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New Chair of Pathways for All (PfA) - Charlie Guthrie

I am delighted to announce my appointment as the new Chair of Pathways for All (PfA), with Nick Holbrook-Sutcliffe serving as the Vice Chair, bringing his expertise as the Chief Education Officer at EKC Group.

Our mission is clear and concise: "No Young Person Left Behind." We are dedicated to ensuring that every young person in Kent has a variety of accessible, appropriate, and ambitious post-16 options. Our focus is particularly on supporting those who are most vulnerable, as we firmly believe that when we succeed in helping them, everyone benefits.

Our initiatives encompass several key areas, including support for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH), fostering collaboration between educational institutions and employers, and enhancing provision not only at Level 3 but, crucially, at Level 2 and below, with the aim of making these opportunities available across Kent and Medway.

In Kent alone, approximately 5,000 young people each year fail to achieve a standard pass in English and Maths and are often referred to as the ‘Forgotten Third.’ It is our commitment to ensure that they are no longer overlooked.

During our initial 18 months, our board has diligently assessed the primary challenges we face. As we transition into the next phase, we are striving to develop a comprehensive plan, incorporating successful models, that will gradually transform our combined vision into reality.

Undoubtedly, this endeavour is not easy. Securing funding is a formidable task, and the ongoing curriculum reform is causing widespread apprehension. Schools are grappling with significant issues such as SEMH, SEND, attendance, and behaviour, for which there are no easy solutions. Despite these daunting obstacles, the sector is mobilising to confront these challenges head-on.

Following our productive 'District Wide Conversation' in November, attended by over 130 leaders, local groups have been established in each area, each with a named representative. These groups have successfully secured funding and are currently planning their initial objectives. Encouragingly, we are already witnessing instances of effective collaboration, fostering a growing sense of unity and optimism within the sector. New partnerships are forming, and we are committed to championing bold and innovative opportunities.

As a board, we have been entrusted with a mandate from the sector, and it is our duty to fulfil it. With a compelling case, we have the potential to drive significant change. In the coming months, we will unveil our strategy for your input, share examples of ongoing initiatives, and witness the commencement of our collective efforts.

Recognising that organisations are at varying stages of engagement, some leading, others participating, and some offering support but uncertain of their role, our aim by the end of the summer is to garner endorsement from as many leaders and organisations as possible for this important work.

I am looking forward to collaborating with leaders from trusts, schools, colleges, training providers, employers, and a wide range of key stakeholders. I encourage you to stay tuned for future communications and to keep sharing your thoughts with us.

Kind regards

Charlie Guthrie, Chief Executive Officer, Endeavour MAT
Telephone: 01322 250285