STEP Into East Sussex

HFA and BAOver the past five years, STEP Academy Trust has established a strong partnership of seven academies covering three local authorities in South London. Driven by the Trust’s mission – to improve the life chances of all children, where we have the capacity to make a difference – the Board of Trustees has recently committed to extend STEP’s moral purpose into East Sussex. A coastal area with a shortage of strong academy sponsors, Trustees believe the time is right make a real difference. Working closely with East Sussex County Council and the Regional Schools Commissioner the Trust aims to establish a group of schools using the same approach that has served our existing STEP Academies so well.

On 1st September 2016, our first partner academies in East Sussex will join the STEP family: Hawkes Farm Academy in Hailsham and Breakwater Academy (formerly Meeching Valley Primary School) in Newhaven. Trustees are delighted to have appointed two excellent STEP Head Teachers to develop our new partnerships. Jeremy Meek, who joined STEP in January and has been working across the Trust preparing for his new role, will lead Hawkes Farm Academy. Ian Rogers, who has spent the past two years as Deputy Head Teacher of Gonville Academy, will lead Breakwater Academy.

In January 2017, Newhaven Academy, Marshlands Academy, White House Academy and Hailsham Academy will join STEP Academy Trust. Currently members of Lilac Sky Schools Academies Trust, the schools will be re-brokered into STEP, establishing a sustainable partnership of STEP Academies in East Sussex. We are pleased that Paul Glover, STEP Deputy CEO, will oversee this exciting development for our Trust.

Applegarth Academy pupils challenge the depiction of children by charities

ApplegarthAs a UNICEF Rights Respecting School, the pupils of Applegarth Academy felt compelled to question the way children are frequently portrayed by charities. Noting the right of every child to be treated with dignity, they wrote to a number of charities expressing their concern over the depiction of children in advertising campaigns.

STEP Academy Trust was pleased that The Guardian Newspaper featured Applegarth Academy’s campaign in an article entitled, “Schoolkids challenge charities’ ‘undignified’ images of children”.

Successful opening of Heathfield Academy

Heathfield 1- reducedFinally, after navigating many obstacles, Heathfield Academy opened for business. STEP’s seventh partner, opened on it’s temporary site—Robert Fitzroy Academy. The school, part of REAch2 Academy Trust, has very kindly agreed to accommodate Heathfield in its first year of operation, whilst its permanent home is being built.

Mrs O’Keefe and Mrs Atkinson (Joint Head Teachers) and their team have worked tirelessly to ensure Heathfield Academy opened successfully. Our thanks go to them. However, it is the parents and, of course, the children of Heathfield Academy who have made this first half term so special. Having taken the “leap of faith” to join a school that did not previously exist, their energy and enthusiasm for STEP’s latest partner, has been remarkable.