Dear Mums, Dads and Carer(s),
You will have heard from the Prime Minister last night about the possible next steps to move the country forward from ‘Lockdown’.
The Prime Minister shared a thought that children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 may be the first to return to school in some way from early June.
As yet we have no more information than you do about this plan. We expect to receive guidance from the Department for Education this week so that we can begin to make plans to open further safely.
In the meantime we will remain open for the children of critical workers and specified pupils.
As soon as we have received the relevant guidance and new plans in place, we will be making contact to share the relevant information with you.
STEP Academy Trust
From Monday 23rd
March, schools across the country have been asked to perform very different
STEP are pleased to rise
to these new challenges and will do so with the passion and commitment that our
communities can expect.
Many of our academies will
be open on Monday to our most vulnerable learners and the children of key
workers. All families of vulnerable learners have been contacted directly
and the below offers guidance on the definition of keyworkers and the
circumstances under which their children should attend school.
Using our in-house
catering service, we will provide meals for children on-site and have written
to the families of children who are eligible for free school meals to extend
our continued support.
Please visit your academy’s website
for further information around COVID-19, updates and details of home learning.
View the latest news across STEP Academy Trust.
Take a moment to read our staff spotlights and find out more about our upcoming events.
We are delighted that Dr Kate Chhatwal, Trustee of STEP Academy Trust and CEO of Challenge Partners, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2020 for services to education.
A valued member of the Board, she has volunteered as a STEP Trustee and has been involved in establishing and chairing the Education Committee for four years.
Upon hearing the news, Dr Chhatwal said: “In over four years with STEP, I have been inspired by the hard work and commitment of my fellow trustees, leaders and staff across the Trust to our mission of working together to provide an excellent education for the children and communities we serve. I am proud to have had a role in STEP’s success, and have benefitted personally and professionally from what I have learned along the way. Volunteering as a trustee or governor is a great opportunity and I would encourage everyone to consider it.”
We are delighted that STEP Academy Trust has been selected as one of four shortlisted finalists for the MAT of the Year Award! The winner will be announced at the Schools & Academies Show National Schools Awards in November 2019.
At STEP, we have a strong, unique sense of unity – we establish consistency in our approaches, support each other to improve and develop so that we continue to improve and meet challenges. We focus on achieving excellence in everything – the STEP Standard. All of this means we deliver the quality education our children deserve.
To be shortlisted for MAT of the Year in a small group of four in a highly competitive field is a testament to what we are all working for.
Earlier this term, Phoenix Academy was visited by Ofsted. This was the school’s first inspection since joining STEP in January 2017.
We are pleased to confirm that, following the rigorous two-day inspection, Ofsted judged Phoenix Academy to be Good, with Outstanding for leadership and management.
Inspectors recognised that Phoenix has undergone significant changes since joining STEP: “Leaders and those in positions of governance have high aspirations for every pupil. They are determined that the school will shake off the legacy of the past so that current pupils fulfil their full potential.” Of course, particular praise should be reserved for the outstanding leadership of Mr Evans and his senior team, brilliantly supported by Mr Mills.
The personal development of the children was also recognised, something staff have been working on since 2017: “Pastoral care is strong here. Pupils are supported successfully by staff when they find learning hard. The use of a carefully adapted scheme of personal, social and health education (PSHE) also helps pupils understand the impact of prejudice and lack of tolerance, for instance.”
Although a very positive Ofsted, we recognise that there is still much to be achieved. The STEP Team at Phoenix Academy will continue working with passion and urgency to build on this tremendous achievement and continue the trajectory of improvement.
At the beginning of this term, White House Academy was inspected by Ofsted, the school’s first inspection since joining STEP in January 2017.
We are pleased to confirm that, following the rigorous two-day inspection, Ofsted judged White House Academy to be Good with Outstanding for leadership and management. For a school that was judged Inadequate twice before joining Lilac Sky Schools Academy Trust, this is an astonishing achievement.
Inspectors recognised that White House has undergone significant changes since joining STEP: “The headteacher, senior leaders and STEP Academy Trust have transformed this school in the last two years.” Of course, particular praise should be reserved for the outstanding leadership of Alun Evans and his senior team, brilliantly supported by Tim Mills.
The behaviour of the children was also recognised, something staff have been working on since 2017: “The school is now a calm place where pupils come to learn. One pupil explained that teachers have, ‘introduced discipline back into our school’.”
Although a very positive Ofsted, we recognise that there is still much to be achieved. The STEP Team at White House Academy will continue working with passion and urgency to build on this tremendous achievement and continue the trajectory of improvement.