Our developing policy work has several strands designed to inform and influence, whether that be keeping our Partner Schools aware of policy research and analyses, or giving North East schools a stronger voice to better represent them to policymakers.

Our policy focus is guided by our 10 key recommendations contained in our Manifesto for North East Education, published in response to the 2019 general election.

Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen unprecedented changes to education, but our recommendations remain relevant, as perennial issues have been highlighted by the lockdown disruption. Several policy areas have presented particular challenges, and in light of the coronavirus we have four key policy focuses: Evidence-based and joined-up policy making; 2020-21 exam provision and exam reform; the negative narrative; Ofsted.

Please click on the above tabs to find out more about our different areas of policy work.

Manifesto for North East Education

In response to the 2019 general election, Schools North East put together a manifesto containing the key recommendations for all political parties and policymakers, from North East schools.

This was the first step in our developing policy focus, and we will be developing our recommendations through a series of policy roundtables.

You can read our manifesto at the following link

Healthy MindED Commission

The Schools North East Healthy MindED Commission works towards supporting schools to understand and mitigate the factors affecting young people’s mental health, and through doing so enable better resilience.

The aims of the Commission are:

· To improve the mental health of children and young people by recognising its impact on them; and by enabling school communities and associated services to identify, manage and mitigate the factors that underlie poor mental health

· To equip schools to empower children and young people to understand mental health, and through increasing their resilience to grow and develop their potential

Bitesize Briefings

To help support North East schools, we send out Bitesize Briefings about recently published research and analyses on education policy to our Partner Schools.

These briefings contain the key findings of a given report, as well as setting out the implications for the North East.

See latest briefings.

Voice of the Pupil

One the main strands of the Healthy MindED Commission was the Voice of the Pupil project.

The project developed a framework for engaging children and young people in discussion about mental health.

Staff from across schools in the region were trained and supported to carry out focus group discussions with students. The findings of this project are set to be published later this year.


The COVID-19 pandemic is creating new challenges for schools, and the impact of schools closures will be present even after schools re-open.

We are working with schools and education professionals to begin to identify these challenges, what the North East specific impact will be, and how we can ensure our concerns are heard by policy makers.

This year we are focusing on:

  • Evidence-based and joined-up policy making
  • 2020-2021 exam provision and exam reform
  • The negative narrative
  • Ofsted

More information on the Schools North East blog.

Worth Less?

Schools North East has partnered with Worth Less? on a campaign to highlight the key issues that Head Teachers across the country are concerned about to local MPs.

You can find more about the Worth Less? campaign here.

See our recent work:

Letter to the Secretary of State on staff workload and wellbeing 12/11/21

Letter to the Secretary of State on pupil premium funding 22/06/21

Letter to the Secretary of State on pupil premium funding 25/03/21

Statement on the March 2021 budget

Statement on education recovery package

Statement on school return announcement 22/02/21

Statement on the alternative arrangements for exams in 2021

Letter to the Secretary of State on phased reopening of schools

Schools North East's roadmap to reopening

Letter to Secretary of State about staff wellbeing, 18/11/2020

Letter to Secretary of State about exams and testing in 2020/21, 9/10/2020

Letter to Secretary of State about failures in the Test and Trace System, 18/09/2020

Schools North East response to acceptance of CAGs, 17/08/2020

Schools North East calls on Government to honour Centre Assessment Grades for GCSEs 17/08/20

Schools North East calls on Government to take action on A levels, 14/08/20