Chief Inspector visits Liverpool Schools
OFSTED Chief Inspector Sir Michael
Wilshaw has been in Liverpool to see the work that is going on to raise
educational standards in the City.
During his visit he spent time at Notre Dame Catholic College in Everton and
Abbots Lea Special School in Woolton, meeting staff and pupils.
Notre Dame Catholic College was the first School to be rebuilt under the Mayor's
£169 million Liverpool Schools Investment Programme funded partly through
Liverpool's City Deal with the Government, and opened in 2013.
Abbots Lea Special School caters for more than 200 pupils with Autism and other
related difficulties aged between 5 and 19, and was ranked outstanding by Ofsted during its most recent inspection in January 2016.
Sir Michael Wilshaw has been in Liverpool at the invitation of Mayor Joe
Anderson and Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for education, employment and
skills, Councillor Nick Small.
The invitation followed comments the Chief Inspector made earlier this year
about the importance of education to the success of the Northern Powerhouse.
During his time in the City, they talked to him about the work done in recent
years including the establishment of the Liverpool Learning Partnership which is
made up of education leaders who support and challenge each other, the Liverpool
Challenge chaired by former education minister Stephen Twigg MP and initiatives
to raise standards in literacy and maths.
Sir Michael Wilshaw said:- "I am grateful to the Mayor and Assistant Mayor
for inviting me to Liverpool to see 1st hand what is being done to improve the
City's Schools. During my visit I witnessed an enthusiasm for learning from
staff and pupils alike, and I am pleased to see leaders from across the City
working together to raise standards in education. Making sure our youngsters
regularly attend School is vital to improving their life chances, so it is
reassuring to see that initiatives like tackling poor attendance have been made
a top priority. Liverpool is an iconic City; known throughout the world for its
contributions to industry and culture. It is only right that we strive to ensure
that future generations receive a standard of education that is fitting of the
Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "I was
delighted to welcome Sir Michael Wilshaw to Liverpool to show him the work that
we are doing in partnership with our Schools to make sure our young people leave
School with the skills necessary to go on to lead successful lives. There is no
doubt that education standards in Liverpool are much improved compared to a
decade or more ago, and the 17 much needed new and refurbished Schools being
delivered as part of my Mayoral pledges will make a significant difference to
teaching and learning. But we are absolutely not complacent and need to do
more, so I was pleased to show the Chief Inspector what is happening on the
ground and talk to him about the Liverpool Challenge and other projects we have
launched to drive up standards."
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for education, employment and skills,
Councillor Nick Small, added:- "Liverpool Schools have lots to be proud
of, but we agree with Sir Michael Wilshaw that local political leaders must
stand up and be counted and support and challenge our education system when
necessary. The visit has been a great opportunity to show him what we are doing
in Liverpool to make sure pupils get the best possible start in life, and
reiterate that we will not shy away from having an honest debate with our
education partners, locally and nationally, about the issues we face."
Merseyside trust is national
leader in clinical trial of pioneering lung cancer treatment
MORE people from Merseyside and Cheshire
than anywhere else in the UK are taking part in a trial of a pioneering drug
that could teach their immune system to attack and kill lung cancer cells.
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist
cancer treatment and carries out groundbreaking research, has recruited more
patients than any other UK site for the 'Checkmate' lung cancer trial.
It's a trial of a new type of treatment called immunotherapy. Unlike
chemotherapy drugs, which focus on killing cancer cells directly, immunotherapy
works by helping the body's immune system to recognise cancer and then attack it
in the same way as an infection.
As well as causing fewer side effects than chemotherapy in most people, immunotherapies seem to be extremely effective in some patients, leaving them in
remission for significantly longer than might otherwise be expected.
Although the concept has been around for a while, previous attempts at
immunotherapy were largely unsuccessful because cancer cells are normal body
cells gone 'wrong' and they can 'hide' by producing a protein
called PDL1 which deactivates the immune system.
The CheckMate trial involves a drug called nivolumab that works by blocking PDL1
so the cancer cells can't 'hide'; the immune system is then triggered to
attack them. While the CheckMate trial is using nivolumab to treat squamous cell
lung cancer, the drug has also shown good effects in patients with kidney cancer
and melanoma and is now licensed for use in all three tumour sites.
Consultant Medical Oncologist Dr Richard
Griffiths, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre's site lead for the CheckMate trial,
said:- "It's too early to start talking about a cure for advanced cancer,
but those patients who do see benefits have a much longer remission than we
would usually expect. This final phase of the trial started in August 2015 and
we have 23 patients now taking part here at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre,
more than any other UK site and we believe the 2nd highest in the world.
Patients on the drug have nearly a 50% higher chance of being alive 12 months
later compared to standard chemotherapy. They come every 2 weeks for an infusion
that takes about an hour, instead of having chemotherapy."
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is also taking part in the IMMotion 51 clinical
trial for kidney cancer. This involves an immunotherapy drug called Atezolizumab,
which also blocks the PDL1 protein emitted by cancer cells, being used alongside
Avastin. 8 patients are currently on this trial and the results so far have been
positive. "We are moving to a new era for the treatment of some advanced cancers.
Cancer drugs have traditionally suppressed the immune system. These new
drugs stimulate the immune system to attack cancer. The hope is that they will
enable patients with advanced cancer to bring the disease under control for a
much longer time and with fewer side effects than chemotherapy." said Dr Griffiths.
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust is active in the
development and trial of new cancer treatments with an extensive portfolio of
studies at any 1 time.