Welcome back after the Easter holiday and I hope that your break - whether you stayed at home or travelled further afield - was restful and enjoyable. We're now back into the Trinity term, the dark nights are behind us and school productions, examinations, reports, residential trips, sports days, prize givings and the rest lay ahead. I still can't decide whether the Trinity or Michaelmas term is my favourite after 13 years of teaching!
The Portal has reached some key milestones recently, as you can see in the graphic below. The weekly newsletter now has a readership of 10,400 teachers and senior leaders, and there are over 6,000 'collaborations' on the Portal each month. An interesting (and unexpected) development is that maintained school colleagues are also beginning to share expertise and over 300 of the newsletter readers are from the maintained sector. I hope that this trend continues, especially as this can be used by our member schools who contribute content as evidence to support their charitable status.
There's certainly a lot happening at the moment: David Horton's Education Technology Conference is only 3 weeks away on the 15th May and the speaker line-up can only be described as 'stellar!' He's worked incredibly hard to put the day together and we're exceptionally grateful for his efforts. There are still places available if you would like to attend.
When District 8 of IAPS kindly provided a grant to help launch the Portal, one of the key reasons was to improve collaborative purchasing and to allow schools to realise the benefits of their collective scale. We've spent a considerable amount amount of time researching the best way forward in this area and I'm delighted to announce our partnership with the Buying Support Agency. As a result of this agreement, schools will now be able to save up to 58% across 18 cost categories, have free access to the Buying Support Group (a saving of £1,068) and they are also able to provide genuine opportunities for truly collaborative purchasing between schools. Click here to find out more.
currently the acting Director of Studies at Terra Nova. A wonderful educationalist, Phil is joining us to help develop the Portal further and I'm really looking forward to working with him.
Plans for the next academic year are well advanced and include:
The first two initiatives will be for members-only, but we will also continue to ensure that the Portal remains open and accessible to all teachers and all schools, wherever they are based.
Finally, I'd like to say thank you to everyone who continues to support the Portal, and give so freely of their time. Without them (they know who they are!) we could not do what we do. If you'd like to get involved in working with the portal, at whatever level, please do drop me a line. The Portal is a fantastic project to be a part of and it really has the capacity to genuinely make a positive contribution to education.
I hope that you have a great term.