Manchester City Council

First and Last

The Strategic Education Partnership Board had its first meeting yesterday. I've talked frequently about the importance of education and skills to the city's future. Our economy is increasingly driven by knowledge, invention and innovation, and the majority of new jobs being created in the city-region require degree level or equivalent qualifications.

The latest release of data from the 2011 census shows we have made great strides in this area with a significant increase in residents with higher level qualifications and a significant reduction in residents with no qualifications. However, we can do much better yet, and the Education Partnership aims to bring together schools, FE, and HE together with other partners to co-ordinate the raising of aspiration and education and training outcomes across the city. The new partnership will be underpinned by the equally new Manchester Schools Alliance, an organisation which will have a number of functions, perhaps the most significant being promoting, supporting and delivering self-improvement and peer support in the Manchester Family of Schools.

A bit of semantics here but today is the last meeting of the shadow Health and Well Being Board but that's because next time it meets it will have lost "shadow" and will from April 1st become a statutory body. Although formally a committee of the Council, it is essentially a partnership body bringing together the Council, a range of ( National ) Health bodies, Healthwatch and the voluntary sector. For a body that so far has only existed in shadow form it has achieved a great deal. Today's agenda, which is available on the Council's web-site, has a number of very significant items, not least a progress report and timetable on integrating health and social care for the 20% of the population most, in health terms, at risk. This is not going to be easy but all the health and social care partners are fully signed up to making this happen, and to driving it forward at pace because not only will it ultimately save money it will significantly improve patient experience and life expectancy.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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