I am a member of the City Corporation’s Education Board which has responsibility for setting out the strategy and long-term vision for our education provision, including our schools, and the City’s cultural, heritage and environmental assets, including strong focus on employability and skills linking with businesses in the Square Mile.
The City Corporation sponsors or co-sponsors 10 academies across Hackney, Newham, Islington and Southwark, runs a maintained primary school in the Square Mile and manages three independent schools.
The City Corporation is sole sponsor of the City of London Academies Trust, which includes three primary, four secondary academies and a Sixth Form College. It also co-sponsors two secondary academies, the City Academy Hackney (co-sponsored with KPMG) and the City of London Academy Islington (co-sponsored with the City University). It is also historically supports three independent schools and has a local authority responsibilities for one maintained primary school.
I am a Governor at City Academy Hackney and was interim Governor for the City of London School for Girls. This means I have experience cutting across our wider ‘family of schools’. Last year we were successful in strengthening the City Corporation’s support for our academies, but I am in support of a wider review of how we are supporting our schools and where funding is directed to ensure we invest where the City can make the greatest impact.
The City schools work in close partnership with each other, enabling staff to share best practice and expertise, and provide new opportunities for students. In 2017 and 2018 report the City academies were ranked first in the country by the Sutton Trust for pupil progress and attainment of disadvantaged students.
Through its Education and Skills strategies, the City Corporation is placing an increasing prominence on developing pupils’ “fusion skills” through creative and physical subjects such as music, art and sport, to help pupils achieve their career goals.
For example the City Corporation has awarded funding for girls at its sponsored academies to participate in a project run by the London Irish Foundation which uses rugby as a vehicle for developing skills in leadership, collaboration and resilience.
And through Culture Mile Learning, the City Corporation is funding projects improving young Londoners’ access to culture in the Square Mile. The schemes support young people to take part in music, drama, arts and digitally immersive experiences in cultural settings and develop their fusion skills in the process.
In January the City Corporation announced a new £100k summer holiday programme tackling learning loss and hunger amongst 450 young people from low-income families in Islington. The programme helps young people to take part in a wide range of activities including cooking classes, sports, work skills and cultural activities.
Apprenticeships and employability
When the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017, the City Corporation made a commitment to establish 100 apprenticeships in 2017/18 to support young Londoners into the work force. The City Corporation exceeded its target by establishing 104 apprentices in 2017/18 and continues to recruit apprentices.
In addition, the City Corporation supports a range of employability programmes for young people in schools in neighbouring boroughs linking them to City businesses.