City’s college to join innovative schools network

ELY College has joined a new national network of just 40 innovative schools committed to helping other schools to offer their students the best in education.

The college has been recognised in particular for its award-winning Musical Futures programme, which focuses on students’ own musical interests, and which has resulted in a far greater than average uptake of music at GCSE.

It is also sharing its experience of Challenge & Develop, a cross-curricular enrichment programme which provides opportunities for students to develop leadership skills in disciplines including sports, arts and community activities.

Catherine Jenkinson-Dix, college principal, said: “This is an opportunity for us to join a dynamic group of schools at a time of significant change, and when we are coming under pressure to focus on a narrow set of core subjects at the expense of breadth.

“Like the other pathfinders we know that breadth doesn’t have to be at the expense of depth, and that providing rich opportunities for young people to learn new skills and grow in character actually supports academic success.”

John Dunford OBE, chairman of the 40-school group, known as Whole Education, said: “Quite rightly, schools like Ely College are using their new freedoms to redefine their educational offer to young people in the light of new social, economic and employment trends.

“The pathfinder schools in the Whole Education network have committed to this aim and will be working together to learn from one another and improve England’s school system as a whole.”

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Whole Education is a London-based not-for-profit organisation that works with schools, businesses and government to ensure all young people have access to an education that is engaging and which develops the wide range of skills

Its network of almost 400 schools includes 40 pathfinders, including Ely College, which have already successfully taken steps to enrich their students’ experience.