The Trust is delighted that Paul Glover, STEP Executive Headteacher, has been designated a National Leader of Education (NLE). This is deserved recognition for Paul’s excellent work to rapidly improve standards in vulnerable partner schools, including: Applegarth Academy, Wolsey Junior Academy and Angel Oak Academy (formerly Gloucester Primary School). Paul joins Mark Ducker as the second NLE attached to National Support School, Gonville Academy.
The STEP Academy Trust is delighted that Gonville Academy has been awarded the 2014 Naace Leadership Impact Award. A prestigious national accolade, it recognises the way in which the Academy’s leadership team has used new technologies to drive the improvement agenda as well as facilitate its partnership work through STEP.
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.
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.
Under a new more rigorous Ofsted framework, Gonville Academy was judged to be a “good” school. Graded “good” in all areas, apart from behaviour and safety which was considered “outstanding”, the report is very complimentary about the quality of education offered at the Academy.
It is, however, notable that the framework does not take account of how schools support others. Indeed, Ofsted measures partnerships only in terms of what schools receive rather than what they give. Gonville is currently making representation to the Secretary of State for Education and the Schools Commissioner about the apparent conflict between a key Government policy – that outstanding educational providers should support vulnerable schools – and Ofsted guidelines which do not acknowledge or account for such work. Having worked so successfully in partnership with David Livingstone Academy and Applegarth Junior School, The STEP Academy Trust is concerned that this extraordinary work has not been recognised by Ofsted.
The STEP Academy Trust is based on the premise that working in close collaboration significantly strenghtens the individual partners. The positive impact of school-to-school partnerships on school improvement is increasingly recognised both locally and nationally. So we were delighted that a recent article in the Croydon Advertiser recognised the impact a number of partnerships, including STEP, are having on school improvement throughout the borough.