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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 06 May 2007

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Colourful celebration of diversity

THE pioneering work of schools to raise the attainment of pupils of all abilities is being celebrated at an Oscars-style ceremony in Liverpool.  The 2007 Liverpool Inclusion Awards, sponsored by Liverpool John Moores University and 2020 Liverpool, is being held on Wednesday 9 May.  The event recognises the achievements of around 40 schools who have received national, regional and local awards including dyslexia friendly and Inclusion Charter Mark status.

Liverpool City Council's executive member for children's services, Councillor Paul Clein, said:- "This event showcases the absolutely amazing work which is going on to successfully include children with special educational needs in our mainstream schools.  Schools across the city have embraced the inclusion agenda and are working incredibly hard to improve standards for youngsters of all ages and abilities.  These awards demonstrate that an improvement in quality is taking place, and it is great to see that so many schools are meeting the challenge successfully."

The 250 guests will be treated to Irish dancing by pupils from The Trinity Catholic Primary in Vauxhall. They have been learning more about the culture of youngsters from the Traveller community who attend the school. The children will also perform a poem written as a tribute to 15 year-old Johnny Delaney, a Traveller from Liverpool murdered during a visit to Ellesmere Port in 2003.  A DVD will be shown featuring youngsters at Leamington Community Primary School in Norris Green planning how to make access to the building easier for disabled people.  There will also be a jazz and jive performance by youngsters from Barlow’s Primary School in Fazakerley, a display of African drumming from children who attend Banks Road Primary School in Garston and singing from Holly Lodge gospel choir.

A special award will also be presented in honour of Chris Gaffney, head of the Special Education Needs Support Service, who died in February after 30 years working at the city council.

Liverpool City Council's executive director for children's services, Stuart Smith, said:- "I'm delighted with the progress that has been made in making inclusion a reality in so many Liverpool schools over the last few years.  It is not easy to achieve the standards recognised through these awards and it demonstrates that we have excellent leadership, high quality staff and brilliant talent among our children."


A SURVEY, published by First Direct, revealing that more than a 3rd of British workers now work outside traditional working hours has been heralded by Work Wise UK as yet another demonstration that the nature of work across the world is changing fundamentally.

Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, said:- “What we are seeing is the beginnings of a complete revolution in the way we work. The changes are unavoidable, and crucial if the UK economy is going to be able to compete in the global economy in the face of competition already emerging from India and China.  Shifting working practices to meet market demands, such as 24/7 service, is vital for competitiveness. Those companies that don't change to meet market demands will not be here tomorrow.

But, generally, this change in the way we work is actually for the good. Apart from significantly improving productivity and competitiveness for businesses, adopting new smarter working practices, such as flexible working, home working, remote working and working from home, will also help employees achieve a better work-life balance, reduce the stress caused by work and long daily commutes, with associated health impacts, and positive effect upon family life.

And at a time of huge concerns over the environment and congestion, the reduction in the need to travel and staggering of travel times will have a positive impact there as well.  Pretty much a win-win scenario.”

The First Direct survey comes 2 weeks before Work Wise UK stages the 2nd annual Work Wise Week (16 May 2007 to 22 May 2007) to continue the campaign to create a ‘smarter’ working Britain. The week includes a number of events and National Work from Home day on Friday, May 18. During the week, organisations will be encouraged to participate in smarter working practices such as allowing staff to stagger their commute and working from home. 

Work Wise UK, a not-for-profit initiative, is in the 1st of a 5 year programme to promote the wider adoption of smarter working practices, such as flexible working including compressed working hours and 9-day fortnights, working from home, mobile and remote working, to bring about a workplace revolution, similar in impact to the Industrial Revolution which Great Britain led in the 19th century.

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