Over the past few months, STEP has been building its capacity in readiness for future partnership working. As part of this process, Tim Mills (pictured right) was appointed STEP Headteacher. Tim is currently leading a successful teaching school in Wandsworth and will be a valuable addition to the STEP Leadership Team when he joins our Trust in September.
At the start of next academic year, following a request from the governing body, STEP directors have agreed to provide leadership support for Gloucester Primary School in Peckham. Tim will work alongside the Headteacher, Simon Elledge, focusing on improving teaching and learning. In addition to his part-time role at Gonville Academy, Paul Glover will offer further support as Executive Headteacher.
After months of planning and subsequent building works, Applegarth Academy’s Speech and Language Centre opened its “state-of-the-art” facility. The memorable opening ceremony, which included a video message from Arsenal legend, Ian Wright (pictured right), marked the beginning of a new era for this vital borough-wide service.
Croydon Advertiser Article, Friday 6th June 2014
A little over a month ago, The STEP Academy Trust was approached by a group seeking anew sponsor to support their French specialist free school.
Led by a dynamic Headteacher, Sebastien Chapleau (pictured right) the group demonstrated that they share the vision of STEP and, as a result, directors felt a partnership would not only benefit their school, but also complement the work of our Trust. Located in Bromley, La Fontaine Academy will open in September 2014, initially with four classes. Over a period of six years, it will grow to provide places for up to 630 pupils.
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.
The STEP Academy Trust is delighted to have been chosen as sponsor for the new primary school at Spices Yard/Aberdeen Rd. Consistent with the Trust’s commitment – to improve the life chances of all children – this gives STEP an opportunity, in partnership with Croydon Council, to deliver an outstanding new educational provision.
From the outset, STEP’s partnership with Wolsey enjoyed overwhelming support, particularly from parents. So we were delighted when on Friday 1st November, Wolsey Junior Academy joined Applegarth Academy, David Livingstone Academy and Gonville Academy as the fourth member of our Trust.
In keeping with the Trust’s mission, STEP partners will continue to, “strive together for excellence in partnership, so that our children, staff and Academy communities benefit from excellent teaching, learning and leadership.”
Only three weeks into the new academic year, Ofsted visited Wolsey to assess the school’s progress since being placed in special measures nine months earlier. Given the very poor KS2 SATs results, a judgement of “inadequate progress” seemed the most likely outcome. However, we were delighted when the inspection team concluded that, “reasonable progress” had been made based on the dramatic improvements of the previous fifteen days. Mr Glover and Mr Evans were singled out for particular praise:
“The Executive Headteacher and the Head of School have had a dramatic impact on the school, in a very short period of time……… There is a sense of urgency and speed about the work being undertaken.”
This tremendous achievement is further evidence of the transformational power of partnership through STEP.
On Friday 1st November, Wolsey Junior School converted to become Wolsey Junior Academy, a sponsored partner of The STEP Academy Trust.
The STEP Academy Trust has five salaried places available for the 2014 – 2015 School Direct teacher training programme; four general primary (ages 5 – 11), and one EYFS / KS1 specific. Working in partnership with EQualitas, we are looking for five exceptional people 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).
Applications open on Thursday 21st November via the UCAS website. However, interested candidates are invited to forward their CVs prior to this date. Please forward CVs or send any enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To arrange a visit to one of our schools, please contact Cheryl Gilbert, the STEP Academy company secretary, on 0208 684 4006.
For more information about the application process and to apply, please visit the UCAS website:
For more information about our training provider, go to the EQualitas website:
To find out more about the School Direct programme go to:
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.