Communication Commitment

ALP Schools – Our joined-up approach to the Communication Commitment

We recognise that communication drives learning and attainment and strong language and communication skills are linked to better outcomes for the young people within our schools. Therefore, all three schools in the ALP Schools chain are actively participating in the Communication Commitment.

Of all the skills learners develop within our schools, the ability to communicate effectively is the one that has the most profound and potential impact on the lives of the young people we work with. Communication is at the core of everything they do; in their homes, at work, at school and socially. Strong language skills and good communication are key to whole-school improvement, progression and attainment and beyond school into employment, education and training.

All three schools are currently working towards action plans, that gives us the small steps we need to move forward in making communication a real part of our school’s policy and practice, in a way that works best for our school and our pupils.

Each school now has a dedicated Communication Champion, who takes on the responsibility of making sure that our action plans are implemented and the communication commitment is a shared approach between our staff and our students.

Our Communication Commitment Champions:

Pierview Academy – Tracey Mills

Parkview Academy – Emma Chatzispyridou

ALP Leicester – Joanne Weatherstone

Each of our schools are making good progress in our communication journey. More detail of this can be found on the links to each individual school.

Details about the Communication Commitment can be found at

David Cowell MBE joins ALP Schools as Managing Director

The new Managing Director of ALP Schools, Leicester has been awarded an MBE in the January 2016 new years honours list. News of the MBE comes on the same day that David Cowell officially changes his role from Managing Director of Melton Learning Hub and joins ALP Schools.

David has enjoyed 10 years managing the Melton Learning Hub from a project idea into a leading facility for alternative learning. From 1st January David will move to ALP Schools where he will manage the delivery of vocational education to young people with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and other complex needs while remaining in a strategic role with the Hub.

He said, “I look forward to a new challenge of working with young people with more challenging special educational needs for whom delivering vocational qualifications will be equally as rewarding”.

David Cowell was appointed a Member of the British Empire for his services to vocational education after a century of providing support and qualifications to hard to reach young people who struggle within mainstream education. David will be invited to an investiture in the first half of 2016 where he will officially receive his award from a member of the royal family.

David, 33, was responsible for setting up the Melton Learning Hub site back in 2005 which has proved a huge success in providing vocational qualifications for disengaged youngsters including those excluded from mainstream schooling in Melton Mowbray and the surrounding areas.

David said “I am very honored to receive this award. I have dedicated a lot of time over the last ten years to young people and am one of the lucky people that enjoys every minute of a very rewarding job”

After completing a Masters degree in Applied Criminology from the University of Leicester and then joining Leicestershire Constabulary as a Community Initiatives Co-coordinator with Melton Police, David was responsible for sourcing funding for a project to reduce anti-social behavior, relieve truancy and increase attainment levels in Melton Mowbray.

David was successful in 2004 in securing funding of £218,000 from the Leicestershire Economic Business Partnership and ensured the Melton Learning Hub open as a faculty of King Edward VII School on 23rd June 2005.

There have been many developments over the past ten years, most notably when the Learning Hub became a social enterprise with charitable status in October 2010.

The Hub acquired Melton Country Park Café in 2011 with the young people of the Learning Hub being taught catering, customer service and business skills in running the Café. Two further sites, The Bungalow in Birstall and The Barkstone Vocational Centre have followed with the latest addition being The Venue in Melton Mowbray, a centre providing evening time learning and helping further prevent anti-social behavior in the town centre, which opened in July.

In nearly ten years the Hub enabled many young people to achieve and 1782 qualifications have been awarded. Figures from the Melton Learning Hub 2014/15 AGM show the orgainisation has delivered 252 qualifications during the past academic year with 99% moving into employment, further education or training. Five of the 23 staff employed by the Hub are former students.

Safer Internet Day 2014: The Challenge for Parents

Tomorrow (Tuesday 11th February 2014) is Safer Internet Day. Are you helping the students you work with think more about the risks of the Internet?

Whilst we are absolutely right to ensure that children are aware of the wide variety of eSafety risks that face them, their parents need to be more aware too.

A recent survey by Ofcom found that 14% of parents with children aged 3-4 years old thought that their children knew more about the internet than they did themselves. I think that is an astonishingly high figure.

Although 87% of parents know that Facebook has a minimum age for setting up an account, only 37% know the limit is 13 years old.

Sixty-five percent of parents said that had set up no parental controls on their children’s devices – most said that they were too complicated to switch on

To help parents, Vodaphone have produced an excellent digital magazine. It is available as a digital edition for reading on a computer and also as a hard copy for schools to order and send out to parents.