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Review of 2022 and a very Merry Christmas to you All

2022 has been a difficult year for almost everybody across the UK. It has been no different for PEAK as we have faced some massive changes, which at times have been extremely challenging for us to face.


Looking back as we approach our Christmas closure I can genuinely look back in the knowledge that at no time in the history of Physical Education & Active Kids have I had such a talented group of people working in the company and I am genuinely excited to see how our team can move our company forwards.


Changes introduced this year have impacted upon our management team all the way through to our apprentices and it is this new management team which most fills me with excitement at the progress which, I am sure, will continue throughout 2023. In March we appointed Gemma Nicholson to the role of training manager and developed a new role of PESSPA Manager which we appointed Dave Roberts to. Both have risen to the challenges presented to them as they both took up their new positions during March and April – the months that saw us have a huge turnover of staff.


Our apprenticeship team continues to grow as we now have over 30 learners enrolled with us and another dozen or so due to start in the New Year. Gemma has built a diligent and professional team of tutors who have assisted her in delivering high quality teaching and learning and helping her to grow this side of the business. Kelly, Laura, Jamie, Andy and Pat have been delivering some outstanding teaching and Gemma has developed the learning journey for our apprentices to ensure that we exceed the compliancy requirements of both Ofsted and the ESFA. This has been achieved with the usual high-quality support that we receive from Skills Office Network and our wonderful Independent Advisory Board of Tony, Barbara and Paul. The icing on the cake for us was the incredible Ofsted monitoring visit report that we received which rightly highlighted the incredible gains in professionalism and structure that we have seen since Gemma arrived.


At time of writing our first 3 apprentices have passed their EPA and have all secured permanent positions of employment. Huge congratulations to Ellie, Jamie and Heather and we are certain that Kate will join this list of successful students in early 2023.


Dave’s team also has seen incredible changes since the spring and our PE Delivery team of Adam, Simon, Lynsay, Josh and Beth are some of the best practitioners of primary PE that I have had the pleasure of working with. All are currently making exceptional progress towards gaining their L4 Sports Coach award and it will not be long before PEAK have a team of Chartered coaches under the new CIMSPA guidelines. This will mean that PEAK will have the highest qualified group of PE Deliverers in the North-East! They have all certainly flourished under the expert guidance of Dave, having worked in the industry for so long Dave is without doubt one of the best PE practitioners that I have ever observed and his expertise is being shared across his team.


2023 will see a big step towards regulation within our industry and we are very much looking forward to continuing to work with CIMSPA to ensure that our staff meet the soon to be introduced industry deployment requirements. Schools will soon be made aware of the forthcoming changes that will eventually require them to only engage CIMSPA partnered organisations. CIMSPA will be the standard bearers for the industry and will ultimately act as independent regulators. PEAK welcome these changes and we look forward to their implementation.


Our Pioneers wrap-around provision ran by Gaynor and Jen has also been successful at Riverside Academy. Numbers aren’t as high as we had hoped but since taking over the online booking they are slowly creeping up and more importantly we are now in a position to open this product to other schools. With Gaynor currently on maternity leave, I have been helping out at Pioneers. On a personal level it is fantastic to be back working with children – and what a great group of children they all are, Riverside can be highly proud of them! We are delighted that this club is now Ofsted registered and all wrap-around care that we offer to schools in the future will also be Ofsted registered.


Our holiday camp provision in Whitley Bay has had a great year with numbers increasing from those seen in 2021. We are currently in discussions with two new schools regarding holiday camp provision and we hope to bring PEAK Trailblazers to two more regions of the North-East next year. More exciting news is that our holiday camp at Rockcliffe is now Ofsted registered so this will mean that we can now accept childcare vouchers as payment for children attending this camp.


2022 also saw us deliver the inaugural Jubilee Games on behalf of West Bedlington Town Council and we are delighted to be delivering this event not only in 2023 but at least all the way through to 2025. Over 100 children took part in the first event from the 4 primary schools within the ward and we cannot wait to work with these wonderful schools again.


Our community provision has been extended as we have invested in a lot of new equipment to be able to run fun football sessions for local grassroots football clubs. We kicked this off in October with a test event for Newbiggin Hall Juniors U15 teams where the children had the opportunity to play space hopper football, bubble football and football darts. We have also continued to run adult events on behalf of Excel Events and Xtreme Events with our superb team of sessional coaches.


2022 had some extremely challenging times for us but we have not only overcome these challenges but we now have the foundations in place to ensure that we thrive into 2023 and beyond. Sometimes things happen for a reason and during the darkest months of this year when I faced a huge staff turnover issue, PEAK are now in a position to prosper. 2023 is going to see us face further challenges, the cost to schools of energy and their ability to maintain SLAs is our next focus however we will be launching our “Save – Support – Sustain” campaign in January, demonstrating to schools how partnering with PEAK can make them savings of over £120,000! We have a LOT of exciting initiatives to announce that will make working with us more attractive than ever. Please stay tuned to our announcements in January and February which will be made through the news page on our website and through social media and email campaigns as our attention turns to ensuring that schools SAVE money!


All that remains from me is to wish all of our customers a joyful Christmas and New Year. May you all enjoy the rest and spending time with your families and friends. We look forward to working with you and seeing you all again in 2023.


Merry Christmas to you all and I hope that you all have a prosperous and fantastic 2023.

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