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Diversity & Cohesion, Children Services, BMDC

Support for Supplementary Schools forms part of the responsibility of the Diversity and Cohesion team.  It's aim is to promote understanding of religious and cultural diversity - affirming and recognising commonality for the benefit of Bradford children, their families and the wider community.

We acknowledge the important role that Supplementary Schools (SSs) play in providing a learning environment aimed at creating confidence and raising self-esteem within a cultural context through moral and spiritual learning.

As part of Children's Services we promote the teaching and learning of the mother tongue mostly in places of worship or community centres which are run voluntarily by the various communities.  Bradford's minority ethnic pupils add great value to the language diversity of the district through developed potential bilingualism.  There are many pupils from a wide range of heritages including South Asian, Middle Eastern and Central and Eastern European.  Research has shown that confidence in speaking, listening, reading and writing in their first language enables pupils to develop linguistic skills in other languages.  For pupils here it means their ability in gaining a good grasp of English which will provide better access to the curriculum and therefore provide a platform for good levels of educational attainment in other subject areas.

Bradford Council has been providing support to SSs since 1983.  There are currently 85 supplementary schools registered with us that can access training which is crucial to their capacity building.  We are committed to supporting safe learning environments in Supplementary Schools through safer recruitment of tutors and volunteers and to promote collaborative working relationships between mainstream and supplementary schools.

As a service, we also provide support to supplementary schools by providing resources; training on curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages; the continuous professional development of the tutors and advice on policy and procedures that promote the creation of a safe and an enriching learning environment.

Children's Services has been working with key partners in the voluntary sector, other LAs in West Yorkshire and the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education to further enhance their work and in developing their organisational capacity by signing up to the NRCSE's Quality Framework.  To this end we have been working closely with the Council for Mosques on projects like the Madrassah Literacy Project and Open Madrassah Network to further develop the work of Madrassahs.

The service measures its success by the take up of a range of training provision (in particualr on safeguarding issues to ensure compliance) and the examination successes of pupils in GCSE and AS examinations in their community language.

If you need further information about this area of work or you need help in making links with Supplementary Schools in your local school community then please do not hesitate to contact Javed Bashir, School/Community Development Officer on 01274  439385 or 07582  109 100

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