We have taken the unusual step of only setting our strategy for one year, rather than the more common three or five years. This decision is based on our recognition that the Trust introduced considerable change over the last three years as we began to emerge from the effects of the financial restraints that faced the Trust and the impact on our community of Covid. We have been able to grow our central team, introduce a range of strategies and processes and have really focused on developing our collaborative practice. We now need to take a pause in introducing yet more change to thoroughly embed our approaches across all our schools, then review their impact before moving on again.
This approach does not diminish our ambition. Our schools have double the numbers of children from deprived backgrounds than the national average. Large numbers of our families face significant financial, social and health issues. Many of our families have not traditionally viewed education and school positively. These are not excuses – they are our context and that is why we have to be better; adequate is not good enough for our children and the issues they face.
We are passionate in our desire for outstanding education and care for every one of our children. However, we recognise the importance of building sustained improvements and the importance of developing consistency – being good enough for everyone and all the time.
We made significant progress in the last year:
- We have had Ofsted visits to seven of our eight schools, including five full inspections and two monitoring visits, and whilst all our schools are not yet good, every inspection has recognised the significant progress being made. We are confident that as a result of our collective work they can all be good by the end of this year.
- Behaviour and Attitudes and Personal Development are now good in seven of our schools –aspects that are vitally important to our children and their families.
- Both primary and secondary phases continue to improve outcomes year on year and our primary pupils have exceeded national standards for the first time, including children in receipt of pupil premium or with SEND.
Our approaches are working – we now need to ensure consistent implementation in every school, in every classroom, for every child, every day.