The STEP Academy Trust
STEP Academy Trust wins NGA Outstanding Governance Award
We are delighted that STEP Academy Trust was named winner in the Outstanding Governance in a Multi Academy Trust category at the National Governance Association’s (NGA) Outstanding Governance Awards 2021 on Thursday 9 September.
This award reflects the recognition of our collective approach to governance at STEP; judges were impressed by the Board’s solid strategic approach and healthy culture as well as the ongoing reflection about the effectiveness of its practice. They also recognised the Board’s development of our trust-wide Roadmap to Becoming an Anti-Racist Organisation, underlining STEP’s commitment to equality and social justice.
Our thanks go to STEP’s tireless group of volunteer Members, Trustees and Academy Committee members for their support, dedication and civic duty to the staff, children and communities we serve. But also, we couldn’t achieve any of this without the exceptional support of the Governance, Executive and Leadership Teams.
Statement from STEP Academy Trust Board of Trustees:
“It was announced on Friday 16th June that Mark Ducker, CEO of STEP Academy Trust, has been awarded an OBE in The Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honours List, for services to education.
Mark is the inspiration behind STEP and it was his deep sense of moral purpose and vision which brought it into existence. This award recognises Mark’s unique gifts, talents and profound sense of social justice which is evident in what has been developed across STEP for all of the children.
Quote from Mark:
“I am delighted and privileged to have been awarded an OBE for services to education. It is a great personal honour. However in truth, I have been tremendously fortunate to work as part of an extraordinarily talented and committed STEP team: consisting of staff, governors, trustees, parents, but most of all, children. It is their passionate commitment to the Trust’s mission, vision and values, which they exemplify every day that has made this award possible.”
Inaugral STEP Graduation Day a big success
On Friday 10th July, Year 6 children from across the STEP Trust gathered at Angel Oak Academy to celebrate their individual and collective achievements. Primarily a day of fun, the children engaged in a range of activities including circus skills, singing and sports.
The afternoon began with an inspirational talk from Margaret and Barry Mizen, who relayed their son Jimmy’s story. Through their own tragic experience, they shared a message of hope, reminding our children that they have the power to make a positive difference. Fittingly, the day conclude with a rousing rendition of “United We Stand”, led by the brilliant John Fisher of We Sing U Sing.
A wonderful day was had by all, once again illustrating the power of partnership through STEP.
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.
One 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
The 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.
STEP Executive Headteacher designated a National Leader of Education
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.
Angel Oak Academy joins STEP
STEP approved as sponsor for Gloucester Primary School
On Wednesday 12th November 2014, the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, issued an Academy Order enabling Gloucester Primary School to join STEP as a sponsored academy.
In accordance with current requirements, the Trust will organise a period of consultation – 24th November to 16th January – which will seek to engage all key stakeholders. In addition, STEP will work closely with Southwark Local Authority to ensure Gloucester Primary School converts as planned on 1st February 2015.
Gloucester Primary School votes to join STEP
On Tuesday 30th September, the Governing Body of Gloucester Primary School voted unanimously to seek permission from the Department for Education to become an academy sponsored by The STEP Academy Trust. We are delighted that the rapid improvements evident since the start of the partnership earlier this term, persuaded governors that a long-term partnership is in the best interests of the school. Directors too are in full agreement that extending the STEP family to include Gloucester, will advance the mission and vision of our Trust.
The next stage is for the Secretary of State to consider the request. If approval is given, an Academy Order will be passed and the school community will begin a formal consultation on academy conversion.