Community Education Association of Ladywood 


CEAL  was born in November 2002 as a network of local schools in Ladywood, Birmingham. Originally, 10 schools were involved in the management of the Association that  was supported by Harminder Bhogal (Community Education Co-ordinator). The first Chair was Mr.  Gerry Hickey (Headteacher of St. Patrick’s Primary School). Teams of externally funded employees were appointed to work along with both schools and parents.


The Association was part of Birmingham’s strategic plan for raising school standards.  As a Service to schools, the core strategic areas of Community Education comprised the following:

  1. Parents are Co-educators;

  2. Parents as Learners;

  3. Championing Learning;

  4. Community Capacity Building; and  

  5. Enriching Children’s Educational Experience. 


Educating the whole child: 

It’s a commonly-held belief that parents are children’s first teachers and there is ample research to suggest that when parents take pride in their own learning, children are inspired to do likewise.  Our mission was to help every parent realise his or her true potential so that they could be positive role models in the lives of their offspring.  We recognised that in order to raise educational standards, we needed to work with those who influenced children - their parents and carers. 



The Parent Partnership Project 








In April 2003, CEAL attracted local area regeneration funds to run its flagship Parent Partnership (PP) project. The PP ran from 2003 – 2008, with Parent Partnership workers  deployed to each school under the management of the Community Education Coordinator.  This ‘movement’ became a formidable force in bridging the gaps between home and school   as well as playing a crucial role in planning education activities to do with Family Learning and learning overall.

The principles  of learning and co-education were pivotal to CEAL’s child-centred strategic goals. Our creative engagement methods meant that parents were better supported and empowered into learning – with our courses ranging from ESOL to Level 3 qualifications in child care, mentoring and textiles fashion design. 


Education is a shared enterprise between parents and schools. 
Professor Tim Brighouse 

CEAL undergoes restructure


Since 2010, the organisation has undergone major restructuring, having a dual legal status; that is, both a Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee.  CEALs Board of Directors represent an experienced, committed and dedicated team who give strategic direction to the organisation.  The name of CEAL changed to Community Education Academy of Leadership to reflect broader regional priorities.  The acronym however remains the same- CEAL.


The first Chair of CEAL was Headteacher Gerry Hickey and when retired, his  successor  was the then Head teacher of Nelson Primary, Mr Michael Tromans.  Mr. Tromans heads Kings Norton School but remains one of CEAL’s key educational Advisors.  CEAL’s current Chair is Dr. Christopher Johnson



Glimpses of Parents Partnership Project in Action 2003- 2008

'It takes a whole village to raise a child'
African proverb 
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