With Just 20% Visits to JLR – Wolverhampton Schools Still Have To Do Better!

In March I spoke critically of the lack of engagement that Wolverhampton Schools were having with Jaguar Landrover and their brand new plant in Fordhouses Wolverhampton. 24757542 Jag

I asked what inspirational Heads and aspirational schools were doing to ensure pupils were being  treated to opportunities and  engineering careers could do for them.

I said then that “Jaguar Land Rover is a World Class company it is probably the best industrial news that we have had in Wolverhampton for over 30 years. So why is it schools ‘from across the region’ are beating their way to JLR and Wolverhampton schools are not?!

Why aren’t Wolverhampton schools camped on the doorstep of JLR, what are Wolverhampton Schools leaders doing? Where is the aspiration in Wolverhampton schools and the inspirational Head Teachers who will lead our pupils into good jobs and career enhancing employment?”

The Director of Education had explained at that time that Wolverhampton schools “were being heavily encouraged”. And I went onto state “ so I would hope so too!”

I have now had an up date on the situation

Strategic Director (Place) Tim Johnson tells me on 22/April 2016 that-

“Picking up the points you have raised regarding the engagement of Wolverhampton schools with JLR, I wanted to share with you the range of communication activities taking place to attract the interest of our schools.

A monthly newsletter is sent direct from Education centre, outlining the activities which have taken place at the centre. The team have used both the cloud system (online schools webshare) and a database of direct email address to raise awareness to schools.  Please see attached the April edition.

Using a more direct route, officers from the Education Business service through their meetings with representatives of local schools, present the opportunities of JLR Education Centre , alongside the support for work experience and other work or skills related initiatives. 

Since, June 2015 when the centre opened there have been a total of 50 visits made to the centre, 10 have been from Wolverhampton schools, 11 from the Black Country, 8 from Birmingham and the remaining coming from areas such as Telford, Cannock or overseas (Austria have visited twice).  In the calendar are visits from Colten Hill Secondary and Gifford Primary. 

With regards to the location, to help with transport arrangements to the centre there are 3 mini buses available to collect pupils that is included as part of the programme. The programme does come with a cost this contributes to the running of the centre and the small team of officers who are based there.” 

I am advised that City Council Offices are aware and keen to support local schools, they are also interested to understand what might be preventing schools from coming forward.

 

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

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