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Alliance for Learning – collaboration to combat C19
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8th April 2020

Teaching Schools bring people together to collaborate, learn together, provide school improvement support and to support the next generation of teachers and leaders. But above all Teaching Schools provide a ‘community’ for education.

At Alliance for Learning teaching school based at Altrincham Grammar school for Girls and part of Bright Futures Educational Trust the team there have not only been working hard to move much of the current work to remote delivery/remote support but they have also been supporting the NHS with PPE.

As well as the D & T Department at AGGS making masks for Wythenshawe Hospital directly one of the teaching school partner schools – Beamont Collegiate Academy & STEM Centre (Fab Lab) -has been producing thousands of key components of PPE and other essential medical equipment for the NHS. Not only are they supporting Doctors and nurses to stay safe but they have also used an innovative idea involving modifying snorkels to help give life saving oxygen to patients.

Lisa Fathers the Director of Teaching School and Partnerships saw what an amazing job the STEM centre was doing for the NHS and realised that this could be even better with more production and capacity.  The teaching school team quickly used their extensive partnerships and mobilised the teaching school network of schools and the Greater Manchester Learning Partnership supported this too. This resulted in a significant number of schools responding to the call for 3D Printers and Lisa began organising a logistical operation of transporting 3D printers from across schools in Greater Manchester to Warrington in a safe way whilst maintaining ‘social distancing’.

Many schools and colleges have supported this initiative including: Bury College, Sacred Heart Primary School in Gorton, St Peter’s RC Primary School in Blackburn, St Monica’s Primary School in Flixton, All Hallows in Salford, Warrington UTC and Blessed Trinity RC College in Burnley.

Lisa said “ I have never been so proud of our sector, the innovation coupled with the sense of community in our teaching school alliance and beyond is humbling”

Chris Hillidge, Director of STEM at Beaumont Collegiate Academy and Director of Warrington FabLab added

“The devices we are producing to connect to diving masks are saving lives across the NW and we are glad we can play a small part in the nation’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.”

“In addition, we are providing hundreds of pieces of PPE for our frontline NHS workers to prevent them from becoming ill whilst caring for their patients. We are very proud to be able to support our fantastic NHS”