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Greetings wise educators of Bury,

As the start of 2018 sees the exit of another education secretary with Justine Greening departing and Damian Hinds emerging through the revolving door; the long-term stability of the education sector seems as healthy as ever! Do not despair for 2018 will, like all years, have its challenges and tribulations. Despite all the difficulties within the DfE and Bury education (as you will be aware if you managed to attend the cluster meetings), the support from BPLC goes on.

You might remember (if you’re at least half as old as me) that the Bury Primary Learning Collaborative was set up in the spring term of 2011. However, 2017 brought such pressure to bear on local authorities that things had to change including the provision of the DTC building and staffing which in turn significantly impacts on the capacity of Bury MBC to continue to offer BPLC as an SLA.

However, the last thing that Headteachers and hard-pressed members of the school workforce need right now is another strand of the support network pulled like a rug from under your feet. So it was agreed by the board that the BPLC will undergo a metamorphosis, from caterpillar to butterfly, as it reforms with charitable status and becomes Bury Education Support & Training (BEST Trust). This Charitable Incorporated Organisation will be set up to serve you and protect you, so that you as members (all schools) and trustees (board members) will not have to contribute in the event of any financial loss. Our new BEST charity will be similar in many respects to the BPLC with regular local meetings to ensure that the service meets your training and support needs. We will continue to provide courses across the board as you request and facilitate schools cross-collaborating on local research projects. Furthermore we will continue to work and support all other providers helping you and the children of Bury to blossom and achieve full potential.

Finishing on a really positive note, due to savings made this year, the Board have agreed to a buyback SLA for 2018/19 for just half of your 2017/18 costs. A superb 50% reduction in your CPD cost next year. Quality and value in one swoop!!!