Christmas Cheer?

Spent half-an-hour wandering around the Christmas markets this morning, already really busy and with tills ringing. It was a reminder that notwithstanding recession and austerity most of us will be pretty comfortable over the festive season. However, earlier in the week I had stark reminders that not everyone is so lucky and that for thousands of people Christmas will not be very merry at all.

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A Lot of Learning

Manchester's Strategic Education Partnership held its quarterly meeting yesterday with a lot to discuss. We opened with progress of the Manchester Schools' Alliance, a grouping which will decide on its long term future in the spring but is already making serious progress in meeting one of its main objectives, providing peer support to Manchester schools and Manchester teachers.

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Best in the (north) West

In many respects this follows on from my last post on Wednesday. As I was busy writing that, the Council was issuing a press release announcing that at this year's National Apprenticeship Awards the City Council had been named as the North West's Macro Employer of the Year. The Council is also named in the UK Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list. Notwithstanding the impacts of cuts, the Council has employed 241 apprentices over the past eighteen months.

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Weaving a Way

I guess Manchester's ability to bob and weave comes from our history at the centre of the world textile industry, and so if there was any danger of us losing those skills, the current revival of textile manufacture in the city is good news. Today's Council meeting began with a presentation from Lorna Fitzsimmons on the Alliance Project, something initiated by Lord Alliance, supported by the Combined Authority, and aiming to re-shore ( the opposite of off-shore ) textile manufacture to Manchester, East Lancs and West Yorkshire.

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