Category Archives: Constituency news
Progress at last – Letter from Nicky Morgan MP – Secretary of State for Education – on Parent Governors at Park View – 23 February 2015
I wanted to share with you the letter I have received from Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education, earlier this week.
You read the letter below (click on the letter for larger image).
I am glad to read that we have progress at last and that the Government has now committed to seeing an openly elected parent council.
I wanted to share with you a copy of the East Birmingham Growth Prospectus which I launched this morning.
This is the biggest plan for jobs in East Birmingham we’ve ever had. It was hard fought. But by demanding the government, the Council and HS2 pull together we’ve got an amazing plan for jobs and skills. At Washwood Heath we’ve forced HS2 to look at new plans to ensure 2,334 jobs are created rather than a giant train carpark – plus a £1 million investment in skills for local people and the City Council’s regeneration plan. It’s a once in a generation opportunity to transform our local economy.
You can find the full press release with statements from Shabana Mahmood MP and Jack Dromey MP here.
The news was covered by both the Birmingham Post and the Birmingham Mail.
With all best wishes
Birmingham Labour sets out bold plans for 9,000 jobs in East Birmingham
The City Council’s East Birmingham Growth Prospectus, backed by a new plan for the old LDV-Alstom marshalling yard, and £1 million skills investment by the government was launched today by East Birmingham’s three MP’s and Council leader, Sir Albert Bore.
Liam Byrne, MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, who has spent the last three years helping nurture and coordinate the plans today heralded the breakthrough as a ‘triple win’ for the city.
The plan has identified 3.7 million sq.ft of new employment floorspace as home for 9,000 new jobs including 3,000 jobs at Bordesley Park, and 1,000 new homes and improvements to local community and shopping provision in the Eastern Triangle – including Shard End.
Alongside the City Council’s East Birmingham Growth Prospectus, the MP’s have secured Parliamentary backing for a Plan B at the old LDV-Alstom marshalling yard, creating space for 2,334 jobs, and £1 million for investment in skills to be delivered through a new joint venture, chaired by Council chief executive, Mark Rogers.
Speaking at the former Alstom and LDV site in Washwood Heath,
Liam Byrne MP said: “This is the biggest plan for jobs in East Birmingham we’ve ever had. It was hard fought. But by demanding the government, the Council and HS2 pull together we’ve got an amazing plan for jobs and skills. Here at Washwood Heath we’ve forced HS2 to look at new plans to ensure 2,334 jobs are created rather than a giant train carpark – plus a £1 million investment in skills for local people and the City Council’s regeneration plan. It’s a once in a generation opportunity to transform our local economy.”
Jack Dromey MP said: “Our city has a great industrial tradition. We want Birmingham once again to be the workshop of the world, the city of a thousand trades. The constituencies we are proud to represent suffer from high unemployment and an acute shortage of affordable housing. This bold joint-initiative with Birmingham City Council will create badly-needed jobs and build baldy-needed homes, transforming East Birmingham into an economic power-house.”
Shabana Mahmood MP said: “Unemployment and worklessness has remained stubbornly high in East Birmingham for too long. This detailed plan for jobs provides a real opportunity; it recognises that it’s not enough to give people skills, we have to ensure there are skilled jobs for them to go into as well. In addition, we will keep up our pressure on HS2 bosses to ensure that the old LDV-Alston marshalling yard is used to create even more jobs locally – rather than the giant train carpark some envisage.”
1) Contact Deborah Harries at Birmingham City Council for further details on the East Birmingham Growth Prospectus. firstname.lastname@example.org, 0121 303 4777.
2) Liam Byrne MP, Jack Dromey MP and Shabana Mahmood MP, as well as a number of local council candidates will be doing a photocall at the Washwood Heath / old LDV site on Tuesday morning at 10:15
3) For further details please contact James Pignon at email@example.com or on 0207 219 6953
Many of you will have read, in my Winter Newsletter, about the three constituency wide residents meeting that I am holding between now and the election in May. They’re on the 3 big issues residents tell me that they want me to focus on – and I want to hear what you think needs to change in the years ahead.
· Fighting for more and better jobs, especially for our young people who need more to do
· Battling for a better NHS which residents feel is under real pressure. We need it to be world class, especially for our kids and older residents who have paid in for a lifetime
· And of course, changing our immigration system, which I’ve always talked about as long as I’ve been a MP
The second of these is this coming Saturday 14 February from 11:00 – 12:30 at The Beaufort Sports and Social Club. Details below.
Saturday 14 February 2015 11:00 – 12:30
NHS and Social Care: What’s the service we need in the 21st century for patients and carers?
Venue: The Beaufort Sports and Social Club, Coleshill Road B36 8DX
I hope you can join me for the second of these exciting opportunities to discuss the issues that really matter to all of us.
I look forward to seeing you on Saturday.
With all best wishes
PS. Details for the final meeting are below:
Saturday 21 March 2015 11:00 – 12:30
New Jobs, Fair Pay, Fair Taxes – and Fair Tax Credits!
Venue: Shard End Community Centre, Packington Avenue B34 7RD
Press release from Monitor, Thursday 5th Feb 2015:
Monitor secures extra help for Heart of England to improve services and strengthen leadership
An experienced former NHS chief executive will help Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust to improve its services for patients.
Diane Whittingham has been appointed as Improvement Director at the trust. She has over 30 years of NHS experience.
Diane will be employed by Monitor, but will be based at the trust in a part-time capacity. She will work alongside the trust’s new interim chief executive- Andrew Foster CBE -who was appointed last month following the resignation of Mark Newbold.
Diane will provide the trust with expertise, guidance and support while also holding its board to account to ensure that the required improvements are made.
Today’s action addresses concerns that the trust has insufficient long-term leadership capacity. An external review highlighted deficiencies in how the board scrutinises the running of the trust’s services.
Heart of England has been in breach of its license to provide healthcare since December 2013. Monitor imposed a further condition on the trust’s license to provide healthcare in October 2014, enabling it to take further action if its leadership didn’t improve.
The trust has also agreed to a new legally binding commitment that it will develop and implement a wide-ranging improvement programme covering governance, culture, safety and staffing, information technology, performance and leadership.
Heart of England provides health services to 1.2 million people across the West Midlands at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital, Solihull Hospital and Birmingham Chest Clinic.
Katherine Cawley, Regional Director at Monitor, said:
“This extra support will help Heart of England make the necessary improvements, so that it can provide well organised, high-quality services for patients.
“Diane brings substantial NHS experience to this role. In particular, she has a track record of successfully dealing with the complex challenges that can arise in a large healthcare organisation.
“We will continue to monitor the trust’s progress closely and will take further action if necessary.”
Notes to editors
- For further information please contact, Nick Burke Media Relations Manager, on Nicholas.firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3747 0800.
- Diane Whittingham took up her new post on 2 February 2015.
- Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust was authorised as an foundation trust on 1 April 2005.
- Details on Monitor’s previous regulatory action at the trust can be found here.
- Monitor is the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 its main duty is to protect and promote the interests of people who use them.
- Information about Monitor’s role can be found here.
- Follow Monitor on twitter @MonitorUpdate
News from Liam Byrne MP
Liam Byrne has today demanded talks with NHS chiefs to stop East Birmingham health services falling into crisis.
The move comes as health service regulator Monitor insists on further steps to ensure a proper improvement plan is in place at Heartlands hospital.
But Mr Byrne is demanding further action to improve GP services to relieve the strain on pressurised A&E services, including more urgent care services at local health centres, after his snap inspections of the centres found them almost empty.
Liam Byrne said:
‘My snap inspections found local urgent care centres almost empty – because local residents know they just aren’t the doctors available.
‘Frankly NHS have failed to put down on paper anything I can see that’ll improve things. So I’m demanding face to face to talks to jump start them into action’.
‘Our local NHS staff are doing an amazing job and everyone tells me care is often outstanding when you can get it. The problem is getting to see a doctor is getting harder and harder.’
Here’s the Council’s response to the Secretary of States’ statement in the House of Commons which I talked about in my last post:
‘Cllr Brigid Jones said: “Birmingham City Council has been calling for some time now for the Department for Education to accept the failings in both the department and its academies, and publish a plan to address them, as we have with ours. I am pleased to see this Secretary of State now doing so. Parents of children in academies, which answer directly to the DfE, need confidence that failings in those academies will be taken as seriously by the DfE as we have taken the failings in ours. On that note, however, I must again express my disappointment that the Department for Education’s recent review of its own actions was undertaken internally. Birmingham City Council submitted itself some time ago to extensive independent external review on this issue, and to command the confidence of parents I believe the DfE should have done the same.”
A huge amount of work has been done at Birmingham City Council since the allegations first arose. While there is still more work to be done it is important to stress that the small number of governors involved in the initial allegations have been long since removed. We have taken swift and firm action in tackling issues in our maintained schools where necessary. Our progress continues to be monitored and driven by a fortnightly meeting which includes the Chief Executive, Leader of the Council, and our Education Commissioner.
We have already strengthened our governor appointments and training process and have launched a new whistleblowing policy across the council that should give people greater confidence in our ability to respond to future concerns, from both staff and the public. This covers all schools, including academies and free schools, and has a monitoring mechanism to ensure all complaints are followed through.
We continue to be committed to developing the Birmingham Education Partnership and have invested in additional capacity to support this. We are working hard to build a new relationship with schools and a new way of doing business and welcome the extension to Sir Mike Tomlinson’s appointment and the role he is playing in brokering this.
Regarding Saltley school, we had recognised the problems there before the allegations broke; indeed we first applied to install an interim executive board in xxx. Following DfE permission to do this we have provided effective challenge and support to the school’s leaders. The IEB has a good oversight of the school’s work and regularly and robustly check the progress that is being made against the areas for improvement. The work of Washwood Heath in supporting the school has been invaluable.
All our children must have access to a broad, balanced and progressive education which will prepare them for life as citizens a diverse city and society. We believe it is important that the need for a national debate as to what constitutes this isn’t lost amid a scramble to shore up structures.’
The House of Commons heard an update from the Secretary of State for Education on progress in implementing the recommendations contained in Peter Clarke’s report on Birmingham schools.
I was present to represent the parents and schools of Hodge Hill. You can see my words below.
“I welcome the Secretary of State’s statement and her offer of additional resources to Park View school to get the teachers who are needed. I know that she would want to recognise a number of parents, including Sabina Kauser, Waheed Saleem and Arshad Malik, who helped to rebuild the governance along with Adrian Packer, Bev Mabey and the extraordinary group of teachers who came in to help restore the schools and ensure that, thanks to their work over the summer, they opened on time in September.
I very much welcome the emphasis that the Secretary of State put on the teaching of British values, in particular democracy and the rule of law. She will agree, I know, that it is important that we practise what we preach. It was therefore regrettable that parent members of the trust were not able to be elected by parents at the school. Instead, the trust took a decision to go through the most mind-bending process of selection to hand-pick parents to serve at trust level. I hope she will now encourage the trust to revisit that decision and ensure that democracy prevails.”
The whole debate is available here.
More developments on our local schools this week. The Trustees of Birmingham’s Park View Educational Trust (PVET) have announced their decision that Golden Hillock School joins the Ark network in September 2015.
As an Ark school, Golden Hillock will remain non-selective, non-denominational and mixed. Current pupils and staff will automatically transfer to the new school. Golden Hillock will remain very much part of the family of Birmingham schools but will also benefit from strong links with the wider Ark network
The BBC News have covered the move; see here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-31009181
Today I met with Waheed Saleem, the Chair of Park View School with Cllr Ansar Ali Khan on Friday and I was pleased to hear the considerable progress that has been made in both Nansen and Park View Schools.
I am pleased that both Waheed and Adrian Packer the Executive Principal have made the commitment of meeting with the parents regularly to update them on work they are doing to improve the educational experience of the pupils and to hear their concerns and issues. It was good to hear that the school has appointed several members of senior staff and classroom teachers to support the pupils, including Dr Rashida Sharif the new interim Head at Nansen, Marie Luise Morgan and David Birch, acting Assistant Principals at Park View School. Adrian is also progressing plans to bring a new interim Principal to Park View and has significantly strengthened the leadership team. Waheed held staff surgeries at Park View recently and was noted that staff morale was improving and that students were continuing to make progress in line with their academic targets.
The schools have put in extra help for Year 11 and Year 6 pupils to help them with their GSCE exams and SATs tests, including evening and weekend classes with experienced teachers. Park View also continues to develop its Accelerated Reader programme, which supports literacy and improves vocabulary. Waheed explained the range of extra curricular activities that are being offered to students including Yr 11 Community Leaders Programme providing leadership skills to students that will give them extra edge in applying for colleges and university places, meeting with Prince William to celebrate the work of the Feast Project, whole school concert and work experience practise interviews.
I raised the issue of community use of the sport facilities at the School and Waheed has reassured me that the improvement works are being scheduled and that the community will soon be able to access these facilities again.
With all best wishes