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Business & Economy

Launch of non-profit education service to benefit Northern educators

The Association of Education Advisers (AoEA) launched a new centre in Cumbria this week, marking one of the most significant developments in education in the North of England in years.

The AoEA is a non-profit membership and accreditation organisation that offers school and college leaders and educational advisors an opportunity to develop their skills, with the aim of improving standards in key areas such as maths, English, governance, and wider management issues across the board.

The program was launched in York a year ago and currently has ten regional centres located all over England.

Since its launch, numerous schools, academy trusts, education authorities, and independent education providers have signed up, resulting in almost 100 associate advisers already being accredited or under assessment.

So far, the training and accreditation offered by the AoEA has received widespread support, and it’s hoped that the new centres will address the need for high-quality, consistent advice.

In the North East and Cumbria, many schools are currently in need of a great deal of support, and it’s hoped that the new service will give regional leaders the skills and knowledge they need to help them thrive.

One figure who has proved instrumental to the development of the AoEA is Les Walton CBE, who lives in Newcastle and is a vocal champion of higher standards in education.

Over the years, Mr. Walton has held a number of high-level education sector roles as a headteacher, director of education, chief executive and principal of an FE College, as well as providing cross party advice on educational policy to several prime ministers.

The launch event for the new centre was hosted by Newcastle-based law firm, Muckle LLP, and attracted some 80 attendees, including a number of key players from the educational bodies such as the National Association of Headteachers and Ofsted.

During his speech, Mr Walton thanked the law firm for being a lead sponsor within the North East and Cumbria region, and said: “I am delighted that Muckle LLP wishes to support us in our growth and very much welcome the complementary relationship that is developing.

“We are the only national accreditation body for those who support and advise schools and colleges.  Any organisation that is committed to continuous improvement will welcome independent, professional support and challenge which enables them to move forward.

“External advisers bring an objectivity and a professional independence to offering advice.

“We are now getting interest from further afield for our accreditation standards — even from as far away as Kurdistan and the USA — so our reputation is growing daily.”

Jill Donabie, partner in the education team at Muckle LLP, added: “Equality of opportunity and access to quality education for all, throughout the North East and Cumbria, means so much to everyone at Muckle.

“That is why we are delighted to support this launch, which aims to ensure that our region’s schools are supported by independent, accredited advisors.”