Letter from Andy Smith, Deputy Chief Executive and Strategic Director for People Services
Derby is a hidden gem in the Midlands and is becoming a city where people can thrive and aspire. City centre regeneration with a proposed new theatre and a range of art galleries including the award-winning Silk Mill is creating vibrancy and cultural energy. We are the new national home of the Great British Railway and new large scale new business is creating a hopeful future for many.
Our school leaders are deeply committed to our young people and their families and partnerships with schools are strong. We believe in a “Better Together” approach to just about everything and value our work with the University of Derby, Derby College, Rolls Royce and Toyota and a strong voluntary sector.
Derby was a DfE Opportunity Area (OA) and has benefited from significant investment into sector-led school improvement over the past five years. The city is now part of the DfE Priority Education Investment Area programme which continues the legacy of the OA and is again providing school to school support for improvements in basic skills and school attendance. We have a small but effective education team with years of experience as school leaders.
Our ambition is for Derby to become a city for everyone so that all young people can “Live their Best Life”. New inclusive places to train and work are springing up and bringing better opportunities for all. Our SEND teams are well-established and the local area partnership is strong. Our 2019 SEND written statement is far behind us and we achieved a full score in the re-visit 2021.
We recognised the need to transform the High Needs System and two years ago began an extensive and exciting programme for SEND and Alternative Provision that is leading to increased and improved provision in all parts of the city. Our recently developed DSG Management Plan sets out our inclusive ambition and how it will be achieved. We work collaboratively with partners and have developed a good understanding of the needs of our children and young people and what is needed to support them.
Working alongside Learning, Inclusion and Skills our Children’s Social Care services are highly effective with social care achieving an “outstanding”, judgement at the latest ILACS inspection. Early Help and the Family Hubs pilot support the community and alongside our wonderful Virtual School ensure that our most vulnerable families are well cared for.
The Derby Adult Learning Service (DALs), was judged ‘good’, by Ofsted last year and has gone from strength to strength since then. DALS is a real source of hope for many community members who want a second chance in education and may need support for developing their employment skills. Our Better Together Café exemplifies this work and is a finalist the national MJ awards 2023.
If you are ambitious for all children and can bring energy and new ideas, then Derby is a place you can make a difference.
We look forward to welcoming you!