Category Archives: education

Bradford bus tours take trainee teachers into secondary schools


Teacher training students will be taken on bus tours of secondary schools in the Bradford district as part of a major recruitment campaign.

Bradford Council organises the tours to give people who are training to be teachers an insight into how rewarding working in the district’s schools can be.

The bus tours have already been a major success helping to recruit more than 200 talented teachers into Bradford’s primary schools since they were first launched two years ago.

Now tours of the district’s secondary schools have been organised for the first time. These tours are taking place this month taking students from Leeds Trinity University to schools across the district to give them an insight into teaching in Bradford and applying for jobs.

These will be followed by a series of bus tours to primary schools. Bradford Council’s bus tours allow the authority to work with teaching training providers to promote the district as a destination for teachers.

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s executive member for education, employment and skills said: “Our bus tours have already had a big impact helping us to attract 200 new teachers to work in our primary schools. Now we are extending this work to secondary schools in the district.

“We know that when people see the work that our schools do first-hand they want to be involved. We hope the teacher training students who take part are inspired by what they see. Bradford’s secondary schools are already achieving some amazing results – having been the fourth most improved area in the country for the progress pupils are making at GCSE. We hope more talented teachers taking part in the latest round of bus tours will join us to help improve the district’s results further.”

Ed Podesta Leeds Trinity University’s Group Academic lead  – Post Graduate Initial Teacher Education said: “We’re delighted to be working with Bradford Council on this exciting and important initiative, which we see as part of our mission that all children in the region are taught by knowledgeable, committed, and effective teachers.  We work with fantastic school partners in Bradford, and welcome the opportunity for all our trainees to see the great teaching that happens in schools in the district.”

The bus tours are part of an important campaign to boost teacher recruitment in the district.

Bradford Council has invested £660,000 in teacher recruitment over three years. The bus tours have taken hundreds of teacher training students around schools in Bradford.

The tours are followed by a Journey to Your First Teaching Post workshop where candidates are given advice about applying for jobs, writing personal statements and preparing for their job interviews.

The newly qualified teachers are then invited to apply to a talent bank which has been set up by Bradford Council to allow the district’s schools to find the best candidates for their vacancies.
The talent bank is the first of its kind in the country. It has allowed the Council to use local expertise to match newly qualified teachers to suitable jobs which they can then apply for.

A major online teaching recruitment campaign, Bradford for Teaching, has also been launched this month to attract more teachers to the district.

Inspirational teachers from across the district have also been chosen to be Bradford for Teaching Ambassadors. They will be using Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to share stories about their work and the impact teachers in Bradford can have.

A website,, has been created giving people information about job and training opportunities in Bradford schools.

Coun Khan added: “We are getting the message out there that Bradford is the place to be for ambitious and talented teachers who want to make a difference to young people’s lives.”


Bradford launches campaign to find teachers who can make a difference

The Bradford for Teaching campaign is the latest step being taken in Bradford to boost teacher recruitment and retention.

A new website has been created,  which allows people to find out more about the opportunities to train and work in Bradford’s schools.

There will also be a major social media campaign through Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

Ten inspirational teachers and school leaders from the district have been chosen to be Bradford for Teaching Ambassadors. They will share their stories on social media about the impact their work is having  in order to help promote Bradford to teachers outside the district.

The new campaign follows on from the success of the Bradford bus tours which the council has organised to bring teacher training students into the district’ schools to see their work for themselves.

The Bradford for Teaching ambassadors have been chosen from schools across the district to champion Bradford and the rewards of teaching here.

One of those ambassadors is Luke Sparkes, the executive principal of Dixons Trinity Academy.

He said: “Bradford is an exceptional community: diverse, ambitious and culturally rich; it is a city which deserves teachers who are truly values driven and want to make a difference.  There is a strong current of educational innovation in Bradford with two secondary schools placing in the top 30 nationally for progress in summer 2017.

Ambassador Aamir Hassan, an assistant faculty leader and English teacher at Beckfoot School in Bingley said: “Teaching in Bradford is rewarding, extraordinary and what I live to do. I am inspired everyday by the students and we all learn from one another. Working with young people is an enriching experience and I wouldn’t want that experience anywhere else- Bradford is truly the place to be for teaching.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “Bradford for Teaching is a vitally important campaign for the district.

“We are determined to provide the best possible education for all our young people. We know that the quality of our teachers is vital in turning this ambition into a reality. Bradford is a vibrant and diverse district.

“Our schools offer a variety of different opportunities and challenges, with the chance to work in different settings from urban and inner city schools to those serving rural communities. But we are all united by a shared commitment to ensure our young people achieve their potential. I hope the Bradford for Teaching campaign will inspire more teachers to join us on this journey.”

The campaign will involve a partnership of schools across the Bradford district. It is being funded by Bradford Council and co-ordinated by the Northern Lights Teaching School Alliance.

Bradford already leads the way in innovative work to recruit and retain the best teachers.

Bradford Council committed to investing £660,000 on teacher recruitment over a three year period. Since then the authority has run the highly successful bus tours taking teacher training students into Bradford schools to see the work they do for themselves.

It has also set up a Talent Bank which is used by school leaders to fill their vacancies with the best suited candidates. This has helped to recruit around 200 new teachers to Bradford schools over the past two years.

Now partners in Bradford are keen to build on this success with a campaign which celebrates and promotes the district more widely as a place where teachers at any stage of their career can make a difference.

Literacy campaign in Bradford gets £197,000 funding boost

Bradford has received a funding boost to improve literacy standards across the district. Below is a press release from the National Literacy Trust which works with the Council to raise standards.

National Literacy Trust press release below:

“A literacy campaign from the National Literacy Trust and Bradford City Council has received a new £197,000 funding grant from the Morrisons Foundation, a charity set up by the supermarket, to boost literacy levels in Bradford.

The funding will be used to deliver literacy activity in Bradford for a year. Launched as the Bradford Literacy Campaign, the initiative has been active in the city since 2012.

Over the past five years, 30 local partners have supported literacy in Bradford and the National Literacy Trust has worked with over 200 schools in the area. Key successes include the Our Stories poetry project, which was launched to engage pupils with low literacy, especially boys. Over the course of the programme, the percentage of Year 6 pupils reaching the expected level in writing increased from 46% to 92%, while their self-esteem and confidence also increased significantly.

Neonatal work has also been a key success for the campaign. Working with Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, neonatal charity Bliss and Boots Opticians, the campaign gave out 500 story packs to parents of premature babies. The packs included books for parents to read to their babies and tips and information on how communication can help development.

As it moves into a new phase, the campaign will be rebranded as Bradford Stories. The new name celebrates the rich heritage of Bradford and highlights the importance of families, young people and different communities in the city sharing stories with one another.

Over the next year, the Bradford Stories campaign will focus on addressing literacy issues facing families in Bradford, including engaging dads and male carers in their children’s learning and getting families reading with their children every day. The campaign will also highlight the benefits of bilingualism, and launch new initiatives targeting local schools and volunteers from the local community.

To celebrate the new funding and campaign name, Bradford Stories is calling on all Bradford residents to snap a photo of their favourite place to share stories in the city, and post the picture on social media using the hashtag #BradfordStories. The best pictures will win prizes including book tokens.

Imran Hafeez, Manager of the Bradford Stories campaign, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded this funding from the Morrisons Foundation to continue our work to raise literacy levels in Bradford. Since launching the campaign, we’ve delivered lots of inspiring projects and achieved great results, but there is still more to be done to ensure every child in Bradford has the literacy skills they need to succeed. Our partnership work has been crucial to the success of the campaign to date – with this new funding we can expand this work further and reach more people across Bradford than ever!”

The Morrisons Foundation was set up by Morrisons supermarkets in 2015 and awards grants for charity projects which help to improve people’s lives. Since launching over £15 million has been donated to hundreds of charities across England, Scotland and Wales.

David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the National Literacy Trust’s work in Bradford as we know what an important difference this can make for families from across the city.”

To find out more about the Bradford Stories campaign, visit


Education Covenant to be topic of next public forum

Bradford’s Education Covenant will be the topic at the district’s next Public Forum for Education.

The Education Covenant is a district wide initiative focused on engaging the whole community to play a part in helping young people to succeed in life.  The Covenant is about keeping education a top priority to:
•           Help schools and teachers raise standards.
•           Support parents to get children ready for school, work and life.
•           Work with businesses and colleges to boost career options.
•           Champion the district’s unique art and culture.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 from 4.30pm to 6.30pm in the Hockney Room, Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, Bradford BD1 1NN.

Speakers will include Leigh Taylor, Regional Director North East & Yorkshire Commercial Banking – Lloyds Bank. Leigh will explore how businesses can better support children and young people to help improve their educational outcomes and make successful transitions into work, and the business rationale for doing this work.

Staff and children from a local primary school will talk about their involvement in the launch of the Inspiring Bradford event.

Local magistrate, Gill Arnold, will talk about the work of the Bradford Community Champions.

There will also be an update on how the Education Covenant is being put into practice and how businesses and parents can make a difference.

The presentations will be followed by round table discussions and an opportunity to share your ideas with the panel and ask questions.

The Public Forum for Education (PFE) is an open and free forum where everyone with an interest in education is welcome to come along and contribute.

Coun Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “The idea behind the Education Covenant is to focus the efforts of everyone on how we can raise education standards. We want to bring together the whole community to support Bradford’s children: businesses, public services, parents, and communities, all have a role to play.

Michael Jameson, strategic director of children’s service, said:  “We know just how hard schools work to improve the outcomes for our children and education attainment is improving in our district. But we have more to do and we believe the whole community needs to be involved in young people’s education. That is why the Education Covenant is so important, so I’d urge parents, young people, teachers and businesses to come along and find out how they can be involved.”

To book your place, please email or contact Heidi Hardy on 01274 434335.

High Park School receives Autism Accreditation

High Park School is the first school or organisation in Bradford to be awarded Autism Accreditation by the National Autistic Society.

The National Autistic Society is the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families.

The award was given in recognition of the school’s good autism practice.   Autism Accreditation is an autism-specific quality assurance programme. It was set up in 1992 to improve the support available to autistic people in organisations throughout the UK and across the world, including local authorities, NHS trusts, education authorities, local autism societies and private companies.

To gain accreditation, organisations have to meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework for continuous self-examination and development. Over 500 organisations are now accredited.  The National Autistic Society’s Autism Accreditation programme was launched over 20 years ago and sets extremely high standards, which the school has worked incredibly hard to meet.

Being autistic means you feel, hear and see things in a different, often more intense, way to others and may struggle in certain social situations. More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and it will affect each one of them slightly differently – some go onto successful careers while others need intensive support to go about their daily lives.

Find out more about Autism Accreditation on The National Autistic Society website: http://www.

Principal, Ann Andrew, is pictured with one of the students who is holding the award.

Abbey Green Nursery School is praised by Ofsted

Children at Abbey Green Nursery School & Children’s Centre continues to receive a good standard of education as Ofsted inspectors judge the centre to be good for the fifth consecutive time.

The Bradford Council school has sustained its Good status, in every inspection, since it was inspected in 2004; 13 years ago.

In a very complimentary report, the inspector found “the leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the nursery since the last inspection” which was in April 2014, also saying “You and your staff have high expectations of what children can achieve.”

Children demonstrated how “caring and inclusive” they were in their behaviour; helping other children to put aprons on for play sessions and “displayed confidence in using sign language to communicate with other children.”

“The Local Authority has recognised and values this inclusivity and is currently designating the nursery as a special needs resource base.”

Staff have addressed all the recommendations from the previous inspection and other comments in the report include:

  • Phonics is taught very well.  Children enjoy the activities, and are skilled at knowing the sounds letters make.
  • You have continued to develop the Governance of the Nursery.
  • Partnership working with parents is very strong.
  • …”adult classes delivered by the family and community team in the nursery have helped them in developing their knowledge of English, and so help them support their children.”

Headteacher, Margot Dixon, said:  “We are delighted with this latest report as it is clear that Ofsted see the school as we do.  Pupils, staff, parents and Governors are delighted that our continued hard work has paid dividends and we are all extremely pleased with this outcome.”

Chair of Governors at the School, Khalid Mahmood, said: “I am delighted that the continuing dedicated and hard work of staff has been rewarded and that the Inspector recognised that our children are making great progress.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said:  “This is excellent news for Abbey Green.  Five consecutive Good Ofsted inspections is a fantastic achievement and all those who have worked so hard to bring about this result should be justly very proud.”


Council seeking sponsor for new social, emotional and mental health free school

Bradford Council is looking for a sponsor to run a new special free school for pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.

The new school is being created in Bradford after the council successfully bid with partners in the district and neighbouring councils for Education and Skills Funding Agency funding.

The free school will offer whole life services based around excellent education, family care and work-life support with space for 72 pupils and a 12 bed residential facility.
Bradford Council is now inviting applications to run the new school.  The council is hosting an event this week to share its vision with prospective sponsors.

Representatives from Social Care,  Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and neighbouring local education authorities will also be attending.

The event takes place at the Ernest Saville Room in City Hall from 10am to 1pm on Friday September 22.

Applications to run the new school can be submitted at any time before noon on November 24 this year.  The Council cannot grant a deadline extension. Any organisation wanting to submit a bid should register their interest first.

The new school is set to be built on the former Rhodesway playing fields site on Lower Grange, Bradford.

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s executive member  for education, employment and skills, said: “This new free school will play a key role in our provision for pupils with special educational needs.  We are looking for an organisation which can fulfill our vision for a school which provides  whole life services based around excellent education, family care and work-life support. We believe this school can make a real difference to the lives of young people who will benefit from this support.”

Council seeks views on the expansion of Low Ash Primary

Bradford Council is consulting on its proposed plans to enlarge Low Ash Primary School in Wrose. 

The consultation begins on Friday 8 September and runs until 20 October. A full analysis will be carried out and a report with recommendations will be made to the Executive of the Council in December 2017. 

The proposal would see the expansion of the school building to enable the Published Admission Number (PAN) to be increased from 60 to 90 pupils.  The school currently has capacity for 420 children which would rise to 630 if this proposal is agreed. 

The demand for places in this area continues to increase particularly with regard to the number of housing developments approved or awaiting a decision.  Some homes have been completed and children have been accommodated in other recently expanded schools. 

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said:  “Low Ash Primary is a popular school and usually receives more applications than it has places for. 

“The school has adequate space for it to be expanded, and subject to the consultation and appropriate planning permission, would look to commence the increased intake with effect from September 2019.” 

The consultation is on the Council’s consultation webpage and responses can be made in various ways: 


Contact:  Nina Mewse, Senior Provision and Places Officer, T 01274 439346. 

Notes to Editors:

The link provided  above takes you to the current consultations page.  Please scroll down to : 

Consultation on the Expansion of Low Ash Primary School in order to increase the Published Admission Number.

Tim Peake’s spacecraft to land in Bradford

The spacecraft which transported Tim Peake, the UK’s first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, to and from the International Space Station, will be landing at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford for public viewing from Wednesday, 27 September 2017.

The Soyuz TMA-19M capsule, complete with equipped interior and char marks on its outer body from its re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere, will displayed along with its 25m diameter parachute.

The display of the iconic craft will be accompanied by an inspiring and immersive range of activities, including the Space Descent VR experience, narrated by Tim Peake himself.  Space Descent VR uses Samsung Gear VR headsets to recreate the experience of travelling over the International Space Station (ISS) and the incredible 250-mile journey back down to earth inside the Soyuz TMA-19M.

The VR imagery has been created by the award-winning Alchemy VR studio for the Science Museum Group, and is experienced with the latest Samsung Gear VR headsets in a bespoke VR lounge inside the museum.

The museum’s October half-term activities (21 – 29 October) will also be dedicated to Tim Peake’s Principia mission, featuring out-of-this-world experiences such as astronaut-training, taking the helm at mission control and launching self-designed rockets. And the museum’s popular series of Lates events for adults returns on 28 September with an evening of interactive space-themed entertainment.

Museum director, Jo Quinton-Tulloch, said: “The Science Museum Group acquired the Soyuz TMA-19M capsule last year, and we’re the first venue to display it outside the capital. It’s hard to express how excited we are to be bringing it to Bradford. The Soyuz capsule represents one of history’s most incredible technological feats, and this is an unmissable opportunity for visitors young and old to see the craft that took Tim Peake all the way to the Space Station and back.”

Soyuz TMA-19M carried Peake and crewmates Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra in ESA Expedition 46/47 to the ISS on 15 December 2015, returning on 18 June 2016. It was acquired last year by the Science Museum Group.

Commenting on the acquisition, ESA astronaut Tim Peake said: “You do become very attached to your spacecraft because it definitely does save your life. I’m absolutely delighted that my Soyuz spacecraft, the TMA-19M, is going to be returning here to the UK and may serve, hopefully, as inspiration for our next generation of scientists and engineers.

Details of visiting arrangements and special events, including the Space Descent VR experience and half-term activities at the National Science and Media Museum will be announced at a later date.

Space Descent VR with Tim Peake and the presentation of Tim Peake’s spacecraft have been made possible with support from Samsung and the generous co-operation of Tim Peake and the European Space Agency.


Malaika’s Story…


When you first meet seven-year-old Malaika Azeem from Bradford, she appears to be a healthy little girl. But at only a few weeks old, Malaika was diagnosed with life-limiting Congenital Heart Disease, a condition that causes increased heart rate, shortness of breath, chest pain and mobility problems. Malaika is in need of round the clock care that often leaves mum Sanam struggling to cope.

Malaika also suffers from frequent cyanosis, which causes poor oxygenation of the blood, otherwise known as ‘blue episodes’, for which she requires immediate hospitalisation. For mum Sanam, the past six years have been a constant battle to find support for the family.

She explains:

“The last 12 months have been really stressful for us all. In January last year, Malaika underwent open-heart surgery and doctors were unsure as to whether she’d pull through. After the operation, I cared for Malaika myself, changing her tracheotomy at home, as well as managing her physiotherapy. Since then, she has had several severe blue episodes and endured repeated hospital stays.

“I’m lucky to have the support of my parents and sister, who live close by, but there are very few people I would trust with Malaika’s care. Although I’ve previously tried to access different services in Bradford, there are few who really understand Malaika’s condition. Because she looks normal, people don’t understand.”

The challenge of caring for Malaika 24 hours a day, seven days a week is made more difficult as Sanam must juggle Malaika’s needs with those of her three sisters. Nimrah 13, Romesa 10, and Saira 3. For them, family life revolves around Malaika’s medical care, meaning that weekend activities and time out together are almost impossible.

Sanam explains further.

“Planning outings is a huge struggle. In the past, when we’ve been out and about, Malaika has fallen or become ill, so when I’m looking at places to go I have to consider where is suitable for her, and what might happen if she is ill away from home.

“I often feel guilty not being able to spend time with the other children. They sometimes get upset at the amount of attention I give Malaika, but when she falls ill, they understand why she needs me so much. My eldest, Nimrah, acts as a mother, sister and friend. She will help to wash and change Malaika and is a huge support to me. I’ve always tried to be honest with them all about the reality of Malaika’s condition and we take each day as it comes.”

Sanam self-referred Malaika to Martin House in the summer of 2015, and was overjoyed when the family were invited to a special tour prior to their first stay: After their first stay at Martin House in November last year, the Bradford family are hopeful that, with the right support, life can become a little more manageable.

“Malaika loved her first visit to the hospice. When we got there she didn’t know where to look first, and was so excited saying, “look at this, look at that”. She didn’t want to come home at all! Before our first proper stay in November, Malaika had been very ill and I was barely sleeping. The stay came at just the right time for both of us.”

“The time we spent at Martin House was an extraordinary experience. It was so good to get away from everything. Going to the hospice gives me the chance to talk to other parents and realise I’m not alone – their children might have different needs but we are all in the same boat. I don’t need sympathy; it’s so wonderful to be able to speak to people who understand.”

“When I talk to people about the hospice, they assume it’s all about end of life care. But Martin House do everything. Malaika loves to sing, and when she last stayed, she made a CD of her singing nursery rhymes and other songs. When I listened to it, I was in tears! It’s building up these memories that’s so special, all the little things that we do together that mean so much.”