MAT CEO gets role promoting inclusive education

Jonny Uttley of The Education Alliance will develop policy proposals for the Centre for Young Lives as a visiting fellow
2nd April 2024, 12:06pm


MAT CEO gets role promoting inclusive education
Jonny Uttley has been named as a Visiting Fellow for the Centre for Young Lives.

Multi-academy trust leader Jonny Uttley has been given a new think tank role to develop policies to promote an inclusive education system.

Mr Uttley, who is CEO of The Education Alliance (TEAL) - an 11-school trust based in Yorkshire - has been named as a visiting fellow for the Centre for Young Lives.

The think tank, set up by former children’s commissioner Anne Longfield, has already made a number of recommendations on how to reduce the impact of child poverty on millions of pupils.

Mr Uttley is the second visiting fellow to be named by the organisation, after Professor Hannah Smithson, professor of criminology and youth justice at Manchester Metropolitan University, joined the organisation earlier this year.

Tackling barriers to inclusive education

Mr Uttley said: “I am delighted to be joining the Centre for Young Lives at the beginning of what will be an exciting journey for this new organisation. If we want a truly inclusive society in which everyone has the chance to succeed, then that has to start in childhood, with schools and with other services and organisations supporting young people.

“The majority of schools and school leaders do everything they can to deliver high-quality, inclusive education for all young people.”

He warned, however, that schools and parents face barriers “including cuts to support services, inadequate funding, fragmentation of the system and an accountability system that has punished inclusive schools and trusts”.

“We need change, and our hope is that the Centre for Young Lives, schools, trusts and other partners will be at the heart of that change,” Mr Uttley added.

Ms Longfield, who is executive chair of the Centre for Young Lives, said: ”We are excited that Jonny is joining us as a visiting fellow to lead this work on education policy, alongside his substantive role as CEO of TEAL.

“TEAL is an inclusive trust with a strong track record, dedicated to making the lives of others better; something that sits at the heart of our vision at the Centre for Young Lives.”

Call to extend free school meals

Last month a report published by the Centre for Young Lives said that universal free school meals (FSM) should be rolled out in areas of the country serving the most disadvantaged young people.

And Ms Longfield said that schools should no longer have to use “sticking plaster solutions” to tackle child poverty.

She also called for greater investment to help schools that are “on the frontline of the battle against child poverty but are overwhelmed by what is being asked of them”.

The report called for universal FSM to be initially “targeted” at schools in boroughs and wards with the most disadvantaged populations.

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