Long-term ambitions for developing education have been unveiled by Kirklees Council and its partners.

The plan – called ‘Our Kirklees Futures’ – aims to help children and young people of all ages reach their full potential. It was produced with the local education sector, other organisations who work with families and after listening to the voice of young people themselves.

‘Our Kirklees Futures’ highlights the barriers faced by learners, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and explains how they will be overcome.

It also outlines priorities, describes the vision for education in Kirklees and features a series of actions that will be taken over several years to support children.

The actions include: a strong focus on the value of early years provision; tackling inequalities so that disadvantaged children and those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities are able to thrive; supporting physical and mental health; ensuring a smooth transition between phases of education and then into adulthood; and hearing the views of children and young people so that they can shape their own futures.

All work through ‘Our Kirklees Futures’ will be carried out in a strong partnership between the council, early years settings, schools, local communities and providers of further and higher education.

Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said: “We’re ambitious for all of our children, young people and families and we’re determined that they can enjoy the best start in life.

“This plan sets out our long-term vision so that, collectively, we can tackle challenges and help children and young people to achieve well.

“There are foundations in place because Kirklees benefits from strong leaders and good standards of education. We have positive partnerships, an excellent relationship with our family of schools and we all share the same goals for children.

“At the same time, our children and young people deserve the absolute best. This plan will break down inequalities and support them at every stage, ensuring their talents are nurtured and their aspirations can be achieved.

“It’s also timely to introduce ‘Our Kirklees Futures’ when education has been disrupted like never before. The pandemic has thrown up countless challenges for schools and other settings, not least in highlighting the value of mental wellbeing.

“We want to create an environment that makes Kirklees the national leader in education, care and support – a place where people have the best opportunities and lifelong skills. We are incredibly passionate about improving outcomes and making a lasting difference in young lives.”

‘Our Kirklees Futures’ is due to be endorsed at a meeting of the Kirklees Cabinet on Tuesday, October 5. The council will then work alongside its partners and local communities to bring the vision to life.

The full ‘Our Kirklees Futures’ document is available at  Appendix.pdf (kirklees.gov.uk)