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Trust News: 2016

New director joins the trust's Board of Directors
15 December 2016

We are very pleased to announce that Chris Kirkness has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the University of Brighton Academies Trust.

On his appointment, Chris said: "I am absolutely delighted to be joining the University of Brighton Academies Trust as a Director, and hope to be able to make a really valuable contribution to the strategic leadership of the trust in its aim of providing high quality education to the local communities in the region".

Professor Chris Pole, Chair of the Board of Directors said: "Chris brings a wealth of corporate and financial experience and expertise that will be of enormous benefit to the trust in this important stage of its development".

Chris Kirkness is a senior partner at the global leadership development and recruitment firm, Korn Ferry International. He advises companies on the structures of their Boards and senior executive teams, assessing their capabilities and enhancing their effectiveness, and recruits in new talent to enable them to meet their strategic objectives.

In the earlier part of his career, Chris graduated as a civil engineer at Imperial College, London. He then qualified as a Chartered Accountant and spent over 20 years advising UK and international companies on their financial needs and structures. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Chris is also a Director of a technology spin-out from Cambridge University, backed by the university and venture capital investors.

Find out more about our Board of Directors

New Director joins the Trust's Board of Directors
15 December 2016

We are very pleased to announce that Arthur Copple has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Hastings Academies Trust.

On his appointment, Arthur said "I am tremendously pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Hastings Academies Trust. I look forward to working with the team and getting to know better the organisation and the people involved in it.

Professor Chris Pole, Chair of the Board of Directors said "I am delighted that Arthur will be joining the Board at this very important stage in its development. I am confident that we will benefit enormously from his strategic leadership, Board level experience and financial expertise".

Arthur has over 30 years’ experience of working at Board level in the financial services industry. He has worked for both investment management companies and investment banks. His work has taken him all over the world and he has had contact with people of many different cultures and backgrounds. Arthur has always been interested in education and the development of young people; he was a Youth Offender Panel Member for more than 10 years.

Meet the university’s course tutors, current trainee teachers and discuss vacancies with School Direct partners, including the Hastings Academies Trust. Plus learn about training bursaries worth up to £30,000.

Find out more and book your place.

Developing effective governance
13 December 2016

Over 40 directors and local governors from the Hastings Academies Trust and the University of Brighton Academies Trust attended the trusts' inaugural Governance Development Conference on 19 November 2016.

As the role of governors has increased in significance in recent years, the event was an important part of the trusts' comprehensive programme of support and development for members of our Boards of Directors and members of each academy's local governing body.

The event was launched with a key note presentation which provided an insight into key policy issues. Specifically, Andy Guest, Development Director of Cambridge Education, provided 'A National Perspective on Effective Multi Academy Trust Governance'. This was followed by a series of workshops enabling participants to develop their skills and knowledge in specific areas, including legal responsibilities, strategic leadership, school improvement, exclusions, safeguarding, the Prevent duty, academy finance, and health and safety. The  event also provided an important and valuable opportunity for networking and for sharing ideas and best practice; as well as contributing ideas to the future shape of governance in the trusts. 

Sam Coates, the Director of Planning, Policy and Governance, said: "Our directors and local governors are crucial to the success of each trust in improving the quality of education for children and young people in our local  communities. The Hastings Academies Trust and the University of Brighton Academies Trust are fortunate in having many committed, skilled and experienced governors and I am delighted that so many were able to attend the event."

Read more about governance

Silverdale wins Excellence Award
13 December 2016

We are very pleased to announce that Silverdale Primary Academy has received a silver ‘Catch Up Excellence Award’ for its work in supporting disadvantaged pupils.

Catch Up is a not-for-profit charity working with over 4,500 schools in the UK to address literacy and numeracy difficulties that contribute to underachievement. Its Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate learner achievements based on the successful implementation of its Literacy and Numeracy interventions.

Silverdale has been using the Catch Up interventions to target disadvantaged pupils with a view to closing the gap in attainment with other children in the academy. There are 16 pupils currently participating in the Literacy intervention, and 10 pupils taking part in the Numeracy intervention. Such is the success of the interventions, the academy is training more staff in order to target even more disadvantaged pupils.

Silverdale is Britain’s Happiest School!
02 December 2016

Silverdale Primary Academy has been recognised as Britain’s Happiest School at the recent Laughology Happiness awards ceremony.

The awards are the first of their kind to be held in Britain. Over 120 schools, businesses and organisations entered. The award ceremony was held in the City of London and attended by guests from industry and education.

Silverdale Primary Academy impressed judges with its commitment to creating a happy environment for staff and pupils. Initiatives include a website to track pupil happiness and a year-round competition to ensure happiness stays at the forefront of academy life.

Stuart McLean Vice Principal of Silverdale Primary Academy said: “It is a tremendous accolade and validates the work we do in the school based on positivity and happiness, which is embedded in all we do with our children and staff. We couldn’t ask for a better team of staff and children at the Academy and that’s what it’s all about for us.”

laughology.co.uk

The St Leonards Academy celebrates Year 11 student achievements
21 November 2016

A celebration evening was held at the White Rock Theatre, Hastings, on 17 November to recognise the achievements of The St Leonards Academy's class of 2016. The former Year 11 students, who completed their GCSEs this summer, returned to receive their certificates and awards at the event, attended by hundreds of parents, carers and community representatives.

The academy, which is part of the Hastings Academies Trust and sponsored by the University of Brighton, is celebrating its best ever results in 2016. 'Progress 8' data (which measures the progress that students make from when they start in Year 7 to when they complete their exams in Year 11) places the academy in the top 10% of all schools nationally.

Kay Tinsley, Principal, opened the celebration, and said that event was 'even more special because those students graduating were the first students to join the academy when it opened in 2011'.

Jon Francies, former Principal (who recently became head of the newly opened Burgess Hill Academy, also led by the University), returned to present the graduates with their certificates and awards. Quoting Dylan Thomas' famous poem 'Do not go gentle into that good night', he encouraged all students to 'live boldly, confidently, and work strongly to achieve their very best at all times'.

In addition to GCSE certificates and curriculum prizes, the Academy Awards presented were: 'Outstanding Progress' - Joseph Bond and Kassie Akomey; 'Academic Achievement' - Hannah Routledge and Geheris Gidlow; 'Achievement in Adversity' - Lauren Neal; 'Sports Award' - Christopher Morgan; 'Team of the Year' - Year 11 Boys Basketball Team; and 'Student of the Year' - Abbie Holden and Owen Collyer.

In conclusion, Jenny Jones, Executive Principal, said 'We are so proud about the achievements of all of our students; I am confident that they will go on to achieve even greater things in the future'

Outstanding Ofsted judgements for West St Leonards Primary Academy
11 November 2016

The Hastings Academies Trust, and its lead sponsor, the University of Brighton, are delighted to report that West St Leonards Primary Academy has been judged to be Outstanding in four areas following its inspection by Ofsted on 18-19 October 2016.

The effectiveness of the academy’s leadership & management, the quality of its teaching, learning & assessment, its support for pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare, and the quality of its early years provision were all judged to be Outstanding; with pupil outcomes and overall effectiveness judged as Good. It is the only Good school nationally to have achieved four outstanding judgements under the current inspection framework, which has seen over 1,700 primary schools inspected.

‘West St Leonards’ pupils were credited as being ‘mature and respectful citizens who behave exceptionally well in class’ and who impressed inspectors with their ‘excellent attitudes to learning’. One pupil told an inspector, ‘High expectations help us build our character’. The ‘overwhelming’ support from parents for the academy was also recognised.

Inspectors praised the academy’s Principal and leaders, stating that they have ‘developed a culture of very high expectations and aspiration’, whilst empowering colleagues to ‘successfully lead improvements in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment’. Teaching is ‘typically outstanding’ and ‘expectations in all classrooms are very high’. ‘ Teachers have ‘very secure subject knowledge’, whilst the curriculum was recognised as ‘inclusive, varied and interesting’. Inspectors also noted that ‘the teaching on writing is exemplary’, whilst pupils with special educational needs are supported ‘exceptionally well’.

The Hastings Academies Trust and the academy’s local governing body were recognised as providing ‘school leaders with highly effective support and challenge’.

Frances Robinson, Principal said ‘We are extremely pleased with the Ofsted report, and I am very proud that the achievements of West St Leonards pupils, staff and parents have been recognised in this way. Our desire to continually improve the quality of teaching and learning for pupils is relentless, and we are already addressing the small number of recommendations in the report’

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive said ‘It is a delight to read this report! It is overwhelmingly outstanding in its praise for the work of West St Leonards, and is a well-deserved recognition of the academy’s achievements.’

Leadership changes at The Hastings Academy
09 November 2016

Following some changes to senior leadership staffing at The Hastings Academy, the Hastings Academies Trust is pleased to confirm that Stuart Smith has been appointed as interim Principal of the academy for the remainder of the school year.

Stuart has held a range of teaching and leadership posts in schools and academies in Sussex and Kent, and he was most recently Associate Vice Principal of The Hastings Academy.

Jenny Jones, Executive Principal, said 'We are extremely fortunate to have such high calibre leaders in strength and depth at The Hastings Academy and I am delighted that Stuart Smith, will be leading the academy with immediate effect. I will be working closely with Stuart to ensure the excellent start to this academic year is maintained and built upon going forward. I have every confidence in his ability to continue to lead the improvement agenda as we build our growing reputation and ambition to become an excellent centre of learning for our community. '

On his appointment, Stuart Smith said 'My key philosophy has always been to do the best for the students raising their aspirations and giving them the tools to be successful; being appointed as interim Principal I am determined to ensure we build on our strengths and successes whilst continuing to grow our reputation within the community'.

New Principal appointed for The St Leonards Academy
01 November 2016

The Hastings Academies Trust and its sponsor, the University of Brighton, are pleased to announce that, following a competitive process, Kay Tinsley has been appointed the new permanent Principal of The St Leonards Academy with immediate effect.

Kay has been working as the academy's interim Principal since Easter when former Principal, Jon Francies, was seconded to and subsequently appointed to lead the newly opened Burgess Hill Academy, which is also sponsored by the University of Brighton. Prior to this, Kay has held senior leadership roles in the Hastings Academies Trust and its secondary academies.

Paul Griffiths the trust's Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely pleased that The St Leonards Academy and the Hastings Academies Trust more widely will continue to benefit from Kay's exceptional leadership. She is a creative, articulate and dynamic school leader, and I am confident that the academy is well placed to continue its journey to outstanding status.”

Jenny Jones, Executive Principal, added: “The Hastings Academies Trust is committed to developing talented leaders for our academies. We are extremely fortunate to have such dedicated colleagues who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to improve the quality of education and outcomes for all our students.”

On her appointment, Kay Tinsley said: “Who wouldn't want to lead The St Leonards Academy? I am enormously proud to have been appointed the Principal of such an innovative school which has placed students, staff and parents at the heart of its drive for improvement. I look forward to continuing to develop and enhance opportunities for high quality education for our local community.”

Train to teach with the Hastings Academies Trust
21 October 2016

The Hastings Academies Trust is delighted to announce that we are now accepting applications for our School Direct teacher training programme starting in September 2017.

School Direct is a year-long postgraduate teacher training programme, which we offer in partnership with the University of Brighton, rated by Ofsted as an outstanding teacher training provider. We offer programmes for those wishing to become either a primary or a secondary school teacher.

The Trust is committed to making a difference to the children of Hastings and St Leonards. To do that, we need outstanding teachers. Our School Direct programme offers the chance for trainee teachers to contribute to the education-led regeneration of the area, gain valuable in-school teaching experience, and graduate with a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and qualified teacher status (QTS). All of our trainees and staff receive personalised support to enable them to improve their knowledge and skills, and achieve their career aspirations. As a family of nine infant, primary and secondary academies in the local area, we are well placed to support staff at all points in their careers with ambitions for future progression and development.

Further information is available from our website: http://www.hastingsacademiestrust.org.uk/schooldirect/

Desmond Anderson Primary School considers becoming an academy
10 October 2016

Desmond Anderson Primary School in Crawley is to consult parents and carers on becoming an academy.

The school is considering joining the new University of Brighton Academies Trust; consultations will begin on Monday 10 October and will run until Monday 28 November 2016.

Desmond Anderson Primary School was judged as ‘good’ by Ofsted in November 2012 and is a popular school in the local community. By becoming an academy it will benefit from the support provided by the trust and the university, including its School of Education.

Krista Elledge, Desmond Anderson’s Headteacher, said: “We are confident this new and exciting partnership will provide a wealth of opportunities for our school.  We value our position at the heart of the community, and believe joining the trust will ensure we are well placed to face the challenges ahead, while building on the good-quality education we provide.”

Clare Hoggan, Desmond Anderson’s Chair of Governors, said: “Our school’s governing board has carefully examined a variety of organisations that support and sponsor schools. We have concluded that the University of Brighton Academies Trust would provide the best support for us if we were to become an academy and offers the best match with our school’s ethos and values. I am confident that we will gain the assistance we need, and deserve, to make sure our children receive the absolute best education.”

Visit the Desmond Anderson Primary Academy website

The Burgess Hill Academy celebrates its launch
30 September 2016

The Burgess Hill Academy, which opened on 1 September 2016, celebrated its official launch this week.

Representatives from business, education and the Burgess Hill community joined staff and students on 27 September to celebrate the launch of the new academy – formerly Oakmeeds Community College - which is now part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust. 

Guests had the opportunity to hear how the university is supporting and challenging the academy to further enhance the quality of teaching and learning, whilst the academy's new Principal, Jon Francies, set out the academy's vision to enable students to achieve their very best. There was a display of the planned enhancements to the academy's learning environment, and a student led tour of new model classrooms.

Attendees also learned about a wide range of developments which have been achieved over recent weeks, including strengthened links with partner primary schools, a new approach to staff professional development, a new local governing body, new ICT developments and the introduction of a new range of student enrichment opportunities.

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: “The university is committed to raising the aspirations of children and young people by extending opportunities to receive high quality education. We support academies by encouraging great teachers to develop creative approaches to teaching and learning which enable students to achieve excellent outcomes; by working together to share best practice across our family of academies and drawing on the expertise of the university's School of Education; and by placing academies at the heart of their local community.”

Principal, Jon Francies, also explained: “The Burgess Hill Academy is a school with enormous potential: it has bright, intelligent students who have the skills to become outstanding learners; and an expert staff team who are committed to facilitating excellent learning and teaching. This summer, the school achieved its best ever results, which were also the fifth best in the whole of West Sussex. This provides an amazing foundation to achieve our aims and ambitions, and we look forward to further strengthening links with the local community on our journey to becoming an outstanding academy for Burgess Hill.”

This week, the academy also held its first open evening for prospective students and their families. Over 260 guests attended the busy event, where they were welcomed by current students and staff to find out more about how the academy will support and challenge new students to achieve their academic potential.

VISIT THE BURGESS HILL ACADEMY WEBSITE

University welcomes over 60 new staff to its academies
27 September 2016

The University of Brighton has welcomed over 60 new staff to its academies this September. Staff including Newly Qualified Teachers, experienced staff joining middle and senior leadership posts and expert professional support staff have joined the University of Brighton Academies Trust and the Hastings Academies Trust at an important time in their development.

Many of the new staff attended a welcome event, hosted by the university, the sponsor of the two trusts, at its Falmer campus on 20 September 2016.

The event provided an important opportunity for new staff to find out more about the university and its two trusts and their commitment to supporting, developing and nurturing staff working in the academies.

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive, explains “We are committed to improving the quality of education, progression and aspirations of children and young people in the region. We believe that this is best achieved through excellent teaching and learning, meaning that we are absolutely committed to recruiting and retaining the best quality staff. All staff receive personalised support to enable them to improve their knowledge and skills, and achieve their career aspirations.  As a family of 14 infant, primary and secondary academies in the local area, we are well placed to support staff at all points in their careers with ambitions for future progression and development.”

During the event, new staff were introduced to the trusts' school improvement strategy, with its emphasis on collaboration, mutual support and the sharing of best practice; as well as finding out more about the university's support, including its access to research expertise and practice based research support; its broad range of professional development programmes; and its scholarships which enable teaching and support staff in the academies to access accredited programmes at the university. 


Train to teach
23 September 2016

Become a teacher and inspire the next generation with the Hastings Academies Trust and the University of Brighton

Whether you have just graduated or already hold a degree and are looking for a career change, come to the University of Brighton’s Train to Teach evening on 19 October 2016 and find out about postgraduate routes into teaching:

Meet the university’s course tutors, current trainee teachers and discuss vacancies with School Direct partners, including the Hastings Academies Trust. Plus learn about training bursaries worth up to £30,000.

Find out more and book your place.

Celebrating staff achievements at Hastings Academies Trust
21 September 2016

The Hastings Academies Trust held an event in July to celebrate the achievements of over 40 teachers who had successfully completed professional development programmes during the school year.

Chief Executive, Paul Griffiths, explains ‘the trust, in partnership with our sponsors, the University of Brighton, has a vision of growing and nurturing our own staff so that we are able to provide the best quality teaching and learning to our pupils. We wish to support staff to take on new professional responsibilities and pursue career development opportunities. I am delighted that we are able to recognise the achievements of our staff in a really tangible way.’

A range of professional development programmes were offered to staff in academies in the trust during the year in order to further develop their skills and expertise. Helen Howard, Director of School Improvement said ‘The programmes and opportunities have been developed so that the trust’s staff work collaboratively and so that they meet the needs of the trust’s academies and their pupils. They have included a bespoke leadership programme for new and aspiring middle leaders (eg heads of subject or heads of key stages); formal recognition for a group of outstanding teachers as the trust’s ‘Lead Practitioners’, who will lead coaching and support for other teachers; and a mathematics development programme, offered in conjunction with the University of Brighton, focusing on the teaching of mathematical reasoning’.

Jenny Jones, Executive Principal, also explained ‘the trust is committed to investing in its staff. We want every member of staff to have entitlement to a bespoke programme of professional development that meets their needs and career ambitions. We are therefore developing a range of pathways for staff at all stages of their careers, including new teachers to the next generation of senior and system leaders. We support individuals to become great teachers so that they have the best possible impact in the classroom, and inspire our pupils to achieve their very best’

Participants described the impact of the programmes on their practice and their academies. Alice Hillen, who completed the ‘Stepping up to Leadership’ programme said ‘the course helped us to understand the way we lead and how we might lead in the future. It has increased my confidence and students’ progress and attainment data in my subject has improved throughout the year’

Roz Collett, one of the trust’s new ‘lead practitioners’ explained that a coach’s role is to focus on what works really well and referred to the ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ approach: ‘if we look for what is best and learn from it, we can magnify and multiply success’.

Fabrizio Horgan, also a new ‘lead practitioner’ has already been called on to support teachers in one of the trust’s academies. Helen Howard said that he has had ‘an amazing impact; he has helped to improve the quality of teaching in an innovative way which is helping disadvantaged children to do as well as children elsewhere in the country’

Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, visits Silverdale Primary Academy
13 September 2016

On Friday 9 September, one of the Hastings Academies Trust's academies, Silverdale Primary Academy, welcomed Amber Rudd, Member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye and Home Secretary.

The visit provided an opportunity to share information about 'Hastings Thrives', which is bringing together all schools an and academies across Hastings and St Leonards. The project was set up in response to Ofsted’s ‘Coastal Challenge’ for the town, which aims to raise aspirations and improve the educational attainment and progress of children and young people from all backgrounds. The Home Secretary also spent time with many of the academy's pupils, including Jude, Nancy, Ella, Ben, Jemelia, Sapphire and Cerys.

Hastings Thrives has three strands: Leadership, Recruitment and Retention, and raising standards of achievement which incorporates the implementation of the thrive approach. As a key activity of the project, the thrive approach focuses on improving the wellbeing of children and young people.

Silverdale Primary Academy is co-ordinating the implementation of the ‘thrive approach’ across Hastings and St Leonards. Almost all teachers in the town have now observed thrive in action at the academy, and over 60 primary and secondary school teachers have trained to become thrive practitioners so that they are able to support children with their social and emotional development which allows them opportunity to access their learning.

A programme of events runs throughout the year to support this and raise the profile of children throughout the community.

These include the 'Art of Brilliance', where Silverdale has delivered positive thinking workshops for its children, parents and other academies. Random acts of kindness across the town have raised the profile of Hastings Thrives and Silverdale's pupils have been actively involved in developing a 'Happiness Ninjas' website. Other activities include outdoor learning opportunities, the Hastings Primary Town Sports and a Hastings Thrives song contest. Building on the success of the inaugural Sky Parade in June 2016, next year's children's carnival and procession will take place on Friday 16 June 2017.

Prime Minister praises University of Brighton
09 September 2016

In her first major speech as Prime Minister, Theresa May MP, today praised the University of Brighton for its commitment and track record in raising the aspirations of school students through its support for academy schools.

Her comment, singling out the university as a leader in the field, came as part of an announcement of a proposal to require all universities who want to charge higher fees to set up a new or sponsor an existing failing school.

University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris said: “It is great news to see the University of Brighton’s long-standing commitment to raising the educational aspirations and achievements of young people and to supporting them to see Higher Education as a route to fulfil their potential.

“This is a great tribute to the dedication and expertise of staff in our School of Education, the Academies Trust and above all the staff and students in our academy schools.

“As one of the first universities to sponsor academy schools we are proud of our outstanding track record. Our two existing academy trusts support fourteen schools across Sussex and are transforming the lives of thousands of young people.”

The University of Brighton Academies Trust sponsors schools in Crawley, Lindfield, Burgess Hill and Shoreham. The Hastings Academies Trust sponsors schools in Hastings and St Leonards.

The University is also in the process of setting up a new Free School in Brighton.

Read more about the Free School in Brighton

Congratulations to GCSE students
06 September 2016

On August, the Hastings Academy and the St Leonards Academy, part of the Hastings Academies Trust and sponsored by the University of Brighton, recorded 42 % and 58 % of 5A*-C grades respectively, including maths and English. The Hastings Academy results rose by 6% overall. At St Leonards Academy, 18.5% of all grades achieved were A or A*, which is the highest ever proportion of top grades.

Jenny Jones, Executive Principal of both academies said “ We are so proud of our students, especially with the progress that they have made in the time that they have been with us. They and their teachers have worked so hard to achieve these great results.”

Jenny Jones, Executive Principal of both academies said “ We are so proud of our students, especially with the progress that they have made in the time that they have been with us. They and their teachers have worked so hard to achieve these great results.”

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer for the Trust said “We are very pleased with these outcomes, which continue to show improvement and are a real testament to hard work and determination by everyone involved, the staff, students, the Trust and the university.”

The Hastings Academies Trust is currently recruiting new primary classroom teachers to join the team at The Baird. Paul Griffiths said: “This is a fantastic time to join our team of expert classroom practitioners; all new teachers will be provided with personalised coaching support, as well as access to a wide range of professional development opportunities, including those offered by the trust’s sponsor, the University of Brighton.”

The Burgess Hill Academy opens
01 September 2016

The Burgess Hill Academy opens today as part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust.

School’s Minister, Lord Nash approved plans for Oakmeeds Community College to open as The Burgess Hill Academy on 1 September 2016 following extensive consultation with parents, carers and staff.

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: “We will support and challenge the academy to build on its strengths to become an outstanding secondary school for the Burgess Hill community. We look forward to sharing best practice from our other academies and the substantial expertise and experience of the university’s School of Education, rated by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ for its initial teacher training.

“The aim of the academy will be to create an exceptional school focused on inspiring, motivating and enthusing young people to meet their potential. It will be led by Jon Francies, who has been appointed as Principal following an interim period in the role. Mr Francies has a wealth of experience and a proven track-record of school improvement; the St Leonards Academy - part of the Hastings Academies Trust, also sponsored by the University of Brighton - achieved a ‘good’ Ofsted rating in 2013 under his leadership.”

Mr Francies said: “I’m delighted to join The Burgess Hill Academy at this exciting time. My focus will be on continuous improvement as we aim to deliver the highest quality of education so that our students can achieve their academic potential, develop their talents and fulfil their future ambitions.”

In August the school, under Mr Francies’ interim leadership, achieved the best GCSE results in its history with 75% of students gaining 5 A*-C grades, including maths and English. Mr Francies said: “These results show what our students are really capable of and represent a great platform for the future success of the school.”

Alongside a focus on academic attainment, a number of improvements to the learning environment are planned: including remedial building works and updates to IT equipment to support learning and teaching.

The academy’s new name and logo have been introduced to signify the start of an exciting chapter in the school’s history. The Burgess Hill Academy was the preferred choice of staff, students and parents, and emphasises the Trust’s aim to provide an outstanding school for the community of Burgess Hill. Students contributed to the new logo design which acknowledges the school’s history and the aspirations for its future success.

Primary school children in year 6, their parents and carers, and members of the community are invited to the academy’s open evening on Thursday 29 September, 6-9pm.

VISIT THE BURGESS HILL ACADEMY WEBSITE

New director joins the trust's board
18 June 2016

Lorraine Harrison, the former head of the University of Brighton’s School of Education, has joined the University of Brighton Academies Trust’s Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the trust; holding its academies to account for educational standards; and for ensuring financial probity. The Board is also responsible for ensuring compliance with charity and company law and the funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education.

Lorraine said: “Having been actively involved in higher education for over 23 years, I now look forward to working with academy staff and pupils, the trust’s leadership team and my fellow directors.”

A significant proportion of Lorraine’s career has been spent working in close partnership with schools and colleges in the South East region. She was involved in the formation of the Hastings Academies Trust and supported the establishment of a strong, school-led model of Initial Teacher Training at the university. Lorraine has also contributed to the development of education provision and policy at a national level; having worked with the (then) Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Training and Development Agency. She is currently the contract manager for a national Department for Education Initial Teacher Training project.

READ ABOUT OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

New leadership at The Baird
03 May 2016

The Hastings Academies Trust has appointed John Smith as the new Executive Principal of The Baird Primary Academy in Hastings.

John is currently Principal of Hollington Primary Academy in St Leonards, which is also part of the Hastings Academies Trust. He will become the Executive Principal of both academies from 1 June 2016. He has been undertaking the role on an interim basis since the autumn.

Paul Griffiths, the trust’s Chief Executive, said: “John is a highly skilled and experienced school leader, and I am delighted that both Hollington and The Baird will benefit from his leadership and expertise as they continue their journey to outstanding status.”

On his appointment, John Smith said: “I have really enjoyed getting to know the children and families at The Baird over the last few months, whilst continuing to work with everyone at Hollington. There are many complementary strengths across the two academies and I look forward to new opportunities to share good practice and implement our vision for the continuing improvement of the two schools.”

The Hastings Academies Trust is currently recruiting new primary classroom teachers to join the team at The Baird. Paul Griffiths said: “This is a fantastic time to join our team of expert classroom practitioners; all new teachers will be provided with personalised coaching support, as well as access to a wide range of professional development opportunities, including those offered by the trust’s sponsor, the University of Brighton.”

Visit The Baird Primary Academy website

Visit the Hollington Primary Academy Website

Robsack Wood chosen to help train future teachers
16 March 2016

Robsack Wood Primary Academy in Hastings has been selected to become a National Teaching School.

In addition, the academy’s Principal, Caroline Thayre, has been appointed a National Leader of Education to support schools in challenging circumstances.

Teaching Schools take a leading role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession. They identify and develop leadership potential; they provide support for other schools, and work with schools across their alliance to raise standards of teaching.

Robsack Wood is one of 54 schools in England to be granted teaching school status in the latest round.

Introduced in 2011, Teaching Schools are all rated by Ofsted as “outstanding". They work with partner schools in an alliance to ensure high quality school-led initial teacher training and professional development opportunities for teachers at all stages of their career.

They raise standards through supporting other schools, engage in research and development, and ensure that the most talented school leaders are spotted and supported to become successful headteachers. National Leaders of Education are directed to increase leadership capacity in other schools to help raise standards.

Ms Thayre said: “We are very honoured to be the first Teaching School in Hastings and are passionate about working collaboratively with academies and schools to raise standards in education and outcomes for the young people within the local area.

“This is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work of everyone at Robsack Wood.”

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has responsibility, in partnership with headteachers from the Teaching Schools Council, for the designation and quality of the teaching schools programme.

Roger Pope, Chair of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said: “I’d like to congratulate Robsack Wood Primary Academy - they should be very proud of this achievement.

“Teaching Schools have shown themselves to be at the heart of school improvement. They’re supporting other schools, attracting and training the best new teachers and developing the next generation of leaders. At NCTL, we want to do all we can to support their work.”

Visit the Robsack Wood Primary Academy Website

Volunteers with a passion for quality education sought for local governor roles
14 March 2016

The University of Brighton Academies Trust is seeking individuals interested in becoming local governors at its primary academies.

Local governors make a positive impact to young people’s lives by volunteering their time, personal and professional skills to contribute to the strategic leadership of an academy.

A largely thinking and questioning role, local governors also assist with monitoring an academy’s educational performance and ensuring academy staff have the required resources and support to do their job well. They work alongside elected parent and staff representatives and the academy’s Principal. Free training and support is provided, developing individuals’ board-level leadership, strategy and team working skills.  

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of the trust said: “Ensuring that we have quality local governors contributing to the governance of our academies is very important to us. Their knowledge and expertise supports our aim of providing high-quality education to all the children at our academies.”

Applications from interested individuals are requested by Friday 15 April 2016.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BECOMING A LOCAL GOVERNOR

Trusts hold leadership conference
01 March 2016

Senior leaders from the Hastings Academies Trust and University of Brighton Academies Trust came together for a two-day Leadership Conference in February 2016.

Key-note speaker Professor Sir Tm Brighouse addressed the conference on ‘the school effect and the teacher impact’. Awarded an honorary degree from the University of Brighton in 2009, Professor Sir Tim Brighouse has held posts including Commissioner for London Schools, Chief Education Officer in both Oxfordshire and Birmingham, and Professor of Education at Keele University, during which time he founded the ‘Centre for Successful Schools’.

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of the trusts said: “We are committed to high-quality teacher training and professional development. Our leadership framework supports academies staff to develop their careers at all levels. This conference provides an important opportunity to bring together our senior leaders and I hope they find it both motivating and inspiring.’

Delegates enjoyed the opportunity to share best practice with colleagues from across the two trusts, members of the trust’s senior management team, and education experts from the University of Brighton’s School of Education.

Helen Howard, Director of School Improvement for the trusts addressed the conference in her session ‘school to school support: model for development and building a directory or expertise’, and Executive Principal Jenny Jones spoke about the importance of ‘developing emerging leadership pathways’.

READ ABOUT OUR SUPPORT FOR ACADEMIES


New Secondary school: An exciting new development for education in Brighton and Hove
08 February 2016

The University of Brighton has announced that the Department for Education has approved plans for a new secondary school in Brighton.

The school will be for students aged 11 to 16 years and will offer 180 places each year. It will be sited in the centre-east part of the city, and will open in September 2018. 

The University of Brighton Academies Trust has been working in conjunction with Brighton and Hove City Council and the project has now moved to the ‘pre-opening’ planning stage.

An application, submitted to the Department for Education last year, was developed in partnership with the city council, with positive contributions and feedback from primary and secondary headteachers in the city. The proposal also has the support of the major political parties in Brighton and Hove.

Professor Debra Humphris, the university’s Vice Chancellor, said: “We are delighted the application has been successful. Brighton and Hove City Council predicts there will be a pressing need for a new school in Brighton to meet a projected growth in the number of 11 to 16-year-old students in the next two to three years.

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with the city council and other stakeholders on this exciting development. We look forward to fully engaging and working with parents, the community and with local schools to fully develop the plans for the new school. Our outstanding School of Education will play a key role in these developments.

“The university and its School of Education will create the new school’s governance and curriculum, and will lend its skills to ensure the school provides the best possible educational and learning environment for our young people.”

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: “I would like to thank the families of over 350 children who indicated their support for a new secondary school in the city. Working with partners, we look forward to realising our vision of providing outstanding educational opportunities for children from all backgrounds, as well as meeting the increased demand for secondary school places in the city.”

Council leader Warren Morgan said: "This is very good news for children and families in the city who need a new secondary school by 2019. It is a great contribution to the future of Brighton and Hove by the University of Brighton, which has a strong track record in excellent education."

The chair of the council’s children, young people and skills committee, Councillor Tom Bewick, said: “With demand for secondary school places in the city due to increase over the coming years this is great news.

“We will continue to work with the University of Brighton and with our other secondary schools to ensure that there are enough secondary school places across the city to fulfil our duty to offer a place to all children resident in the city who request one.

“We will expect the new school to work in partnership with the wider family of schools across the city, as we look to provide our young people with the highest quality provision – whether that be traditional academic subjects or technical vocational education and high-quality apprenticeships."

READ MORE ABOUT THE NEW SECONDARY SCHOOL

New chair of the University of Brighton Academies Trust
25 January 2016

Professor Chris Pole, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Brighton, has been appointed as the new chair of the University of Brighton Academies Trust’s Board of Directors with immediate effect. This follows the retirement of the founding chair, Professor Julian Crampton, the former Vice Chancellor of the university, in December 2015.

The trust’s Board of Directors is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the trust; holding its academies to account for educational standards; and for ensuring financial probity. The Board is also responsible for ensuring compliance with charity and company law and the funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education.

Professor Pole has also been appointed as the Chair of the Hastings Academies Trust’s Board of Directors. The University of Brighton is the lead sponsor for both trusts.

Professor Pole said: “I am delighted to be the chair of the university’s two multi academy trusts. Leadership of the trusts exemplifies our role as a civic university, and our mission to help to build successful communities by transforming teaching and learning. I look forward to working with academy staff and pupils, the trusts’ leadership team and my fellow directors on each board.”