The STEP Academy Trust is delighted that David Livingstone Academy (DLA) has recently been named as one of the 105 top performing primary schools in England using the new similar schools measure. DLA stood out in two ways. First, the Academy was ranked number one in its table comparing schools with near identical intakes. Second, over 20 per cent more of DLA’s pupils achieved a level 4 or above in English and maths than is typical of a school with its intake.
Congratulations go to Claire Slade, her team and the children of DLA whose significant achievement has rightly been acknowledged in a letter from the Secretary of State for Schools, Rt Hon David Laws MP.
On Tuesday 10th September, STEP’s partnership with Wolsey Junior School featured on BBC Breakfast. The report – “What happens if a school is failing?” – examined the positive impact of STEP’s model of school-to-school collaboration. In addition, the item highlighted inflexibilities in the current Ofsted Framework which may be discouraging outstanding providers from supporting vulnerable schools.
What happens if a school is failing? – BBC Breakfast
The STEP Academy Trust was disappointed by recent reports in local and national newspapers regarding staff changes at Wolsey Junior School. In response, the directors have highlighted the following facts for the record:
- Wolsey Junior School was put into special measures in February of this year, following an Ofsted Inspection that found the children were not receiving the standard of education that they should.
- The STEP Academy Trust was pleased to have the opportunity to sponsor Wolsey Junior School and to help deliver the rapid improvement in standards that the children at Wolsey need. This followed a consultation exercise which showed that this enjoyed parent and community support.
- Some members of the existing staff team decided they did not want to be part of this improvement programme and felt it was time to move on. Contrary to some press reports, no resignation letter cited unreasonable expectations as a contributing factor to their decision.
- Whilst this is disappointing, it is not completely unprecedented that staff move on with a change of leadership, and it does provide an opportunity to transform the quality of teaching and learning by recruiting a new team.
- This recruitment is now complete and Wolsey Junior School will be fully staffed for the start of the new academic year, and with a high quality team.
On Tuesday 30th April, the Governing Body of Wolsey Junior School voted to seek permission from the Department for Education to become an academy sponsored by The STEP Academy Trust. The decision followed a series of meetings seeking the views of the wider school community.
The next stage is for the Secretary of State to consider the request. If approval is given, an Academy Order will be passed and the school community will begin a formal consultation on academy conversion.
On Tuesday 2nd April 2013, Applegarth School converted to become Applegarth Academy, joining David Livingstone Academy and Gonville Academy as a full member of The STEP Academy Trust.
Applegarth’s conversion formalises the successful partnership with STEP, which began in January 2012.
Following an invitation by the Governing Body of Wolsey Junior School, the directors of the Trust have entered into discussions about a possible partnership arrangement with the school. Earlier this term, Wolsey was placed in “Special Measures” by Ofsted. The Department for Education has indicated that it supports, in principle, the idea of STEP acting as sponsor for Wolsey Junior School, because of the Trust’s strong record of school improvement.
As well as fitting the mission and vision of The STEP Academy Trust, a partnership with Wolsey Junior School would enable Applegarth School, which joins STEP in April, to collaborate and share staff in much the same way as David Livingstone and Gonville. However, whilst there are many obvious benefits of entering into a supportive partnership with Wolsey Junior School, existing members are assured that the relentless drive to raise standards across our Trust will not be negatively affected. Indeed, STEP requires that all future partnerships enhance our efforts to improve the education we offer all our children.
Croydon Advertiser Article, Friday 8th March 2013
The STEP Academy Trust has one remaining place available for the 2013–2014 Schools Direct teacher training programme (salaried). Working in partnership with EQualitas, we are looking for an exceptional person to join us as trainee teachers. Preference will be given to candidates with:
- Grades B and above in English, Maths and Science, and A–C grades at A-level.
- A 2:1 honours degree or better.
- Experience of working in a school.
Candidates need to show that they are:
- Resilient, creative, have an affinity with children, are independent learners, self-motivated, organised, responsive to feedback, enjoy learning, are able to cope with setbacks, show initiative.
- Have found out about the realities of teaching, the curriculum, and made an informed decision whether to train for primary or secondary.
- Candidates should have the potential to gain a postgraduate academic qualification (PGCE at Masters level).
For more information about the application process, please visit the EQualitas website http://www.e-qualitas.org.uk/. The second round of applications closes on Monday 25th February.
If you wish to arrange a visit to one of our Academies, please contact Cheryl Gilbert, The STEP Academy Company Secretary, on 0208 684 4006.
To find out more about the Schools Direct programme and to apply, go to: http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/teacher-training-options/school-based-training/school-direct
On Thursday 31st January, the shortlist for the Naace Impact Awards 2013 was announced. Gonville Academy joins four others on the shortlist for the “Local Community Award”. The judges noted Gonville’s “inspirational ICT leadership and considerable outreach work, with particular focus on school improvement through ICT”.
The STEP Academy Trust requires all partner academies to drive their improvement agendas through the strategic application of new technologies. This accolade provides strong evidence that STEP Academies are harnessing the transformational potential of ICT to improve pupil outcomes.
The winner of each category will be announced at the Naace Strategic Conference in March 2013.
Following an application made by the Governing Body of Applegarth School to become an academy sponsored by The STEP Academy Trust, the Secretary of State for Education has agreed in principle to the proposal. There will now be a period of wider consultation before the school becomes Applegarth Academy on the 1st April 2013.
Details on how to get involved in the consultation have been posted on Applegarth School’s website.
This year, David Livingstone Academy has been listed as one of the best primary schools in Croydon, with 100% of its pupils achieving L4+ in English and mathematics. This tremendous achievement also places the Academy in the top 5% of schools nationally.
Through the STEP partnership, Applegarth, David Livingstone and Gonville are working incredibly hard to strengthen teaching and accelerate progress. As a result, everyone involved in The STEP Academy Trust is enormously proud of Claire Slade (Headteacher), her team and the children, for this wonderful achievement.
Croydon Advertiser Article, Tuesday 1st January 2013