Sing with Sassparella- a new community singing opportunity for 2015!

I am delighted to announce a new venture for 2015.

Our community choir Sassparella goes from strength to strength. We are delighted to have over 40 members, and we have a full performance calendar for this year.

However, I wanted to create an opportunity that opened up the fun with have learning and singing together to a much wider group… even men (-:   The concept of a “Sing with Sassparella” day was born.

And so, we are planning for just such an event. The music of Motown is instantly accessible and recognisable, the music of a generation. What better way than to spend a day plundering the back catalogue of wonderful melodies and songs!

But there’s more! How about a choir performing these songs with a real live soul band??!!! 

The idea will be to learn the songs during the day… then around 5pm be joined by a hand-picked group of excellent funk, soul and jazz musicians. The final performance will be one to remember!

I have started scoring out the arrangements. The parts will be shared via dropbox prior to the event (with sing-along mp3s for non-music readers). Stay tuned to this blog, or the Sassparella info page, for further updates.

Sing with Sassparella Motown (1)

An amazing professional development opportunity for Greater London Secondary Teachers: ICT, RE/Citizenship, Physics

Achievement for All have an exciting opportunity for London-based teachers to join the second year of the University Learning in Schools (ULiS) project this term and work with researchers from Cambridge University, Cranfield University and UCL to create exciting KS3 modules in:

  • ICT
  • RE/citizenship
  • Physics

It’s a great CPD opportunity for teachers to improve their subject knowledge and create an innovative new modules. We had very positive feedback from the teachers who took part last year.

The project will provide funding to cover the training day with the teachers/researchers, module development, module testing, module review and dissemination activity. We anticipate that the project will require two days off-site (training and dissemination day).

We have a training day to match teacher/researcher pairs in central London on December 4th and need to confirm numbers by lunchtime on November 24th

For further information, please contact Lisa Knowles on or call 07551237261.

Functional Skills no longer threatened!

Minister Acknowledges Functional Skills

Around Christmas last year, it was clear that Functional Skills were under threat.

GCSEs in English and Maths were being promoted as the only game in town, threatening a motivating and accessible route to adult literacy and numeracy for thousands of learners.

On the morning of 13th January, I met with some amazing individuals from the world of functional skills, apprenticeships and training (Roger Francis, Lindsay McCurdy and Maureen Emmett), and we decided that this strategic direction needed to be challenged.

We were not alone.

I am delighted to see that politicians do listen, do consider counter arguments, and do change their minds.

I am delighted with the outcome.

See you at the National Achievement Conference!

There are still a few places left- 900 delegates expected.

A great line-up of speakers, and a chance to learn first hand of the amazing results Achievement for All schools are getting with vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people.

And it’s free.

I look forward to seeing you there.

National Achievement Conference 2014

“Inspiring a Generation to Achieve:

Closing the Special Educational Needs Gap”

We are delighted that Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families will be our Ministerial Keynote Speaker at this unique conference, and we hope you will join us for what promises to be a memorable day.
It’s great to see that so many of our partners and partner schools have already signed up to attend this conference, and we look forward to seeing you there. If you haven’t already reserved your FREE ticket, simply click on the ‘REGISTER’ button.
As the SEND Reforms take their place at the centre of school life, join school leaders from around the country to hear inspirational and practical examples of overcoming some of the most difficult challenges that life can present.
Our speakers range from a world-renowned actor to a reformed criminal, from the worlds of charity and commerce through to education and government.
Take part in the debate and harness their experience to enable every child in your school to be the best they can be regardless of background, challenge or need.
The tickets are FREE and places are limited, so please feel free to sign up today and share this invitation with all your colleagues and contacts.

Conference keynote address by Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families

A live assembly from ‘The Fonz’ himself Henry Winkler OBE

Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO of Achievement for All, on common sensing the SEND Code of Practice

Chris Thompson, Account Director Education, BT Education

National Pupil Premium Champion, Sir John Dunford

The incredible story of Bob Turney, author of “The Idiot Child” on how severe dyslexia led to a life of crime

Save the Children’s Director of UK Policy Gareth Jenkins on getting every child to read by the age of 11

Launch of BBC Children in Need’s ‘Fun & Friendship’ project – Mark Philips, National Head

RCPCH Vice President for Education and leading Great Ormond Street Paediatrician Dr Andrew Long on changing attitudes to disability.

Two panel discussions, featuring experts in the fields of education and disability, including Professor David Egan, Professor of Welsh Education Policy and Director of The Wales Centre for Equity in Education at the University of Wales, Matthew Hopkinson, Assistant Director SEND, DfE, Virginia Beardshaw, CEO of childrens communications charity, I Can, Amanda Timberg from Teach First, Charlotte Hill CEO of Step Up To Serve, Benita Refson OBE, President of Place2Be, Jim Bond MBE, President of the Fostering Network, Jonathan Sobczyk, Co-founder & CEO of the Brilliant Club, Fergus Crow, Director of Partnerships, National Children’s Bureau, Alison Oliver, Managing Director of the Youth Sport Trust, Lisa Williams, Head of Commissioning Support at Young Minds ; and closing remarks from the Chair of Achievement for All, Brian Lamb OBE

Plus live performances showcasing the talent of school children, featuring Voice in a Million a choir which includes looked after and signing children, and The National Youth Ballet of Britain

and much much more…….

ANTI-BULLYING TRAINING- Schools involved tops 1000!

It took a while to get going… but I am delighted to report that well over 1000 schools have either been trained in, or have registered for, the Achievement for All Anti-Bullying training package.

Although aimed at reducing the impact and incidence of bullying on children and young people with SEND, delegates have asserted that the whole school community will benefit from the changes that they will make following the training.

In October 2014, we will be releasing an on-line version of the training, for schools that have found it difficult to attend our events.

Please email me using the contact form below if you think your school would like to access the materials in this way.

If you want to register directly:


Brilliant resources from Brilliant Club + AFA3As + London Teachers- free CPD on 4th July!

If you know a Science, Humanities or English teacher in the Greater London area, you must tell them of this fabulous CPD opportunity on 4th July. I have been helping to edit the teaching resources, and anyone interested in stretch and challenge at Key Stage 3, in line with the demands of the new GCSEs, will benefit hugely from attending… and leave with access to amazing resources!

Eventbrite link to register is:

Brilliant 2


Courageous Curriculum Design: Conference 10th July 2014 Engineer’s House Bristol

Conference details confirmed. This is open to system leaders, primary and secondary Headteachers and Principals, anyone with an interest in curriculum design, innovation and future thinking.

Although initially emerging out of work with South Gloucestershire Headteachers, this conference is designed to re-invigorate some collaborative thinking across CUBA (Counties that Used to Be Avon), served by the same LEP.

It would be great to see you there!




Cindy Stratton Band / Z’Bella- Colston Hall 25th May 2014

Cindy Stratton Band / Z'Bella- Colston Hall 25th May 2014

The musical side of SCiP5 Education and Media is rocking along at the moment. Here we are, live at Colston Hall Bristol, as part of the Bristol Acoustic Festival. Ali Nourse and Susie Wright join with Cindy and myself to accompany Cindy with her self-penned material, but then we seamlessly morph into our a cappella group, Z’Bella. Lovely audience, great fun. On to the Bath Festival Fringe on Tuesday evening!