Bank of England Chief Economist Goes Back to School

Young bankers at the Josephine Butler Primary Campus had a new trainee cashier to put through his paces – the chief economist of the Bank of England.

Named by TIME magazine as one of the Top 100 most influential people in the world, Andy Haldane works with the governor of the bank to decide what the base rate of interest should be.

He took time out from his office in Threadneedle Street, London, to visit the school’s LifeSavers Bank.

The bank has been running for over a year and is setting the benchmark nationally for how the LifeSavers programme can be integrated into the curriculum and school life.

Each week, children can make a deposit into their account and see their savings grow. It is part of a wider programme that aims to teach children from nursery upwards and their families about managing finances – from APR and savings to bagging the best deal in the supermarket.

With attitudes towards money formed as young as seven, it is hoped the LifeSavers programme will promote lifelong good habits.

Mr Haldane said: “The school’s bank is brilliant and the children’s pleasure and pride in running it is clear.

“Through the LifeSavers programme they are learning about maths in an interesting way and also about money and the importance of saving for the future.”

Cashier Bobbi-Jo, said: “I really enjoy helping to run the bank. One of the best parts is seeing the smiles on the faces of the younger children when they find out how much they have saved.”

Fellow cashier Sian, Y6, added: “He talked to us about interest rates and about saving to get things that you’d like to buy and also for retirement. I felt really proud that he came from the Bank of England to see how we run our bank at school.”

LifeSavers is a financial education programme for primary schools, helping children and their families manage money wisely. It provides training and resources for teachers, offers support for school savings clubs, and encourages parental and wider community engagement.

LifeSavers is a partnership between the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Just Finance Foundation and Young Enterprise, with financial support from Virgin Money and the Government.

Mr Haldane also spoke to parents at the school to find out more about how they were affected by the cost of living and heard concerns that ranged from the impact of universal credit, through to the rising cost of everyday essentials, the prevalence of loan companies, lack of local jobs and poor transport links.

He also visited Hirst Welfare Centre, where he discussed regional perspectives on the economy with students studying economics at the Academy’s sixth form, JBVI.

Along with his team, he makes regular trips around the country to help him better understand what is happening in the real economy. Through regional Agencies, the bank is also carrying out engagement activities with schools to try and make both the bank and economics more accessible to people.

Mrs Cole, deputy headteacher of the Josephine Butler Primary Campus, said: “It was a real honour to welcome Mr Haldane and his colleagues to our school. The success of the bank is down to the children who run it with such enthusiasm and all our brilliant savers.

“We have also had excellent feedback from parents too. Financial management is a vital skill to learn and LifeSavers is a great programme to support us in doing that.”

Read more about what Mr Haldane thought about his visit on his BLOG

JBVI Students Impress with Interview Skills

Students at JBVI impressed potential employers from the region’s leading businesses when their interview skills were put to the test in a practice session.

Organised by John Riddell and Michelle Brannen from Business in the Community, a total 17 representatives from a wide-range of organisations took part.

Mr Fox, the Academy’s careers and employability manager, said:  “A number of employers spoke to me personally about how confident, well-presented and articulate our students were.

“One said the performances she witnessed were better than people she had interviewed for actual jobs in her company and another remarked on how well students could adapt between formal and informal conversation.

“The chance to be interviewed by employers is a valuable experience in preparing our young people for the world of work and we would like to thank all involved.

“Students said that the three interviews gave them an opportunity to improve as they went along and that they felt proud of their final performance.”

Jackie Gardner, corporate relations director at  Faulknerbrowns architects:

“It was a privilege to have been involved in the recent mock interview sessions with the Sixth Form pupils at NCEA.

“Having undertaken initiatives like this at other schools, it was truly rewarding to experience first-hand the calibre of your students.  All of those whom I interviewed were bright, informed and hugely positive about their futures which gave me great confidence in the support and advice which your pupils are receiving.

“I look forward to being invited to participate again.”


Fancy going back to school?


Pupils in North East schools have never needed contact with employers more than they do now. If you’ve never helped out in a career-related activity in a school before maybe now is the time to try?

Pupils love to learn about the world of work because they all know that this is where they will end up one day. But they want to hear about it from the people who know – you. The government agrees and back in 2013 launched its ‘inspiration agenda’, encouraging schools and businesses to work together to inspire young people about they jobs they could do.

This partnership has two immediate benefits: pupils receive up to date and authentic information about the labour market and different occupations, whilst employers can impress upon the next generation of workers the skills, attributes and knowledge they need to replace the ageing workforce.


They can tell them how important it is to be involved in activities outside school and how they can stand out from the crowd. Equally they can confirm what their teachers and parents tell them everyday – English and Maths are core subjects for a reason and really do have an application in some way to nearly every job.

From a wider, economic perspective, pupils are able to structure more coherent and fulfilling learning pathways into the world of work and employers see a higher retention rate of apprentices and graduates because there is a much better fit between the employee and their role in the organisation. This should help to reduce the skills gap in our region.

There are a number of ways employers can become involved in work in schools. You could sign up to become a volunteer speaker through

Inspiring the Future

Business in the Community

The Careers and Enterprise Company

North East England Chamber of Commerce

All these organisations offer suggestions about how you could contribute in the way that suits you and your business, whether you are happy delivering a talk in a lesson or an assembly or whether you would prefer to do one-to-one mentoring with a pupil.

Another way is to attend annual careers fairs and display your business in an engaging and interactive way, such as at our World of Work Day.

For more information please email


SEND Information Roadshows

Families of children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) in Northumberland are invited to attend an information roadshow.

Hosted by In It Together Parent Carer Forum and Northumberland County Council, there will be information stalls representing a wide range of services and organisations as well as workshops covering Special Educational Needs and Preparing for Adulthood.

Please find more details below:


Record Top Grades for Academy Students


Students at JBVI are celebrating today after achieving more top grades than ever before.

Academic performance improved for the third year in a row with students achieving a record number of A*- B grades.

Vocational results were also outstanding with nearly 90% of outcomes graded as Distinction* or Distinction.

The sixth form achieved a 99% pass rate for the fifth consecutive year.

Delighted students are now accepting their university offers and will be able to start planning to begin the next stage of their academic studies.


Exam Success for Future Vet

Elizabeth Ward is on track to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a vet after her offer to study Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Nottingham was confirmed.

Elizabeth, from Newbiggin, was one of just 155 students to be offered a place from over 1,400 applicants to the prestigious course – considered one of the best of its kind in the country.

Her success follows on from last year, when she was the only UK student to be given a full scholarship for the two-week Pre-Vet Summer School at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

She said: “It still hasn’t really sunk in. I’ve wanted to be a vet for as long as I can remember, so I’m really pleased to have been offered my first choice place.”


Flying Start for Erin

Erin Richardson-Hogg’s career is off to a flying start after being accepted onto the unique Business Accounting and Finance degree at Newcastle University, a course run in collaboration with leading global accountancy firm PwC.

The specially tailored programme integrates academic study and business skills development with professional exams and over 200 days of paid work experience.

Erin said: “I’m really pleased, especially with my A in economics. The course sounded like a great combination of academic study and work experience and it will be great to get paid while studying too.

“The application process was tough and the university was not just looking for grades. They also asked about your hobbies and work experience. The opportunities I have had at sixth form, such as developing my music and volunteering abroad in Botswana were great things to be able to talk about too.”


Top Grade in Business for Aaron

Aaron Hart is set to study Business Management at Northumbria University after finding out he had received the grades he needed including a D* in BTEC Business.

He said: “I really enjoyed studying the subject at sixth form and am looking forward to carrying this on at university.”


Police Officer Training

Molly Common, from Newbiggin, is a step closer to achieving her ambition of training as a police officer, after gaining the required grades to study Professional Policing at the University of Cumbria.

Molly, who recently won a silver medal in the UK National School Judo championships, achieved the top double D* grade for her BTEC in Sport.

She said: “I’m looking forward to starting the course and will be able to continue my Judo at the university too.”


Hard Work and Commitment Pays Off

Mrs Towers, head of JBVI, said: “We are delighted that academic performance improved for the third year in a row and to see more students achieving the top grades.

“The hard work and commitment of the students have been rewarded and the staff are very proud of their achievements. We wish them all best for the future as they embark on their next stage in their academic careers or enter the world of work.

“Our sixth form students take part in a wide variety of valuable enrichment activities, from sport to Duke of Edinburgh Award, the Combined Cadet Force, and volunteer trips abroad that help to develop wider skills that important for life beyond school.

“They also have support from the school’s dedicated careers and employability manager, Mr Fox, who has forged strong partnerships with local employers.”

Limited places are still available at JBVI for courses starting in September 2017. For further information contact Mrs Danielle Towers at or visit JBVI

Constructionarium Bridges the Gap


Students from JBVI gained an insight into opportunities in the construction industry with a week of events on South Tyneside.

Marsden Quarry, owned by the Owen Pugh Group, held its second Constructionarium North East event, with the aim of bridging the gap between classroom learning and practical site teaching.

Read more in this article from the Shields Gazette

The Academy is proud to be involved in a national initiative to transform the way schools deliver career programmes across the North East.

To celebrate the success of the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks Pilot and look to the future, the Gatsby Foundation welcomed career leaders, headteachers and key individuals from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to an event at the British Academy, London.

The event was a chance to highlight the excellent work of the 16 schools and colleges who piloted the benchmarks and to collate some learnings from the two-year pilot. Discussions concentrated on important next steps for embedding the benchmarks in schools and colleges across England.

Lord Sainsbury, who spoke at the event, expressed his thanks and his awe at the hard work and determination of the people in the room who ensured the North East pilot had such a positive impact.

Sir John Holman, who was commissioned by Gatsby to map out what good career guidance should look like in the UK and subsequently developed the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks, said:

“This occasion showcased the national importance of the pilot and confirmed that career leaders and headteachers from the North East pilot will be key players in Gatsby’s future work. It was a wonderful day, full of uplifting stories about the people who really matter – young people starting out in life.”

Ryan Gibson, National Facilitator for the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks Pilot at the NE LEP, said:

“The programme has been transformational in terms of improving students’ access to careers education and helping them develop the skills employers need.

“The initiatives the North East LEP has developed as part of the Career Guidance Benchmarks pilot have improved collaboration between the business community and the education sector, as well as provide teaching staff with workplace training and personal development opportunities to better equip them with the knowledge and skills to provide effective careers advice to students.”


NCEA’s Careers and Employability Manager, Mark Fox, said:

“From World of Work careers fairs to work experience placements and close links with industry, the pilot has had a massive impact on careers advice in the Academy.

“At the recent Young Enterprise Presentation, we had three students from JBVI who had never done anything like that before, but who stood up in front of 150 VIPs and talked about their experiences of an 18-month employability skills course. It was a very proud moment.

“Sixth form student, Jerry Garratt, also has a regular work experience placement at Koast Radio and now has his own show.

“Careers leads from pilot schools have been asked to be Gatsby advocates and start spreading the word about the eight benchmarks around the North East first, then further to the rest of England. It is widely anticipated that the benchmarks will form a cornerstone of the new national careers strategy due out before the end of the year.”

Find out more and see some of the pilot’s work in action at the Academy here:




Find out more about careers advice at NCEA HERE

JBVI Students Get a Taste for Enterprise


JBVI Sri Lanka

Students from JBVI attended an enterprise fair with Sage and Sage Foundation to help raise funds towards their volunteer trip to Sri Lanka.

Joining over 50 young entrepreneurs from across the North East, they set up a tasty tuck shop to sell products to Sage employees at the firm’s Newcastle HQ.

The fair was a great success, with lots of young people being able to develop their sales and communication skills, whilst getting a real taste of what it’s like to be a true entrepreneur.

Mr Fox, NCEA Careers and Employability Manager, said: “Having the opportunity to visit Sage and sell their products to employees at such an amazing venue was a fantastic experience for the students.

“This was an important part of the enterprise process since having come up with their product ideas, costed and purchased raw materials, prepared the products for sale and finally boxed everything up to take along to the market they now had to engage with the public to try to sell their merchandise.

“All group members felt a growth in confidence at the end of this project.”

To support Team Sri Lanka with their fundraising visit Team Sri Lanka