Experts given task to reform education in Doncaster

Nigel Brewster
Nigel Brewster

Two experts have been charged with the job of transforming education in Doncaster, mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones has announced.

Academic Professor Chris Husbands, Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University and businessman Nigel Brewster, have been handed the task of bringing in a number of recommendations made in a major report into what should be done to turn around shortcomings in the system in the borough.

Sheffield Hallam University Vice Chancellor Chris Husbands. Picture: Andrew Roe

Sheffield Hallam University Vice Chancellor Chris Husbands. Picture: Andrew Roe

The One Doncaster (Education Commission) report was published in October.

It urged the whole community to unite around a shared vision of life long learning, and for Doncaster to become a ‘university city’.

Mayor Ros Jones, chairman of Team Doncaster Strategic Partnership, said: “The report is very clear about the challenges we face, as well as the positive potential we know is out there. Education and skills touches on everything we do in the borough and this is our opportunity to do things differently and make an enormous difference now and for generations to come.

“I am pleased to announce that we will be creating a board specifically concerned with education and skills and have appointed joint chairs, one from the world of education and one from the world of business.

“Professor Chris Husbands, Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University will represent education and Nigel Brewster, an outstanding local businessman and current Vice Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership, will represent business.
“The board will take responsibility in driving forward the recommendations in the report.

“The signs are already good in Doncaster. The recent education figures released by the Department of Education show Doncaster schools

have seen a significant improvement within the last year.

“Our secondary schools are the fifth most improved in the country. This is encouraging but we know we have a way to go.

“We know that we need to bridge the gap between education and the highest skilled jobs to provide our young people with the opportunity and skills to achieve their full potential.”

Mayor Jones believes the report influenced the Government to announce Doncaster as a Social Mobility Opportunity Area and award it £6 million of Opportunity Funding.

She said: “This is our chance to raise aspiration and ambition for our young people.

“I’m sure if we all work together we can help make a better future for all our young people.”

At the announcement, Alice Arnold a Year 13 student from Sir Thomas Wharton Community said: “Doncaster is a great place and with the aspiration to develop it into a university city, this would mean that young

people like me, could live, study and work in highly skilled jobs all in this great town.”

Dan Fell, chief executive for the Chamber of Commerce, said: “Doncaster Chamber endorses the One Doncaster report and the recommendations made within it.

“Many businesses – particularly in the rail, manufacturing and engineering sectors – are feeling acute skills shortages now and this could impact on Doncaster’s ability to keep growing the economy at the current rate; to mitigate against this risk it is imperative that local partners act swiftly and collegiately to bring the One Doncaster report to life.”