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Training in general is a productive way to help people to learn how to carry out certain things in a systematic manner. The importance of training employees – both new and experienced – cannot be overemphasized. It is so crucial in any organization that aims at progressing. Some of the things that can be achieved through training include helping addressing employee weaknesses, ensuring workers’ satisfaction, improving workers’ performance, increasing productivity, improving the quality of services and increasing productivity.

It is for that reason management at Raising Explorers team decided to offer staff training on the last Friday of each month. We try to look at one specific area of our work and discuss and agree on how to improve the quality of service being delivered at the centre. So far we have covered the following on staff training sessions:

  • Ofsted regulations and requirements
  • Child protection and Safeguarding
  • Classroom management
  • Behaviour policy
  • Dealing with children with challenging behaviour
  • Curriculum Development
  • Health and Safety

As we marked our first anniversary in October 2013, we went through internal restructuring in order to offer all our children a wider range of classes and activities. A new time table was created and new members of staff were employed to deliver the additional services we will be running from 9th December 2013.

As it often happens at the beginning of a new phase there was a need to bring the whole team together to embark on a new journey. So, we have decided to book a professional training sessions with Akram Khan-Cheema on three subsequent Fridays on 29 November 2013, 6 December 2013, 13 December 2013.

For those who do not know, Akram Khan-Cheema was born in Kenya in 1942. His family had emigrated from Pakistan. He moved to England in 1960 to pursue further and higher education.

He has had very successful career in the field of education. He qualified as a teacher in 1968 from Ormskirk Lancashire. He then taught for 11 years in primary and secondary schools in Liverpool.

In 1979 he was appointed as inspector of schools in Birmingham. In 1981 he moved to Bradford as a general education advisor then promoted as senior and principal advisor till 1992.

His outstanding contributions during this period included creating better understanding across faith communities, removing stereotypes and prompting pluralism in education. Akram Cheema has worked consistently over the past three decades and provided a crucial leadership. Passionate about education, ever positive and always willing to share freely his expertise and knowledge whoever comes to him. He has provided advisory and consultancy services to over 50 Muslim Schools.

Over the years Akram Cheema has been a prominent member of many important projects, for example, the government SWANN committee (from 1981-1985), this was an important inquiry into education of ethnic minorities. It highlighted the underachievement of ethnic minorities as well as promoting multiculturalism in education.He has also been the chairman of the National association of LEA advisory officers for multicultural education, member of central religious advisory committee to BBC and ITC. Chairman of the board of governors at Faversham College. He has vast experience of management, educational issues and teacher training skills, which the British Muslim community desperately needs.

Our first training session with Akram Khan-Cheema took place on 29 November 2013 and it was an exciting development for Raising Explorers team. Akram Khan-Cheema focused primarily on team building and explained to us the importance of having a strong team to ensure the efficiency and quality of the services we are providing. The session was interactive, with hands-on team building activities and full of practical tips from his experience.

The training took off with Employee Feedback Activity where staff was asked to complete a short employee survey anonymously. Akram Khan-Cheema then reminded the Raising Explorers team that individual brilliance does not single-handedly decide the fate of an entire project. Almost always, it is joint efforts of the whole team that eventually decide the success or failure of the project. Therefore, team building in the workplace becomes absolutely essential for reasons such as fostering better and open communication amongst the employees themselves, as well as between the employees and management; understanding and co-operation; thereby ensuring better productivity.

The staff got engaged in some team-building exercises such as group discussion on the topic of “Top priority in leadership”. The session was lively with ice-breakers like “Folding the paper” and coffee-breaks in between the activities.

Overall, it was very productive training session for Raising Explorers team. The staff gave very positive feedback and enhanced their team building skills. We have all learnt essential knowledge from Akram Khan-Cheema’s expertise and look forward to meeting him on 6th December 2013.

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