent nationally.

Some of these problems start at school. In February 2018, a Northern Powerhouse Partnership report showed that the North lags behind the country in how some of our children perform at school.  The ‘Educating the North’ report showed that 16-year-olds who receive a free school meal achieved an average GCSE grade score which is 6.5 points behind peers in London and 1.3 points below England as a whole. It’s a national disgrace.

There’s so much potential in the North and there are influential voices to stand up for us. The Yorkshire Post loudly bangs the drum for the region. There are many others in business, education and the public sector.  We also know what needs to be done. The ‘Educating the North’ report pulled no punches and proposed clear steps to improve skills and education.

But it comes down to the country putting its hand in its pocket. Investing in young people in the North is an investment in the future, which will pay dividends for years. The transformations at Beckfoot Upper Heaton, Carlton Bolling and Morrisons prove it: the potential is here and we can achieve great things when everyone’s noses are pointing in the right direction.

  • Dave Baldwin is chairman of Bradford Economic Partnership and chief executive of Burnley Football Club

All I ask of Bradford: minimum requirement, maximum effort

Minimum requirement, maximum effort. That’s the approach we like to take at Burnley FC, where I am chief executive. It applies to everyone at our Premier League football club, from our cleaners to the chairman and our first year scholars to the star strikers.

It is an approach I am taking to my new role as chairman of the Bradford Economic Partnership and I believe that if we can succeed in bringing together all the players here we too can be competing among Europe’s greats.

It is a great honour and privilege for me to be doing this job for Bradford, a place I love and call home. I was born and raised in the district and its fortunes mean so much to me. As chair of the city’s partnership of business and civic leaders, I want to help Bradford maximise the potential of its growing population, youthful demographic and £10 billion economy.

Before joining the Clarets in 2014, I was chief executive of Bradford City. Together, we achieved the stuff that footballing dreams are made of: a giant-killing run on the road to Wembley that claimed the Premier League scalps of Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa to reach the League Cup of 2013, returning to Wembley three months later to win promotion to League One.

As with the Bantams and Burnley, I want to create a movement in Bradford. The first thing we need to do is make sure everyone is pointing in the same direction. Getting this right means we can add £4bn to the district economy, get 20,000 more people into work and improve the skills of nearly 50,000 residents.

Sounds too difficult? Give over. Who could have predicted that Bradford City would become the first club from the bottom division to get to a major Wembley final? Who would imagine that Burnley could be striving for a place in Europe’s football competitions? We did and we are. All it takes is a little faith and a lot of hard work.

I genuinely believe there are so many great things going on in Bradford right now. Part of our job is making more people aware of our successes. Who knew that Bradford is the youngest city in the UK? With youth comes vitality, energy and ambition. Who knew that Bradford is home to the most productive businesses of any city in the Northern Powerhouse? Greater productivity means more prosperity for our people. Who knew that Bradford is the best place in Britain to start a new business? That’s according to Barclays, which measured the strength of a dozen key growth factors essential to business productivity across the country and found that Bradford was top.

Last month, we launched our economic strategy for the Bradford district 2018-2030. To use some very non-footballing jargon, it is an asset-based plan. This means we are planning to build on our strengths: our young, diverse and growing population, our innovative and productive businesses, our stunning architectural heritage and our strong international networks. To use a footballing cliche, we’re a different class, Gary.

Over the coming weeks, you will be reading about some of these themes in a new series of columns from me about Bradford, Yorkshire, the North, the UK and the world of business more generally. As a Yorkshireman, I am very proud to be contributing to Yorkshire’s National Newspaper and its brilliant business section. The Yorkshire Post was the first newspaper of the provinces to launch a standalone business supplement, a fitting tribute to the enduring strength and identity of the region’s business community. The YP is a true champion of Yorkshire and I look forward to seeing it continue to prosper.

Back now to my day job at Turf Moor, overseeing a community business with more than 500 employees, a payroll in excess of £50m, a turnover of double that and in touching distance of European football. Time to kick on, then, for Burnley, Bradford, Yorkshire and the North. Minimum requirement, maximum effort. Remember those words.

  • Dave Baldwin is chairman of Bradford Economic Partnership and chief executive of Burnley Football Club

Plan launched to attract thousands of Bradford school children into manufacturing

Plan launched to attract thousands of Bradford school children into manufacturing

Ambitious plans to give more than 20,000 school children a chance to experience the world of manufacturing have officially been launched in Bradford. Bradford Manufacturing Week will take place between October 8 and 12 with the aim to introduce the district’s manufacturers to young people and boost apprenticeship numbers.

Organised by West & North Yorkshire Chamber and backed by the newly-formed Bradford Economic Partnership the week-long programme is designed to create more inspired, informed and ‘work ready’ applicants into the sector. Led by Nick Garthwaite, president of Bradford Chamber and MD of international chemicals and detergents manufacturer Christeyns, the week aims to engage with around 75 local schools, reach more than 20,000 14-18 year-old students and create 1,000 work experience days across the district.

With support from some of Bradford’s major manufacturers including BASF, Keighley Laboratories and Thorite and backed with headline sponsorship from Barclays, the launch marks the start of six months of school and manufacturer engagement before the week of events, tours, work placements, company visits and seminars begin in October. Bradford’s economy has 1,200 businesses involved in manufacturing, employing 23,000 people – the fourth highest of any city district in the UK.

Bradford’s manufacturing GVA output was worth £1.5billion in 2016 3 accounting for 15 per cent of the district’s total output. Engineering is the district’s largest manufacturing sector, which also includes chemicals, food and drink and textiles.

Mr Garthwaite told The Yorkshire Post he believes the Bradford initiative, alongside the Chamber’s October Leeds Manufacturing Festival, will inspire other cities across the UK to host their own manufacturing weeks,

He said: “Old manufacturing is evolving into something quite special. “The chamber is leading two high impact manufacturing sector initiatives because we want young people to see for themselves the exciting and progressive career opportunities it presents.

“Despite Bradford being the youngest city in the UK with a growing population of school leavers, our apprenticeships are low.”

“From August 2016 to January 2018 just 1,510 were undertaken across the manufacturing and engineering sector in Bradford and there are just 80 manufacturing apprenticeships we know of that are currently being officially advertised.

“We want to encourage manufacturers to consider apprenticeships to future proof their workforce and for young people to consider apprenticeships as an alternative route to a skilled and rewarding career.

“By improving communication between schools and manufacturers and showing just what an innovative industry this is, we believe we can attract the right talent and create a strong, skilled core base for our growing manufacturing sector.”

Bradford Manufacturing Week is being delivered with Bradford-based school and career specialists Aspire igen with additional sponsorship from Gordons, Naylor Wintersgill, the Bradford Economic Partnership, Mitton Mechanical and the University of Bradford, alongside a steering group including Bradford Grammar School, Bradford Council and local businesses.

Debbie Mullen, head of manufacturing in Yorkshire for Barclays, said: “Manufacturing is the backbone of the British economy and it is vital we help attract the next generation of talent to lead the industry forward. We are looking forward to helping this ambitious initiative bring the best of the region’s manufacturers together with schools and colleges to inspire young people to consider a future in manufacturing.”

Mr Garthwaite added: “To make Bradford Manufacturing Week a success we need all manufacturers to open their doors and help us inspire and excite young people by showcasing their products, innovation, technology and to demonstrate just how much they contribute to the local and national economy.

“We want smaller and larger manufacturers to back this initiative and we’ll make sure anyone who gets involved is given full support in hosting work placements, tours and events.

“This is a celebration of our district’s manufacturing might and we should be shouting from the rooftops about Bradford’s magnificent manufacturing heritage and advancements into the future.”

The Bradford Manufacturing Week programme was officially launched at Christeyns’ headquarters on Rutland Street in Bradford. Now in its sixth decade the firm is a leader in the specialist cleaning sector. The next step in the programmes evolution will come next month in the shape of a Bradford Manufacturing Week information event for manufacturers. Held on May 16 at Bradford Industrial Museum, organisers will provide details about the week’s events. For more information about sponsorship or getting involved: http:\\www.bradfordmanufacturing week.co.uk email bmw@wnychamber.co.uk call 01274 206653. follow @Bradfordmfg on Twitter

Original article at: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/plan-launched-to-attract-thousands-of-bradford-school-children-into-manufacturing-1-9119294

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One week left to lend support to ‘Northern Powerhouse Rail’

One week left to lend support to ‘Northern Powerhouse Rail’

Supporters of the campaign to bring a Northern Powerhouse Rail to Bradford have a week left to share their views on the idea.

Transport for the North’s draft Strategic Transport Plan is an attempt to create improved rail connectivity in the North and proposes a new Northern Powerhouse Rail line between Manchester and Leeds, via Bradford.

Supporters of the Next Stop Bradford campaign are being urged to participate in the consultation before it closes on Tuesday April 17.

Recently revealed figures from Bradford Council show how the Northern economy could benefit from up to £15bn by 2060 if Bradford secures a city centre station as part of the rail line.

Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council, said: “It is fantastic Bradford’s huge potential is recognised in Transport for the North’s draft Plan, however there is still much more to be done to secure this investment for our city and ensure that Bradford remains on the map.

“With one week to go until the consultation closes, this is a significant opportunity for businesses and residents from across the district and the North to help make the case for a city centre station in Bradford as part of NPR.

‘Northern Powerhouse Rail in Bradford will genuinely be game changing for our city by unlocking regeneration opportunities, widening access to employment and skills opportunities, supporting business growth and making Bradford an even more attractive place to live, work and invest.

“We urge people of all ages and from all parts of our community to participate in this final week of the consultation and help us build a prosperous legacy for our thriving city.”

To take part in the consultation, visit transportforthenorth.com/stp

LATEST NEWS

Find out the latest news on what is happening in Bradford

PARTNERS

Find out all the key players and organisation involved in the Bradford Enterprise Partnership

projects

Find out about the work that is ongoing and what makes Bradford a great place full of fantastic people