chesterfield education news

Derbyshire named as one of 55 areas to benefit as a government ‘education investment area’

Derbyshire is one of the areas to be included in new government plans to transform education.

The County has been identified as one of 55 ‘cold spots’ across the country to benefit as an ‘Education Investment Area’.

In these new areas the Department for Education will target investment, support and action to help children from all backgrounds and areas to succeed at the very highest levels.

Derbyshire County Council’s Member for Education, Cllr Alex Dale said: “We very much welcome today’s announcement that Derbyshire has been recognised as one of 55 areas across the country to benefit from this new government investment in education to ensure every child has the same opportunities, wherever they live and whatever their background.

“This investment into the county is a great opportunity to support our schools and will complement work we’ve already started by investing £1m into local programmes to improve reading and essential life skills for young people.

“The detail of exactly what this announcement means for Derbyshire is to follow and we will be studying it closely, but meanwhile we look forward to working with the Department for Education on our collective ambition to improve education in Derbyshire and give every child the best possible start in life.”

The new government investment will build on the county’s work during the coronavirus pandemic to deliver a £2.8 million Holiday Activities and Food programme, which established a network of 62 community and voluntary providers to deliver more than 60,000 holiday activity and food places to vulnerable children eligible to free school meals over summer and Christmas.

At the height of the pandemic between June 2020 and October 2021 the council also offered an additional 816 places through its sports and outdoor education services, delivered more than 9,000 digital devices to Derbyshire children through government schemes and provided internet connection to 562 children and young people across Derbyshire.

Find out more about learning and skills in Chesterfield here:

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Mortgage 1st goes back to school to teach pupils about finance

Throughout October members of the Mortgage 1st team have delivered ‘Future Financial Planning’ lessons to 6 classes of year 9 students at Shirebrook Academy.

These students are beginning to think about their future careers and the lesson on mortgages and financial implications sits perfectly alongside the other financial and personal development lessons they are having this term about wages, credit, budgeting and savings.

The Mortgage 1st Future Financial Planning lesson was written by Operations Director Lisa Stones and was delivered for the first time last year to over 150 year 9 students.

Lisa said: “When I as at secondary school, I remember a bank visiting and talking to us about opening a bank account, but that was it, there were no lessons about ‘real life’ finances or managing money. Its something I’m very passionate about so during the lockdowns last year I set about writing a lesson.

“With the involvement of our local secondary school we are now in our second year of delivering these lessons after being invited back. Even if just 1 student remembers something I’ve said and it helps them in the future financially then its all been worthwhile!”

The lesson involves discussions around what is a mortgage and average house prices across the UK. It then goes onto calculating the cost of a mortgage using different salaries and deposits. What really brings all the discussions to life is when the classes look at a real house that is for sale currently just down the road from the school.

Mortgage 1st has since been recommended to a number of other local schools and colleges and are excited by the opportunity to be able to deliver the lessons to even more students over the coming years.

If you work within a secondary school, academy or college and are interested in these future financial planning lessons, contact for more information.

Mortgage 1st supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Chesterfield College is shortlisted for a national award for a new teaching and learning initiative

Chesterfield College has been shortlisted for a Tes (Times Education Supplement) Further Education Award for Best Teaching and Learning initiative.

The college recently introduced a programme called ‘Aspire’ designed to complement and enhance teaching and learning. All students at college now take part in the programme, designed to develop happy, healthy, confident and capable students and apprentices. This impressed judges and earned the college a place on the shortlist alongside other further education providers across the country.

The Aspire programme, which started before the pandemic, has been developed over the last year. It has already had a huge impact on learners. Attendance, retention and achievement rates have significantly improved. The quality of student work has also improved. For example, there was a 56% increase from merit to distinction in hairdressing, and a 25% increase from merit to distinction for beauty students.

The programme works by:

  • Enabling students to feel hopeful and optimistic about their future. It helps to identify their purpose, develop their voice, influence and place in society so they reach their full potential.
  • Providing a holistic wrap around service that effectively prepares students for destinations that meet their needs and interests. This enables them to thrive, flourish and succeed in their future lives and careers.
  • Enabling students to learn well, progress and succeed in all aspects of their development. This includes their personal, social, educational and employability skills, physical and mental health and wellbeing, and their ability to stay safe.

Jackie Rossa, executive director for quality improvement and assurance said: “The impact of the Aspire programme is profound. By developing skills as part of the programme, students have made better progress in their vocational areas. It has enabled us to realise our ambition for our students and apprentices. We look forward to building on this success. I am delighted we have been shortlisted for this award and I am very proud of the way students and staff have embraced Aspire over the last year. ”

Tes head of FE Julia Belgutay said: “Further education providers have excelled in what has been a truly challenging year, and the amazing individuals, teams and institutions on our Tes FE Awards shortlist showcase that. Our judges were highly impressed with the calibre of entries and I want to congratulate everyone who has made the shortlist – it is a brilliant achievement.”

Winners of the Tes awards will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on 28 May.

Chesterfield College supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Spireites Community Trust launches scheme to kick-start careers for young people

Chesterfield FC Community Trust is encouraging young people to access a new traineeship scheme aimed at helping to boost careers and employment across North Derbyshire.

The Trust’s REBOOT traineeship programme is offering an opportunity for young people looking to kick-start their future, reboot their career and achieve their goals.

The course takes place in the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of the HUB at the Technique Stadium and is delivered by a friendly and supportive team of tutors.

Scott Atkinson, the Trust’s head of education and wellbeing, said: “Our expertise in working with children, young people and adults with additional support needs, through both our education and health & wellbeing programmes, makes REBOOT a great option for anyone who has struggled to overcome barriers in engaging with mainstream education.

“Although the course is focused on enabling students to achieve positive outcomes in education and work experience, we give equal importance to providing unrivalled pastoral care, through engaging personally, instilling confidence, raising aspirations and inspiring change.”

The 12-week traineeship course is for 16-24-year-olds who are not in education, training or employment (NEET). You may have just lost your job due to redundancy, completed your education but have not moved into employment yet, or need further work experience in an area you would like to work in or gain your qualifications.

It includes functional skills Maths and English (if required), employability skills, work experience and confidence building activities.

The support on offer has so-far achieved a 90% average of getting people into the next stage of their career either into employment, training or further education.

To enquire about the programme, email The course is due to begin on Monday, 19th April 2021.

Chesterfield FC supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through  Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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