Promise to make Liverpool the best place to grow up in

An ambitious pledge to make education in Liverpool the best in the UK is being launched on Friday 15 September.

The Liverpool Promise brings together schools, students, the Mayor of Liverpool and the city council, cultural organisations, businesses and others who support education to make commitments to each other and the students and families of Liverpool.

The aim is to create the best school system in the UK, where children and young people have the best start, are ready to learn, ready for school, ready for work and ready for life – and are healthy, happy and safe from harm.

It includes strengthening schools links with universities and businesses and getting children involved in five cultural events at every key stage of their school life.

Priorities include improving attendance at school and recruiting the best teachers and school staff whilst retaining the excellent staff we already have in the city through high quality professional development and training.

Success will be measured by:

• Increasing the percentage of children reaching a good level of development by the time they start school
• Improving reading, writing and maths faster than the national average
• Getting more students into further/higher education, employment, training or an apprenticeship

The launch of the Liverpool Promise follows work led by Stephen Twigg MP to look at the challenges facing the education system in Liverpool that drew on consultation work by Steve Munby, Chief Executive of the Education Development Trust and Sir Tim Brighouse, a former Schools Commissioner of London widely credited with transforming education standards in the capital.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “The Liverpool Promise brings together everyone involved in giving young people the best start in life and preparing them for the future.  This is important for those individuals and their chances of fulfilling their potential, but it is also important for the future of the city and our vision of a strong sustainable economy.

“We have good schools and good teacher doing amazing things, but we need to keep a focus on improving standards and exam results, and this year’s provisional GCSE and A level results are encouraging. We can’t afford to stand still and we must be ambitious, celebrate the inspiring achievements of our young people and guarantee the education opportunities they deserve.

“We will do more to develop aspirations, link schools with businesses to prepare them for work and give them careers, with a focus on sectors where we know there will be growth in Liverpool in the future.”

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for Schools and Education, Councillor Nick Small, added: “We want to concentrate very much on making sure that we have an education system in Liverpool that does not just teach children, but also enriches their lives, meaning they leave schools with the skills that employers want and need.”

Governance of the Liverpool Promise will come from the Liverpool Promise Steering Group chaired by Director of Children’s Services, Colette O’Brien, and a Challenge Group chaired by Stephen Twigg MP.

Stephen Twigg said: “Giving our children and young people the best possible start in life has to be the biggest priority for us all and it has been great to see the range of partners already coming out to support the Liverpool Promise.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity here to bring together lots of different people and organisations, all who share a passion and commitment to help Liverpool’s children and young people be the very best that they can be.

“I am looking forward to continuing my work to support and challenge our education system and also to making promises of my own. I will be encouraging others, be they parents, grandparents, colleagues, businesses and others, to think about how they can get involved in the Liverpool Promise and the types of promises that they can make.”

A group of Young Advisors from Liverpool schools will be leading a piece of work to:

• Actively engage young people who have low attendance and/or those who have not been involved in consultation activity of this nature in the past

• Encourage young people to be in school and promote the importance of school

• Promote positive collaboration between teachers and students

• Share information with young people across the city

• Be positive role models

Joe Griffin, one of the Young Advisors, said: “I am a Liverpool Safeguarding Children’s Board Young Advisor and I will be involved in the Liverpool Promise because as a young person myself, I want to be involved in shaping my own future and the futures of other young people across the city.

“I think it is very important to improve student-teacher relationships within schools as I believe that if students have a good relationship with their teachers, it can improve attendance which can in turn improve attainment and this is something that I think is very important.”

The following organisations are already signed up to Liverpool Promise:

• Association of Liverpool Special School Headteachers

• Liverpool Association of Secondary Headteachers

• Liverpool Primary Headteachers’ Association

• Liverpool Learning Partnership

• School Improvement Liverpool

• Mayor’s Office and Liverpool City Council

• Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership

• Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group

• Young Advisors

See the promises being made so far:  

Liverpool Waterfront