Schools North East commissioned to launch national special school network

A NETWORK of schools in the North-East, which offers support to school staff, has been commissioned by the Government to deliver a national network for people working in special schools.

The National Network of Special Schools for School Business Professionals in England, which also works with people working on alternative provision for school, is run by Schools North East and supported by the Department for Education, and will act as a support network for people working in special schools and alternative school provisions.

Similarly to Schools North East, the network will promote best practice and deliver behaviour change in schools’ buying practices, making them more cost-effective, while linking with wider regional and national networks.

It will also be a source of support, information, advice, guidance and professional development.

Schools North East director Chris Zarraga said: “We recognise how diverse this sector is and how much support and value the network will bring to those working in special schools.

“We are pleased that Schools North East has been selected to expand our work for and school networks across the country.”

As well as practical help, the group will engage with decision makers and think tanks, as well as creating a platform to recognise “everything that is wonderful about these diverse schools”.

People in the sector expect collaborative work to improve support for children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) and therefore reduce the pressures on the system for an all-round better experience.

Alison Jefferson, director of resources at Durham Trinity School & Sports College, and Schools North East SBM council member, said the network will be a valuable resource in the region.

She added: “I am delighted that Schools North East has been awarded the contract to host the National Network of Special Schools.

“As special schools are quite often unique in their local area this is a fantastic opportunity for national collaboration.

“I am very much looking forward to being part of the network and meeting and sharing with other special school professionals.”

Since Covid-19, Schools North East has established an online community, supporting over 2,500 school staff in the region.

The Northern Echo | Durham