Each of the wards of North Manchester UK
is in the 1% of most disadvantaged nationally and the Family Zone areas of
Collyhurst and Harpurhey is made up of the highest ranking LSOAs in England.
spatial concentration of poor individuals in the area directly relates to poor
provision of core public services. This
inadequate private and public sector provision weakens links to external
networks and the opportunities and solutions they may afford the children and
their families. Therefore, all children
who live in this area are automatically disadvantaged by these area effects
regardless of what happens in their personal lives. However, for a significant percentage of
children in North Manchester the very low levels of economic activity make
their lives complicated, painful and their future opportunities contested.
many of these children there is an absence of desirable positive conditions
such as a consistent supply of nutritious food, a clean, comfortable, equipped
home, positive relationships, happy family experiences and the provision of
play and learning equipment. For too
many it is compounded by the active presence of unwanted factors such as crime,
domestic violence, risk taking behaviours, illness, accidents, premature death
and pregnancy. These factors combined
make the family reality much too fluid and unstable. Members of the family can suddenly disappear
or be replaced by apparent strangers to the child. Children in these situations often present
with stress, anxiety, sadness, silence and fear. It is not surprising that these children fail
to make the progress of their peers in more affluent circumstances. Neither is it surprising that the schools
alone in North Manchester, even in collaboration, cannot do enough within the
school walls, to mitigate the risks that originate outside of them.
Family Zone response to the area disadvantage and its impact on children, young
people and their families, reflects the lessons learned from the last twenty
years of regeneration, not only in North Manchester but from other national and
international projects, not least of which the Harlem Children’s Zone model in
primary focus of the Family Zone is the children of the area, between the ages
of 0-19 years. Its core aim is to secure
the best economic and educational outcomes for these children in the context of
a happy, safe and memorable childhood. The
proposed programme for the Family Zone has three arenas. The first is in the child’s immediate home
and family context, to identify, build and strengthen assets and
resilience. The second is within the
diverse education provision, where a tracking and intervention system will
provide the pipeline effect regardless of where the child is educated. The system, which will secure three types of
progress in children between 0-19 years by tracking their individual journey
and identifying precisely the moment when progress might stall and
intervention, be required to restore the child to their expected progress trajectory. The progress measured will be academic;
personal development; and health. Finally,
the third site is the local community where innovative and dynamic programmes
will be offered first in the local community but will also outreach into school
and the home.
The following six outcomes capture the hope for all the children in the area:
The Family Zone children will be asset rich and resilient to the effects of area and personal disadvantage
All Family Zone children will make good or better academic progress at each key stage of their education
They will be physically, socially, emotionally safe and healthy
They will be able to secure the employment opportunities of their choice.
They will be able to contribute to the community
The children and their families will have very positive perceptions of living within the Family Zone
The Family Zone
is driven by a group of conjoined agencies known as Project 10 Ltd. This is fundamentally different from
collaborative or multi agency programmes.
The organisations’ unique relationship originates in the legal entity of
the charitable incorporated organisation they have created together. The professionals managing this company are
seconded from many diverse organisations, currently working in North
Manchester, to secure the best outcomes for young people. The impetus for this development is found in
each organisation at a senior executive level.
The organisations involved are: HMG Paints; GP Surgery; Sure Start at
Collyhurst Nursery; St Malachy’s RC Primary School; Holy Trinity CE Primary
School; Manchester Communication Academy and Manchester Communication Primary Academy;
Manchester Adult Education Service; Manchester College; Manchester University;
North Manchester Regeneration Team; Northwards Housing Association; Manchester
City Council Early Help; Manchester City Housing Department; Once Upon a Time
Ltd; Places for People Housing Association; Collyhurst and Harpurhey Tennants And
Residents Association; Barnardos; Factory Youth Zone and YPAC Youth Service.
The Project 10
organisations will ensure that the Family Zone approach will be grafted into
their existing processes and systems and shared widely with other
providers. This will ensure a permanent
and sustainable offer unaffected by funding levels. The Family Zone will exist around the
clock. It will be organised so that it
does not operate for only part of the day, or the week, or the year. It will not stop when the lights go out or
when the professionals drive home at the end of the working day. To be successful the Family Zone has to be
essentially North Manchester.
Response to the Innovation
we approached a number of schools we were already working with across North
Manchester and a collaboration has been formed with seventeen schools in total:
one secondary, one nursery and fifteen primary schools.
response has been very positive and we are developing projects together. There is a genuine feeling amongst the
individuals who are leading this within each school, that we are becoming a
team. There is a definite shared set of
values and goals. The families living in
this area are “our” families and we feel a collective responsibility to narrow
the gap and to offset the impact of disadvantage on this area.
have not been asked to contribute financially in order to take part in the
Family Zone but have benefitted greatly from what has been offered. The offer currently consists of ten
programmes and schools can choose their involvement, some participating in each
element and others choosing to limit their activity based on their capacity and
the needs of their families.
The Current Position of North Manchester
follows is a brief overview of the programmes currently available to the
schools and families in the Family Zone.
The Forest School Collaboration has ten schools taking part. We have managed to raise £120k of funding which
has covered the cost of developing seven of these sites and training 20 Level 3
Forest School Practitioners. This
funding has come from a range of sources including Tesco Bags of Help, Big
Local, Big Lottery and Places for People.
The Forest School allows children to be active and learn outdoors, is
excellent for developing speech and language skills as well as building
confidence, resilience and teamworking skills.
The sites are in use during the school day and opened up for community
engagement events at regular times throughout the year.
Happily Ever After is an opportunity for parents to engage with the schools on an agenda-free
basis where real relationships grow.
This will create an environment for a genuine parent group which allows
for mutually beneficial social bonding and a network of support. We are
archiving personal histories and celebrating the rich culture of the area.
Here & Now has been developed as
a response to the effects of poverty. We regularly identify children who do not
have access to adequate food, clothing, safe accommodation and basic
equipment. The project has allowed us to
build relationships with partner organisations which have enabled us to set up
a safe, supported place for people to access laptops and the internet in order
to apply for benefits, housing or employment; provide essential store cupboard
food items on a weekly basis and support some with the provision of furniture
and white goods. We were also able to
provide toy sacks for 876 children at Christmas through a referral system with
head teachers and family workers at each of the seventeen schools.
An area wide School Tracker system is being
piloted across ten of the schools. Working from the assumption that area and personal disadvantage will impact
upon student performance and progress, the Family Zone schools will have to
create a universal offer which will be enough to mitigate this impact. In some cases, additional intervention and
support may be needed. The earlier we
can intervene, the more effective this will be.
points have been identified for health, attendance and behavior; if a child
tips on any of these and this is shown to be impacting upon their progress in
Maths and English, then we invite parents or carers to a family meeting where
we will work together to support the child back on track. We have access to a whole menu of support
which can be offered not just for the child but for the whole family.
The Arts Programme has been set up to make cultural experience more accessible and to remove
some of the barriers in place.
Partnerships are in place which have brought orchestral performances to
the area for free or at very low cost and allowed us to distribute over 700
free tickets this year for musical or theatre shows.
School Zone has been developed at the request of the schools, allowing for an exchange
of the skills and knowledge already available across the zone, through teacher
CPD sessions. New learning opportunities
have been offered to the primary students helping them to be more prepared for
become apparent that there are a number of other areas also developing hub or
zone like approaches, in response to area disadvantage, although not all are
led by schools. We have come across
zones being driven by local authority, housing associations, universities and
community organisations. In light of this
we have set up Community Network UK as a way to engage with these other areas
and organisations in order to share experiences and learn from one
another. The network hosted its
inaugural conference in February 2017 and meets three times per year. Membership of the network has grown to
include representation from across the whole of the UK including Belfast,
Glasgow, London, Newcastle and Manchester.