Risedale Sports & Community College

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Risedale Sports & Community College'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 Risedale Sports & Community College 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


Principal Colin Scott and Lt Col
Joe Jordan, Catterick Garrison
commander and Risedale
Risedale students presenting their cheque
to StJohns Community Centre
Situated in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, Risedale
Sports & Community College has one of the largest
proportions of students from families in the services (over
40 per cent) of any secondary school in the UK. Colin Scott,
principal of Risedale College, explains that as a result tenacity
has become an integral part of the school’s ethos, something
that has been successfully bought into by students, staff and
parents alike. Students at the college come from a variety of
backgrounds which Colin says has shaped a diverse, nurturing
and broad learning environment.
Risedale has been on a nine-year journey of improvement leading to a “good”
judgment by Ofsted in 2015. Justifiably proud of this accomplishment, our staff
are by no means complacent. We work diligently to better ourselves, and our staff
consistently seek to effect positive change among our students. In September 2016
Risedale welcomed its new principal, Colin Scott, whose passion, determination and
dedication to the school has galvanised the efforts of teachers and students alike.
Historically, Risedale has not always had the best reputation. One of the toughest
opinions to change has been the view of parents, who themselves went to
Risedale many years ago. By celebrating success in the news and social media
and by actively increasing community engagement, we have managed to change
people’s perception of Risedale for the better. In 2017, our school population
grew by 10 per cent and our year 7 intake increased by a third. Parents are now
making Risedale their first choice, as we are becoming a cornerstone of the
»Head teacher: Colin Scott
»Founded in 1953
»Based in Catterick Garrison,
North Yorkshire
»Type of school: Secondary
school serving both military
and civilian children
»No. of employees: 68
»Stonewall Schools Champion
Risedale Sports &
Community College
Highlighting best practice
Our military connection is part of
Risedale’s distinctive character. Staff
support all students emotionally
and academically. Military moves, or
transition, mean that we have a high
admission turnover, but as a school
we are confident in assimilating new
students here. Students empathise and
care for each other, as many know
what it’s like to be “the new kid”
and are accepting of new entrants.
Our population is diverse and we
always accept new applicants, even
when excluded from other schools,
regardless of the negative impact
on our own performance statistics.
Weareinvested in the development of
the next generation of our community;
we often take on students who have
been rejected elsewhere.
By fostering close and supportive
relationships with our parents/carers,
we are able to work together on
improving student attendance and
progress. We have coined “coffee
breaks”, where parents are invited to
meet the principal and other parents,
where they are encouraged to discuss
issues and concerns pertaining to the
everyday running of the school. We
wanted to break down the formality
of the usual parent/teacher meetings,
allowing parents to see Risedale in
a more favourable light and to feel
included. Moreover, these meetings
allow parents the opportunity to ask
questions and to learn more about
their child’s education. As a result,
a new parent teacher association is
being formed and parents are invested
in utilising the school as a positive
outlet for their community.
We believe that our students should
enjoy a rounded and challenging
experience at Risedale, in order to
Risedale offers an
exciting and engaging
education, delivered
by dedicated staff who
are passionate about
supporting everyone to
achieve their aspirations
Our mission statement
Risedale Sports & Community College – committed to nurturing
and sustaining a positive future for all, through an inclusive and
exceptional learning journey.
Our aims
»To ensure everyone exceeds their potential
»To shape our curriculum to meet the future aspirations of our children
»To learn from failures and celebrate success
»To always be a force for resilience and excellence
equip them as compassionate and
thoughtful citizens of the future.
Students and staff work directly within
the community, in tandem with local
institutions such as the police, military,
fire service, doctors’ surgeries and
care homes. In 2016-17 the school
raised over £4,000 for local charities,
demonstrating how our students
place value on altruism and wider
community action.
Our facilities and curriculum are
expanding, enabling us to teach a
diverse range of subjects. We have
now moved to a 30-period-per-week
timetable with 50-minute lessons,
affording us greater flexibility for
option subjects in years 10 and 11.
This approach gives students frequent
contact with key subjects, resulting
in young people deepening their
knowledge, skills and understanding.
We have an extensive programme
of extracurricular activities, e.g. the
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, as well
as cultural experiences at the theatre
and art galleries, something that has
previously been lacking. This has
ensured that our young people’s
experiences broaden their horizons and
Moving forward, it is expected that
Risedale will expand to accommodate
up to 800 students over the next
decade as the population of Catterick
Garrison increases. We have a strong
and supportive governing body, with
members from military and civilian
backgrounds, and are ready to tackle
challenges head on. Our focus will
remain on equipping staff with
personalised CPD programmes that are
fit for purpose and utilising every staff
member’s skills to offer our students
the very best experience we can.
In just one year
»Attendance rose by two per
»Progress 8 score rose by 0.18
»Fixed-term exclusions are down
to just ten per cent of previous
»No compulsory redundancies
despite challenging budget
»School population increased by
ten per cent
»Reinvigorated Armed Forces
Covenant resulting in even
stronger military ties
Our school is a supportive and happy place
to learn and achieve together
Iam proud to be a governor at Risedale
Sports & Community College as I
strongly feel that this school is a
positive focus for all families within the
garrison community, whether civilian or
military. Being a governor allows me to
helpmy local community school in its
vision, direction and support for all,
ensuring the strongest possible
outcomes for our young people


This article was sponsored by Risedale Sports & Community College. 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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister