Wakefield Council launch new Learning Academy

23/09/2019, PR-9183

Learning Academy Launch
Learning Academy Launch

Wakefield Council's Learning Academy launch for Children's Services and partners at Ossett Town Hall saw more than 150 people attend the celebration event.

The Learning Academy is a team focused on supporting the continuing professional development of the whole Children and Young People's workforce including partners.

It recognises the need to have the right number and quality of skilled and confident workers and managers in place, in order to better support the Wakefield district's children and families and have real impact on their lives.

Highlights of the day included some inspiring, thought provoking, and thoroughly entertaining key notes by eminent speakers Harry Ferguson – a Professor of Social Work with extensive research background in child protection, domestic abuse and fatherhood – and 'the real David Cameron' – former Director for Children's Services and Head of Education.

Partners from other services, Social Work England, Community Care, the Leeds/Wakefield Teaching Partnership, the Police and others were also in attendance.

Cllr Margaret Isherwood
Cllr Margaret Isherwood

​Cllr Margaret Isherwood, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, who gave an opening speech at the event, said: "The Learning Academy launch was a fantastic event which brought together lots of different people from our Children and Young People's services.

"The Learning Academy will be an excellent point of call for all staff to help and support them in whatever role they do.

"They all already do a fantastic job and we hope this will offer them further training and development and a place to turn for guidance and resources."

Harry Ferguson, Professor of Social Work and speaker at the event, said: "I've spoken at hundreds of events over the past 30 years and this launch was the best and most creative mix of presentations and buzz I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing - all of which combined to make it very special in communicating what this Learning Academy is all about."

The day also featured some poignant performances - centred on the topic of learning and the future - by South Parade Primary School, led by Phil Needham from Wakefield Music Hub, as well as by members of the Council's Youth Music programme.

The new 'Learning Academy Portal' was launched on the day, a dedicated internal website for staff with helpful information, guidance, research, tools and resources – which will hopefully be extended to partners in the future.

Future work in the Learning Academy will include development of learning opportunities to further strengthen the work of all staff across the Children and Young People workforce to ensure a successful and sustainable service for the district's children and families.

The Wakefield Learning Academy is part of the Wakefield Families Together and New Ways of Working and will drive forward the Wakefield Practice Model 'Connecting Practice – Relationships for Change'.

The Learning Academy can be contacted on 01924 302128 or learningacademy@wakefield.gov.uk