STEP becomes a London Living Wage Employer

The STEP Academy Trust Board of Directors have made the commitment to become a London Living Wage employer with effect from April 2015.  This means that all directly employed members of staff will be paid the Living Wage as a minimum – currently £9.15 an hour in London.  This is significantly higher than the current national minimum wage of £6.50 per hour.  More information about the Living Wage can be found at http://www.livingwage.org.uk/.

The London Living Wage, which employers choose to pay on a voluntary basis, is set independently and updated annually and is calculated according to the basic cost of living in London.  The London Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay calculated according to a combination of the costs of living in London and 60% of the average wage.  This gives the wage rate needed to give a worker in London enough to provide their family with the essentials of life, including a cushion against unforeseen events.

London-Living-WageOne of the first Multi-Academy Trusts to be accredited as a London Living Wage Employer, The STEP Academy Trust is committed to addressing the effects of poverty and closing the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils.  This commitment also encompasses how we pay our staff, all of whom are vital to the success of our Academies.   We have a moral obligation to investing in them and this includes the introduction of the London Living Wage to help ensure everyone is able to provide for themselves and their families.

The Directors are proud of this significant achievement for the Trust and believe that the move to the London Living Wage underlines our commitment to ensuring that all of its employees receive a fair rate of pay for their outstanding work.

Applegarth Academy receives a glowing Ofsted Report

130205-applegarth-036The STEP Academy Trust is delighted that Applegarth Academy has been judged a “good” and “improving” school in its recent Ofsted Inspection. The excellent report highlights the pivotal role of senior leaders, most notably the Headteacher and Deputy, in rigorously driving improvements. Given that Applegarth Academy brought together three previously failing entities – Infants, Juniors and a Speech and Language Centre (SALC) – the judgment is a remarkable achievement. The Enhanced Learning Provision (ELP), formerly SALC, was singled out for particular praise.

“The ELP is a strength of the school. Pupils make excellent progress here because of the high-quality provision and excellent leadership.”

It was also pleasing that Inspectors recognised the strong support of STEP in partnership with Croydon LA.

“The academy trust has provided very effective support for the academy and works very well alongside colleagues in the local authority, who provide equally effective support. This joint approach is based on the fact that they both see that they are supporting ‘children from Croydon’.”

Congratulations to all the staff, pupils and parents of Applegarth Academy, as well as the extended STEP family.

Applegarth Academy Ofsted Report, March 2015

STEP Executive Headteacher designated a National Leader of Education

Mr_Paul_GloverThe 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.