Pallister Park Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Pallister Park Primary School's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Pallister Park Primary School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Teaching and learning are at the
heart of everything we do
Giving every child the childhood
they deserve
Pallister Park Primary School, the lead school in the
Our Children 1st Multi-Academy Trust, is an Ofsted
“outstandingschool based in Middlesbrough. Chris Wain,
the executive head teacher, explains that the school ethos focuses
on offering all children the same opportunity irrespective of their
socio-economic background, gender or ethnicity, and this belief
is shared by all members of the staff. As Chris says, “to be the
head teacher of Pallister Park is the best job in the world.”
Pallister Park Primary School is a very special place. It is hard to put down on paper
the atmosphere in the school as you enter the front door, but once inside the vision
that is shared by all within is tangible.
We strive to ensure that success is inevitable, by providing for pupils and staff
outstanding learning opportunities in order to develop their knowledge and skills.
We recognise that high expectations and aspirations are integral to achieving
success and that our philosophy of “work hard, play hard” brings assured rewards
and gives every child the childhood they deserve.
While three “outstanding” Ofsted reports in a row are very satisfying, they do not
define us; it is a recognition of the hard work and dedication of the staff, children,
governors and parents who put our children first.
While we believe we are very special, we are not unique; there are very many
schools who share the same aspirations and beliefs and each of them all work
towards providing the same quality of education as we do here – it’s part of
»Head teacher: Christine Wain
»Founded in 1959
»Based in Middlesbrough
»Type of school: Primary school
»No. of students:
»Full-time: 490
»Nursery: 130
»Teaching school status 2012
becoming the lead school
in Middlesbrough Schools’
Teaching Alliance
»Lead school in the Our
Children 1st Multi-Academy
Trust from April 2017
Pallister Park Primary
Highlighting best practice
For 20 years we have not used supply
teachers in our school. We overstaff
our teams in September to ensure
that we can provide continuity of
care for all our pupils. Children who
experience fluctuation and insecurity
in their home lives do not respond well
to change at school. We have found
that providing a consistency not only in
our staffing but throughout the school
environment ensures that children are
reassured and therefore learn more
effectively. Our year group teams are
corporately responsible for all aspects
of teaching and learning, but crucially
also for the pastoral care and support
needed for individuals. We call this our
Team Around the Child.
They care about you no matter
who you are, what you look
like, or anything else.”
Year 6 pupil
Positive relationships at all levels in our
school are a key foundation of our
success. All children and staff want
to be in our building each and every
day – well, almost every day! They
see they are part of the bigger picture
and all have a contribution to make.
We are not precious about status or
job description; we are all part of the
same team and work for the good of
As with many schools a key focus for
us is the emotional wellbeing and
mental health of our pupils and staff.
It is essential that we are resilient
to the many challenges and often
distressing situations that can occur
in our society and marginalise their
impact on outcomes for our pupils.
We endeavour to work closely to
support parents who often face huge
challenges, and ensure that we are an
integral part of their support network.
As a teaching school we have played
the lead role in many initiatives in our
town. This is an opportune moment to
thank all the schools in Middlesbrough
who have contributed to the progress
and development we have all made
working together during the last six
years. Together we have shown a true
commitment to collaboration to ensure
every child in every school is supported
by the work of the Middlesbrough
Schools’ Teaching Alliance. We are
looking forward to working with the
new teaching schools in the town to
ensure that this truly school-led system
continues to flourish.
One of the greatest achievements of
the alliance has been the recruitment
and retention of new teachers and
the development of leadership to
ensure we are providing high-quality
staff who are well supported as they
Nurturing our children
and watching them
A lovely
school, like
one big happy
family. Very
provides help
and support
when needed
– with the
child’s needs
first and
progress from initial teacher training to
executive head teacher level.
While academic achievement can never
be far from our thoughts, Pallister
Park is truly a school where learning
is fun. Sport and music are vital to
our pupils’ engagement and an area
where we shine. We enjoy taking part
in a wide range of sporting activities,
from orienteering to golf, football,
gymnastics, skipping – the list isendless.
Pallister Park leads the school
sport partnership in the town.
Middlesbrough schools’ participation
levels are now at 92 per cent
compared to the national average
of 74 per cent. In 2012, only nine
schools achieved the Sports Active
Mark and in 2016 there were 39. All
40 of Middlesbrough’s primary schools
take part in the sport partnership
highlighting the commitment and
willingness to work together. We
organise 35 different sporting
events annually, therefore providing
the opportunity for thousands of
Middlesbrough school children to take
part in competitive sport outside of
their school environment.
In music and dance we have achieved
national recognition and our children’s
confidence when performing is
exceptional. Once again our staff
have organised events to include all
other schools in the town in Christmas
concerts and summer music and arts
festivals, which have been amazing
experiences for all involved.
As a staff we truly believe if what we
provide is not good enough for our
own children or grandchildren then it is
quite simply not good enough for any
child. Staff have devised a bucket list
of 50 things to do before the children
leave our school which includes eating
ice cream on the beach, rolling down a
hill and seeing a West End show.
Children have an immense
sense of security and well-being
and firmly believe their school
needs no improving, because,
‘It’s just right as it is’.”
Although this quote is wonderful,
of course we continue to strive for
improvement. Our school is growing
both in number of pupils, facilities and
ambition. We are always seeking to
be more effective and achieve more
through innovation and reflection. Our
staff are never asked to do any activity
which does not have a direct impact on
the work of the school and enhance
opportunities for our children. We are
always mindful of work-life balance
and strive to ensure staff continue to
work hard and play hard just like their
Visits to our school are always
Pallister Park is
an outstanding
school. Everyone
in the school
community is
extremely well
supported and
encouraged to
succeed and do
their very best
– and they do
A staff team who still
love their jobs and prove
every day that “together
we can”

This article was sponsored by Pallister Park Primary School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy