Trust News: 2016
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.
15 December 2016
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."
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.”
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.
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.
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.
06 September 2016
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.
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.
03 May 2016
16 March 2016
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.
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’.
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."
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.”