Hartlepool project promises a first-class education for every learner

Professor Steve Higgins, left, Councillor Chris Simmons and Gill Alexander with local youngsters.
Professor Steve Higgins, left, Councillor Chris Simmons and Gill Alexander with local youngsters.

A pioneering project is promising “a first-class education for every Hartlepool learner”.

The Hartlepool Education Commission – a body representing the local authority, schools, academies, colleges, councillors, employers, parents and young people – unveiled a blueprint to help shape the future of education in the town.

Speaking at the launch, Gill Alexander, Hartlepool Borough Council’s chief executive, said: “The Hartlepool Education Commission Report is about shaping the future of education in Hartlepool.

“We want an education system that is the best in the world.

Ms Alexander said: “The world is constantly changing and young people must be taught the right skills to prepare them for future employment. We need to prepare our children for the future and it will be challenging.”

Chair of the Commission, Professor Steve Higgins of Durham University, has a wealth of experience in the education sector.

He said: “Just about everyone we have met over the last year has the same vision for Hartlepool: for every child and young person to have the best possible chance to grow into successful, fulfilled and responsible citizens as members of a vibrant community.

“We are confident and excited about the direction we think Hartlepool’s schools and communities should take ,and in future years other localities looking for ways to improve should be seeking to learn the lessons from Hartlepool’s success.”

There are several recommendations in the 56-page report. These include ensuring that every school, academy and college in Hartlepool is good or outstanding, and to proactively recruit and retain excellent teachers within its schools.

The next step is to establish an Education Improvement Board to drive forward the various recommendations.

One of its first tasks will be to develop a charter with all the key organisations to set out a shared vision and an action plan.

Coun Chris Simmons, chairman of the council’s children’s services committee, said: “There has been a tremendous amount of work over the last 18 months to get to this stage.

“However, this is just the start of the journey, and I am looking forward to see how things progress in the months and years ahead.

“This is a hugely important, collaborative piece of work, and I am so pleased that children and young people are involved, as they are the very people it aims to benefit.”

The Hartlepool Education Commission Report can be viewed by visiting www.hartlepool.gov.uk