Increasing life readiness for young people in Greater Manchester

Yellow pinwheels in a field
Source: Photo by Minseok K on Unsplash

As we embark on our ambitious vision of building Greater Manchester as the first changemaker region in the UK, we are excited to announce our partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). GMCA works closely with the ten Local Authorities in Greater Manchester, and with local businesses, communities and other partners to improve the city-region.

The GMCA and Ashoka, in collaboration with the Edge Foundation, launched a pioneering programme for secondary school Principals and Headteachers this month, with the aim of helping young people gain fair access to economic opportunities in the region. This ‘New Capabilities for a New World’ programme builds on the work of the GM Youth Task Force, that expressed the needs of young people for a more relevant curriculum in schools to prepare them well for the future.

“As schools return after a tumultuous two years, they have an imperative to seek out approaches that prepare young people to thrive in an increasingly complex world and address equity in new ways. The New Capabilities Programme will support secondary headteachers to explore their own leadership and review whole school strategy through the lenses of changemaking and best practice in real world learning. It is exciting to be able to share Ashoka and Edge’s pioneering work in these areas to inform thinking at this formative time of change and renewal.” Shaun McInerney, Programme Lead. 

“All of our amazing colleagues in Manchester tell us, "It’s Manchester, we do things differently here, so we immediately knew it was the right place to pioneer a ground-breaking new approach to education." - Olly Newton

"We want headteachers to feel valued, brave and free to do what they know is best for their students, and we want young people to feel empowered as changemakers in their families, in their schools and in their communities, using their energy and drive to make the world a better place.” Olly Newton, Executive Director of The Edge Foundation. 

The New Capabilities for a New World Programme has benefitted from the partnership and investment of the Careers and Enterprise Company, and is part of their work to promote knowledge exchange across the national network of Careers Hubs. It has also been supported by The INKEY List, in their effort to advance knowledge powered changemaking.

Over the course of one year, 20 Headteachers and 20 young people from the Greater Manchester region and beyond will form a community of practice to lead change in their schools, supported by leading social entrepreneurs, changemakers and educators.

In time, this will offer the system new ways of approaching careers and life-readiness and tackling disadvantage in ways that increase young people’s capabilities, equip them to contribute fully and shape their own opportunities.