Hello from Phil Mellen - new Deputy Director for Learning, Children and Families, Leeds City Council
I am delighted to have joined Leeds City Council as Deputy Director for Learning. I was particularly keen to work in Leeds after hearing so much about the city’s vision and ambition for all of its children and young people – an ambition to be a truly child friendly city. Since joining and visiting a number of schools and learning settings across the city, it is clear to me that there is a real will and commitment from colleagues in schools, the local authority and other partners to work together to improve outcomes – and in particular for those young people who face the greatest barriers to success, for whatever reason. Clearly a city the size of Leeds will always face a range of challenges, but I believe that if we continue to work together as a strong learning community we will find ways to address these and support our most vulnerable children, young people and their families.
Just to provide you with a bit of background information about me, I have been a teacher since 1993 and did my PGCE at Trinity and All Saints College (now Leeds Trinity University). Since 2004 I have been a Headteacher, an Executive Headteacher, a Principal, an Executive Principal and Head of Virtual School for Looked After Children (not all at the same time!). I am also a Local Leader of Education and a Pupil Premium Reviewer and have led both primary and secondary schools. My most recent role was working for a Multi-Academy Trust in East Manchester. Away from work, I have a lovely wife and four delightful children (I may be biased about this). I play various musical instruments and am also a long suffering fan of Ipswich Town Football Club.
I look forward to working in partnership with you all across the coming years so that we collectively improve the attendance, attainment and achievement of children and young people in Leeds.
Leeds for Learning Exhibition 2019 - Senior Leaders, Governors and Business Managers
Three Events in One - Same Day Same Venue!
For those of you who haven’t already booked onto the Leeds for Learning Exhibition 2019, we would like to invite you to this key event on Wednesday 20th March between 11am-1pm at Pudsey Civic Hall.
This is a drop-in event, showcasing the services provided by Leeds City Council to schools. It represents a fantastic opportunity for Business Managers, Senior Leaders and Governors to learn more about the broad range of educational products and services that are available through Leeds for Learning. This year, we are delighted to welcome more exhibitors than ever before, making the range of services available on the day even more comprehensive.
Our team of highly experienced practitioners will be on hand to discuss how we can tailor our broad range of quality products, services and training to match your needs.
*Early bird incentives will be available on the new SLA menu for schools and settings, as well as raffle prizes and other special offers. Refreshments are served throughout the morning and live music will be provided through ArtForms Music by the amazing folk pop band, Maia. Parking is free.
Headteacher/Financial Service to Schools Briefings
This year, we have combined the date with Business Managers admin information sessions provided by our Financial Services to Schools team which will also be held at Pudsey Civic Hall on the same day as the Exhibition, 20th March. There are two sessions, either side of the Leeds for Learning exhibition.
Plus the Headteacher Briefing...
Also at the same venue on 20th March is the Primary Headteacher briefing from 1.15-3.45pm.
To book places at these events, click here
Please note – if you have already booked places at the Headteacher or Finance Briefings, you will still need to book an additional place at the Leeds for Learning exhibition.
Share Your Good News! – New Newsletter for the Leeds Learning Community
A new monthly newsletter is being launched in January at the request of Phil Mellen, who we are delighted to welcome as our new Deputy Director for Learning.
The newsletter will play a key part in our drive to keep in regular communication with the whole Leeds learning community and will go to all schools and settings staff as well as Councillors and Children and Families officers (provided they have a Leeds for Learning account). The aim is to build on the strong partnership between LCC and schools and settings, promoting a sense of the family of Leeds schools, sharing key messages, good news, successes and best practice.
So, whether it’s news of an outstanding pupil performance, as excellent Ofsted, a new building extension, an innovative new teaching technique or a going-the-extra-mile performance by a staff member, please let us have your good news so that we can feature it in the first edition. Publication date is 16th January 2019 and deadline for copy is 9th January 2019. Please send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note also that in order to receive the new newsletter it is essential that all school staff have a Leeds for Learning account. Please ask your Business Manager to organise this for you by following the guidance here.
Don't miss out on Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) training in the autumn term.
Music Centres Can Complement Classroom Learning
If you are a Head Teacher or Music Co-ordinator in Leeds, you will already be aware of the various music education services that ArtForms can offer for your school here on Leeds for Learning, but did you know that we also have offers within the community in the form of our Music Centres? They run on Saturday mornings during term time, hosted in seven schools across the city and are open to the whole community, regardless of age, as a place to learn to play and make music together.
The benefits of music on learning and education are well documented, including in this study from March, where researchers from the VU University of Amsterdam found that "children who received music lessons showed improved language-based reasoning and the ability to plan, organize and complete tasks, as well as improved academic achievement."
Another study from the University of Arizona found that “young men and women who shared musical experiences with their parents during childhood - and especially during adolescence - report having better relationships with [their parents] as they enter young adulthood.” The majority of Music Centre classes are based on ability rather than age group, so this allows parents and their children to learn and make music together which can benefit their social development and wellbeing.
ArtForms’ Music Centres offer a wonderful opportunity for your pupils to expand the knowledge they gain through their National Curriculum learning and complement their instrumental or vocal lessons in schools, as well as giving them the skills and confidence to reach their potential both inside and out of the classroom.
Our Music Centres will be enrolling from 9am on Saturday 8th September – why not encourage your pupils and their parents to go along to their closest centre! For more information, including what is on offer, and to find your nearest music centre, you can also visit our website.