The Raven's Blog

12.12.18

Blog: 5 minutes with Gary Wallis-Clarke, member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills Group

Ahead of the upcoming networking extravaganza EvoNorth, we caught up with Gary Wallis-Clarke, a member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills group, executive headteacher at West Jesmond Primary school, and its national leader of education. In our interview, Gary reveals what the Northern Powerhouse means to him and explains his role as member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills group.

What do your roles as executive headteacher at West Jesmond Primary School and as board member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills group involve?

In my role as executive head I lead West Jesmond primary school and also manage the Teaching School business, which includes initial teacher training, mentoring and accrediting newly qualified teachers, leading training for qualified teachers, providing school leadership support, and coaching and mentoring for new headteachers. As part of the Education Sub-group, I have attended meetings and chaired regional forums to gain insight into current educational issues in the region.

What are key issues are you addressing, and how will this drive forward the devolution agenda?

 Currently the key issues are how we drive forward a school-led system to ensure a high quality of education for all pupils, from early years through to secondary school, and build the reputation of education in the north east. This is a major change in the educational landscape, and there are many more changes on the horizon to keep track of. Currently we operate as a semi-independent region already, and new programmes have led to ‘North of Tyne’ innovation to bring forward devolution and develop regional expertise.

What does the Northern Powerhouse mean to you?

For me it is about the passion and pride of the region. The ability to harness the creative and inventive capabilities of the north, build a brighter future where the talents and skills of all people can be utilised to bring prosperity to areas of the north that have long suffered from lack of investment, and tackle the historical impact of past industrial declines.

 Why have you got involved with EvoNorth?

I remain a passionate northerner. I believe in the power of education to transform lives and I can see the potential of the region to lead world-class industry and innovation.

Why do you think it’s important for leaders across the region to come together to create a plan for future generations, especially at events like EvoNorth?

Collectively we have a very strong voice and we can lead future developments. We are a force to be listened to and we can shape and drive policy for future generations.

Does EvoNorth come at a good time given the devolution and growth momentum across the region?

Yes, I absolutely believe it does.

To be a part of EvoNorth click here to attendexhibit or sponsor

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