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Having gathered extensive evidence and learned from some of the world’s leading models of education focused on preparing young people for life and work, we wanted to put this into practice by working with a group of schools to develop an effective model of transformation in the UK context, making learning relevant to inspire young people. 

We have developed a close partnership with a group of leading organisations – Ford Next Generation Learning who have developed and rolled out a similar model in the US, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, CBI and North East Collaborative Outreach Programme. 

Together, we are working intensively with three fantastic schools in the North East of England – Excelsior Academy in Newcastle, Churchill Community College and Norham High School in North Tyneside, to develop the pilot, which will formally begin in September 2018. We want to create a model of school transformation that can be applied and adapted in many different contexts within existing schools, without the need for major institutional change. 

We have taken key staff from the LEP and schools, as well as local business leaders to Nashville and the other leading projects to see first-hand the practice that we will be learning from. We have hired four excellent staff (funded by NECOP) to develop the first phase of the pilot, building intensive links between businesses and the school curriculum. We have also engaged the support of Ford Next Generation Learning, who have assigned two of their leading coaches to the project, who will visit regularly to support development. 

The schools have already begun a series of workshops bringing in parents, pupils, staff, community members and business representatives to support the transformation. They have also begun to develop effective and engaging projects in partnership with local employers. 

You can find out more about the progress of the pilot in the videos below. We are keen to work with other interested areas and schools across the UK so that more young people can begin to benefit from this transformational approach to education.