Home keyboard_arrow_right Latest news keyboard_arrow_right Trust news keyboard_arrow_down

Trust News

Principal appointed for Pound Hill Infant Academy
16 July 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust is pleased to announce that Amy Watson has been appointed as permanent Principal of Pound Hill Infant Academy and its teaching school alliance, The Southern Collaborative Learning Partnership Alliance.

Currently Head of School at Pound Hill working alongside Executive Principal Julie Knock, Ms Watson will take up her new role from 1 September 2018.

On her appointment Ms Watson said: “I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to lead Pound Hill Infant Academy. I joined Pound Hill as a newly qualified teacher, developing from a class teacher through to Head of School. I have seen our Academy make incredible progress over the past 18 years and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved. I very much look forward to continuing to work with our pupils, parents/carers and staff to deliver the best possible education for our community.”

Dr John Smith, the Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “As Head of School Ms Watson has contributed to the Pound Hill’s exceptional leadership team. Her appointment as permanent Principal is extremely pleasing because it is important to the Trust to support dedicated members of staff, such as Ms Watson, as they progress their teaching careers.”

Proposed Special Educational Needs Facility: Have your say
15 June 2018

We are consulting on a proposal to establish a Special Educational Needs Facility at Churchwood Primary Academy for Key Stage 2 pupils with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder combined with speech and language communication needs. Please see our consultation page below for further details, and send us your feedback by Friday 13 July 2018.


Have Your Say

Trust welcomes data protection changes
25 May 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust welcomes the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which becomes law today, 25 May 2018. 

The changes to the law will have a significant impact across the Trust, including its academies and central teams. The Trust’s data protection  web page includes information about how we use personal data; key policy documents, including our Data Protection Policy and privacy notices; and how to access information we hold.

Informed by guidance and advice published by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Trust will continue to progress various activities to further strengthen arrangements for ensuring that personal data is handled securely.

Samantha Coates, Director of Planning, Policy and Governance, is the Trust’s Data Protection Officer.  Ms Coates said: “Good progress has been made during the run up to this change in legislation. I am pleased that we are in a strong position to continue our work on improved compliance.” 

Read more about the Trust’s data protection

Read more about GDPR

Leadership changes at primary academies
23 May 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Carly Welch and Julie Reece as permanent Principals of The Baird Primary Academy and Hollington Primary Academy respectively.

From 1 September 2018, Mrs Welch and Mrs Reece will take up their new roles from their current positions as Heads of School at The Baird Primary Academy in Hastings and Hollington Primary Academy in St Leonards where they have worked alongside Executive Principal John Smith.

On her appointment Mrs Welch said: “I have spent my teaching career in Hastings and St Leonards, an area that I have enormous passion for and commitment to. I believe that by working together as a whole school community we can change the opportunities for our pupils.”

On her appointment Mrs Reece said: “I am delighted to continue my leadership career as Principal of Hollington Primary Academy, to which I have been committed for 14 years. I very much look forward to continuing to provide the best possible education for our community, with the support of our staff, parents and carers.”

Dr John Smith, the Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “Mrs Welch and Mrs Reece have contributed to the exceptional leadership of their academies in their roles as Heads of School. I am therefore extremely pleased that they have been appointed as permanent Principals to lead The Baird and Hollington in the next important stages of their development”.

Visit The Baird Primary Academy website

Visit Hollington Primary Academy website

Good progress made with preparations for data protection changes
11 May 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust continues to make good progress with preparations for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which becomes law on 25 May 2018.  

The changes to the law will have a significant impact across the Trust, including its academies and central teams. Informed by guidance and advice published by the Information Commissioner’s Office, various activities have been completed over the past months to further strengthen the arrangements for ensuring that personal data is handled securely.

To make certain that the day-to-day implications of GDPR are understood, the Trust has provided a certified online GDPR training course for all staff to complete. The training includes modules on data protection principles, rights and penalties, and practical application.

Key policy documents, including our Data Protection Policy and privacy notices, providing information about how we use personal data, have been updated and published on the Trust’s data data protection web page  

Privacy management software has also been implemented to assist with the administration of GDPR across all academies and central teams: this will help ensure the Trust achieves maximum compliance and minimum risk of not knowing where vulnerabilities are or where breaches have occurred.  

Samantha Coates, Director of Planning, Policy and Governance, has been appointed as the Trust’s Data Protection Officer.   She will inform and liaise with all academies and central teams about data protection requirements.  

Ms Coates said: “As the legislation change approaches, I am pleased with the progress that has been made. We take our commitment to managing the personal data of our pupils, parents/carers, staff and stakeholders seriously and are in a strong position to continue our work on improved compliance.”  

Read more about the Trust’s data protection

Read more about GDPR

Primary academy rated as good with potential for outstanding
04 May 2018

Blackthorns Community Primary Academy in Lindfield has maintained a ‘Good’ rating from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) following an inspection in March.

Ofsted praised improvements made, stating: “The school has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in certain areas. This may indicate that the school is improving towards being outstanding.”

The news comes shortly after Blackthorns was recognised as one of the best performing primary schools in the country, based on data from the Department of Education and Ofsted, analysed by the Schools, Students and Teachers network.

The Ofsted inspection was the first since Blackthorns joined the University of Brighton Academies Trust, sponsored by the University of Brighton, in 2015.

Referring to Blackthorn’s Principal, Marianne Brand it stated: “You and your leaders are dedicated to ensuring all aspects of the school are as strong as they can be. You pursue this aim with passion, determination and vigour. As a result of your firm commitment, all pupils are supported extremely well and thrive in your school. You have an in-depth knowledge of each pupil’s individual strengths and weaknesses, and you work closely with all staff to ensure that pupils’ needs are fully met.”

The report also noted:

  • “Teaching staff’s strong subject knowledge, enthusiasm and passion enable pupils to reach their potential.”
  • “Pupils are exceptionally well behaved and polite. They participate in a purposeful manner, showing high levels of engagement in class.”
  •   “Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive about the school. One parent, echoing the views of many, stated that they ‘couldn’t ask for a better school’.”

The Trust was also commended: “The multi academy trust (MAT) provides effective school improvement support and has made an extremely positive impact on teaching and learning. The MAT is a very active part of the school and has helped members of the local board to develop their understanding of educational issues and pupils’ progress data. The Local Board members stated that the support they receive from the MAT is ‘phenomenal’”.

Ms Brand, said: "It is wonderful to receive this outcome and it is especially heartening to know that our improvement journey to become an outstanding school is on track. I would like to thank all of our pupils, staff, parents and carers for their ongoing contribution and commitment.”

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive, University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: "I am delighted with this outcome for the whole Blackthorns community. We are confident that Blackthorns has the potential to achieve an outstanding rating in the near future and look forward to the forthcoming inspection.” 

Visit the Blackthorns Community Primary Academy website

New Senior Education Officer appointment
03 May 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust is delighted to announce that John Smith, currently Executive Principal of The Baird and Hollington primary academies, has been appointed as Senior Education Officer, within the Trust’s School Improvement team, from 1 September 2018.

John has worked in education for over 20 years, including 15 years in senior leadership posts in schools and academies in the Hastings and St Leonards area.

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust said: “John is an exceptional education leader, with a long and consistent track record of school improvement in a number of challenging settings. The further strengthening of our school improvement team, in support of Helen Howard (Executive Director of School Improvement), is a key priority in our recently approved Strategic Business Plan 2018-2023, and we are fortunate to have appointed an outstanding colleague for such an important post, who will have much to offer both primary and secondary leaders.”

On his appointment as Senior Education Officer, John Smith said: “I am extremely pleased to have been appointed to this role in the Trust’s school improvement team. I am committed to supporting schools and their leaders to improve outcomes for pupils and look forward to working with colleagues across the Trust and our academies in this new capacity”

Read more about how we support out academies

Good rating for primary academy
30 April 2018

Silverdale Primary Academy in St Leonards on Sea has received a ‘Good’ rating from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) following an inspection in March 2018.

The academy secured a ‘Good‘ judgement against all five assessment categories.

This was its first inspection since joining the University of Brighton Academies Trust, sponsored by the University of Brighton, in 2015.

Ofsted praised the leadership of the school: “Effective leadership has brought about considerable improvements to many aspects of the school.

“The Trust provides good direction and support to the school. The work of the Trust has been instrumental in the school’s journey of improvement.”

The report also noted “Behaviour is good” and that “The school’s strong focus on helping pupils to ‘thrive and flourish’ is evident in the day-to-day life of the school. Pupils’ well-being is given the highest priority.”

Silverdale’s Acting Principal, Jonathan Morris, said: "This result is a cause for celebration for our whole school community. I am delighted that the efforts of our pupils and staff, with the support of parents and carers, have been acknowledged. I am confident that we will continue to improve to deliver the best possible outcomes for our pupils.”

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive, University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: "This outcome is well-deserved recognition of the improvements that have been made by all involved at Silverdale. We look forward to continuing to provide support and challenge to the academy as it takes steps to address the small number of suggestions for further improvement in the report.”

Visit the Silverdale Primary Academy website

Trust Secures Strategic School Improvement Funding
29 March 2018
The University of Brighton Academies Trust has secured funding for a project to improve language and literacy outcomes for disadvantaged children in the Early Years Foundation stage in Hastings schools.

Benefitting pupils at 15 primary schools in Hastings, the £298,650 project, funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership, will begin after Easter 2018.

Over the past 3 years the percentage of children in these schools achieving Early Learning Goals (ELG) for reading is lower than national average. This gap between attainment and the national average widens over time and is more pronounced for disadvantaged pupils.

The project aims to improve children’s language skills in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 so that they will be better prepared for successful future learning. 

It will focus on children aged between 3­ and 5 to:
  • narrow gaps in language between disadvantaged children and others.
  • increase the proportion of disadvantaged children reaching ELG for reading.
  • and for Good Level of Development (GLD).
  • reduce the differences in ELG reading between disadvantaged children and others.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) teachers, teaching assistants and pupil’s parents will all have a part to play in the project.

Teachers will develop their understanding of how to support the development of children’s language, and gain new skills and knowledge to improve their daily practice. 

Teaching Assistants will receive training, supervision and specialist support to assess children’s levels of language and literacy, set targets, carry out interventions and track progress. They will complete a recognised Level 4 course in speech and language communication and be able to work towards accreditation as specialist Speech and Language Therapy Assistants. 

Parents will be encouraged to become more confident in supporting their child’s language development at home.

Helen Howard, Director of School Improvement, University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: “I am delighted that we have secured this funding. I believe it will have wide-reaching and long-term impact for the children of Hastings. It is crucial that children in nursery, reception and year 1 have excellent support as they start their education because we know that this directly affects their future success.”
New Principal appointed for Dudley Infant Academy
28 March 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust is pleased to announce that following a competitive recruitment process, Mr Stuart Maclean has been appointed as permanent Principal of Dudley Infant Academy in Hastings from 1 April 2018. 

Stuart has worked in schools in Hastings and St Leonards for most of his career as both a teacher and senior leader, most recently as Vice Principal of Silverdale Primary Academy.  He has also worked in special education and spent several years supporting children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: "Stuart Maclean has provided exceptional leadership of Dudley Infant Academy in an acting capacity for the last year with the Trust’s Lead Principal, Mrs Frances Robinson, and with the support of Dudley’s staff, parents & carers and the Local Board. I am therefore extremely pleased that he has been appointed permanent Principal to lead the academy in the next important stage in its development."

On his appointment, Stuart said: "I am proud to be part of a group of academies in the University of Brighton Academies Trust that work collaboratively in order to change the lives of the children we teach. I am very pleased to be able to support Dudley Infant Academy which has dedicated staff who inspire children on a daily basis, fantastic pupils who are eager to learn and a wonderful community spirit that makes it a great place to work. "


Visit the Dudley Infant Academy website

Blackthorns Community Primary Academy wins national award for performance
28 March 2018

Blackthorns Community Primary Academy has been recognised nationally for its excellent results in 2017 based on data from the Department of Education and Ofsted, analysed by SSAT (the Schools, Students and Teachers network).

One of the 15 academies in the University of Brighton Academies Trust, Blackthorns Community Primary Academy was found to be among the best performing primary schools in the country, and has enabled pupils’ attainment at the ‘expected and ‘higher’ standard at Key Stage 2 in Reading, Writing and Maths to be in the top 20% of all schools nationally.

The SSAT Educational Outcomes database compares all state-funded schools in England. Blackthorns Community Primary Academy will be presented with their SSAT Educational Outcomes Award during the summer term at a ceremony attended by winners from across the region.

Marianne Brand, Principal of Blackthorns said: “ We focus on each individual child so that they can achieve their potential and that all their strengths are identified and valued. Receiving this award acknowledges that commitment, as we strive to give our children the skills to be motivated and independent learners throughout their lives.”

Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT said: “I am delighted that Blackthorns Community Primary Academy has won an Educational Outcomes Award for Children’s Attainment - top 20%. This award recognises an important aspect of the school’s work, but, as we know, there is much more to recognise in a good school like Blackthorns Community Primary Academy. SSAT is pleased to recognise the quality of leadership and the hard work of all staff to ensure the success of every child. A big thank you and well done to pupils, parents, staff and governors.” 


Visit Blackthorns Community Primary Academy Website

New Head of Academy appointed for Robsack Wood Primary Academy
19 March 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust is pleased to announce that following a competitive process, Alice Pascoe Hale has been appointed as Head of Academy of Robsack Wood Primary Academy. Alice will be undertaking her role on a part-time basis during the summer term, before joining the academy on a full-time basis from September.

Having worked in education since 2009, Alice joins the Trust from her post as Assistant Headteacher in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Alice has provided training in the teaching and assessment of writing to NQTs and to Year 6 teachers in Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea. She is currently the STA representative for Hammersmith and Fulham and a Lead KS2 Moderator. 

In 2014, she completed a Masters in Teaching (MTeach) at the Institute of Education, specialising in the teaching of reading and has developed specialist expertise in the area of writing; supporting teachers and pupils to achieve the greater depth standard in both of these areas.

Dr John Smith the Trust's Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Alice to Robsack Wood, one of our ‘outstanding’ academies. Alice joins a team of dedicated colleagues who continue to work tirelessly to improve the quality of education and outcomes for our pupils.”

Robsack Wood’s Executive Principal, Caroline Thayre added: “I am thrilled Alice is joining our senior leadership team. She brings a wealth of experience and skills which will benefit Robsack Wood in our continuous drive for improvement.”

On her appointment, Alice said: “I am delighted to be taking up this post at Robsack Wood which is already doing outstanding work for its pupils and the local community. I look forward to working alongside Caroline and the whole senior team to lead the academy in the next phase of its development.”

Visit the Robsack Wood Primary Academy website

New Trustee joins the University of Brighton Academies Trust
16 March 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust is very pleased to confirm the appointment of Andrew Wilson to its Board of Trustees. 

 

Andrew is Director of Legal Services and Deputy University Secretary at the University of Brighton, where he has worked for over 8 years. He previously specialised in employment law and industrial relations at the Engineering Employers’ Federation and prior to that he worked in private practice as a civil litigation specialist. 

 

On his appointment, Andrew said: “Through my role at the University I have watched with interest how the Trust has developed since it was first established. I am now looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to its strategic leadership and future success in my new capacity as Trustee”.

 

Professor Chris Pole, Chair of the Board of Trustees said: “I am delighted that Andrew will be joining the University of Brighton Academies Trust. His expertise and strong legal background will further strengthen the Board and will be invaluable as the Trust enters this important stage of its development”.


Find out more about our Board of Trustees

Academies Trust withdraws from Brighton Secondary School
14 March 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust has formally withdrawn its proposal to sponsor a new Secondary School in Brighton and Hove.

The decision was reached in discussions with the Department for Education following recent changes to the demand for secondary school places in the city in light of new demographic data and planned expansions of existing local secondary schools.  

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust said: “Given the change of circumstances since we were invited to sponsor the school in 2015, and recent discussions with the DfE to discuss alternative options, it is clear that the project cannot continue as planned. The Academies Trust has therefore formally withdrawn its proposal.

“We received a significant amount of support and input from across the city from those who wanted to see the new school go ahead. We are particularly grateful to parents/carers and primary schools in the local area and officers in the local authority for their contribution to the development of the plans for what would have been an exciting and innovative addition to secondary education in the city.”

The University of Brighton was praised by Prime Minister Theresa May MP in September 2016 for its commitment and track record in raising the aspirations of school students through its support for academy schools.

In 2015, the University was invited by Brighton & Hove City Council to sponsor a proposed new Secondary School in the city. Plans were subsequently developed to open the new school on the Brighton General Hospital site in the East of the city.

Trust prepares for data protection changes
05 March 2018
The University of Brighton Academies Trust is making good progress with preparing for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which becomes law on 25 May 2018. 
 
The changes to the law will have a significant impact across the Trust, including its academies and central teams. The three key concepts of GDPR are currently being addressed, namely; data protection principles, rights of the individual and accountability. 
 
This work is being led by the Trust’s GDPR coordinator and Director of Planning, Policy and Governance via a GDPR project management group. Informed by guidance and advice published by the Information Commissioner’s Office the project commenced with an audit of current data protection practice across the trust and compliance with current legislation.

Next steps include the appointment of a Trust Data Protection Officer to liaise with all academies and central teams, alongside a programme of staff training and awareness. Training to understand the concept of GDPR and the specific implications for their area of work will be offered to key stakeholders; day-to-day good practice training will be offered to all staff.
Following a period of research and due diligence, privacy management software will also be implemented to assist with the administration of GDPR across all academies and central teams: this will help ensure the Trust achieves maximum compliance and minimum risk of not knowing where vulnerabilities are or where breaches have occurred. 

Samantha Coates, Director of Planning, Policy and Governance said: “We are committed to ensuring implementation of GDPR by May 2018, and to ensuring that work continues to pursue improved compliance going forwards.”

Outstanding leadership at Hastings secondary academy
01 March 2018

The effectiveness of leadership and management at The Hastings Academy, part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, has been judged to be ‘Outstanding’ by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) following its inspection in January 2018. 

Overall, the academy was judged to be ‘Good’, with many aspects of excellent practice commended by the team of Ofsted inspectors. 

Ofsted highlighted that the Principal, Stuart Smith “has transformed the school since his recent appointment, by raising the whole school community’s expectations of what pupils can achieve” and that his “determination that all pupils, especially those that are disadvantaged, have a first-rate education, is unwavering. Together with his equally committed Vice-Principal, they inspire the highly motivated leadership team to strengthen and rapidly improve the school”. 

The leadership and support provided by the Trust and the Academy’s Local Board was also commended by inspectors: “The University of Brighton, the Academy’s sponsor, and the University of Brighton Academies Trust support the school well. Among other support, expertise from the Trust is used to support teaching and learning. Staff speak positively about the opportunities provided by the Trust”. 

The report also noted that:

  • The school is a calm and peaceful environment in which to learn.
  • Pupils are keen to learn and have positive attitudes towards school.
  • Pupils are proud to belong to their school.

Inspectors highlighted the support from parents and the community: “Parents say the school is well led and managed. They have a high regard for the Principal, senior leaders and staff at the school”. “Teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve” and “have good subject knowledge and understanding of examination requirements. This helps them to develop activities that are mostly well matched to pupils’ learning needs and capture their interests”.

Stuart Smith, Principal said: “I am delighted about and exceptionally proud of this report and the outstanding achievements of all our students, staff, parents and carers. This success is not down to one person – it has needed, and will continue to need, the commitment, dedication and belief of everyone involved. By working together with our community, we can support our students to achieve their ambitions and aspirations.

“Everyone at the Academy is committed to continuing to improve further and to addressing the recommendations in the report. We will celebrate what we have achieved, and everyone should be proud, but this is just the start and foundation of our future success.”

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: “I am delighted that the transformation of The Hastings Academy has been recognised in this way. This is an outstanding outcome for everyone at the Academy, the town of Hastings and its wider community”.

Read the full report on The Hastings Academy website

The Trust is a Disability Confident Committed employer
28 February 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust has signed up to Disability Confident, a government scheme to support equality and diversity in our staff recruitment practices.

Disability Confident  is a voluntary scheme, which has been developed in partnership with disabled people’s representatives. It supports employers to recruit and retain people with disabilities and health conditions as they progress in their careers. It seeks to challenge misconceptions towards disability and employment, while also increasing understanding and awareness of mental and physical disabilities.

Under the Equality Act 2010 , disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

As a Disability Confident Committed employer we:

  • sign-up to the Disability Confident commitments
  • undertake an activity to make a difference for people with disabilities
  • offer our assurance that applicants with disabilities, who meet the minimum criteria for a post, will be given an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities at interview.

It is the intention of the Trust to move to level 2 of the scheme – Disability Confident Employer – by the end of 2018.

Read more about the Disability Confident scheme

Good rating for primary academy
09 February 2018

Holmbush Primary Academy in Shoreham by Sea has maintained a ‘Good’ rating from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).  

This was its first inspection since joining the University of Brighton Academies Trust, sponsored by the University of Brighton, in 2015.

The academy secured a ‘Good‘ judgement against all five assessment categories.

Ofsted praised the academy’s leadership: “The principal provides effective leadership. Staff share her determination to make sure that pupils achieve as well as they can.

“The trust, through the director of school improvement, works closely with school leaders and the local governing board. Together, they have ensured that this good school is continuing to improve.”  

The report also noted “children get off to a good start in the early years” and that “pupils’ behaviour is good. They are polite and respectful to each other and to adults. Pupils are kept safe in this nurturing, welcoming school”.  

Hombush’s Principal, Rebecca Jackson, said: "I am delighted that the hard work of our pupils and staff, in partnership with parents and carers, has been recognised. I am particularly pleased that our desire to continue improving has been recognised as we strive to ensure that all our pupils excel.”

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive, University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: "This Ofsted outcome recognises the academy’s secure position as a good school for the local community. We look forward to continuing to provide support and challenge to the academy as it takes steps to address the small number of suggestions for further improvement in the report.” 


Visit Holmbush Primary Academy website

Pupils sample university life
09 February 2018

More than 150 pupils were given a first-hand look at what university life is like.

The year 10 students from The Burgess Hill Academy, one of the 15 academies in the University of Brighton Academies Trust, toured the University’s Moulsecoomb campus in Brighton.

They visited a product design workshop, the new Advanced Engineering Building, a flight simulator, the library, lecture spaces and a clinical skills laboratory.

Undergraduates gave talks on student-life and the range of courses on offer including Business Management, Biomedical Sciences, Media Studies, Ecology, Architecture and Paramedic Practice. The Widening Participation department provided students with a study skills and revision workshop.

The Burgess Hill Academy Principal, Jon Francies, said: “Meeting university students was a highlight for our pupils – it has helped them to gain a full appreciation of what their university experience could be like. With GCSE preparation ahead next year, they also particularly valued the revision and exam skills sessions.”

Year 10 pupil, Oliver, said: "It was a grand experience which improved our knowledge of studying at university. We covered a wide variety of different skills which could be used in future revision." 

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: “We want to ensure that the Trust’s 7,500 pupils are inspired to meet their potential and develop a passion for life-long learning. Facilitating visits such as this is an important way for our students to directly benefit from the link with the University of Brighton, as sponsor of the Trust.”

The Academy is also a partner school within the University of Brighton Compact Plus programme, which offers students from a wide range of backgrounds information, advice and guidance around university throughout their studies. 

Visit The Burgess Hill Academy website 

Read more about the Compact Plus

Trust welcomes Opportunity Area delivery plan for Hastings
09 February 2018

The University of Brighton Academies Trust welcomes the release of the Department for Education’s Hastings Opportunity Area delivery plan. As one of twelve Opportunity Areas, Hastings will receive a share of £72 million funding to boost opportunities for young people in Hastings.  

The plan, developed by the Hastings partnership board including Dr John Smith, Chief Executive of the Trust, aims to equip all children and young people with the essential foundations they need to achieve their potential and be successful in the world.

Outcomes for children and young people in Hastings are improving and this plan will build on that success and make Hastings a centre for excellence by focusing on four priority areas.  

• Making sure all children and young people have the literacy skills they need to succeed – driving improvements in literacy for children and young people in Hastings, through a new £250,000 literacy campaign, to get more young people reading every day. Funding of £300,000 will also be provided to support local teachers develop their skills to help improve literacy.  

• Equipping children and young people with world-class maths skills – boosting excellence in maths by improving maths teaching in all four mainstream secondary schools and eight primary schools across Hastings, backed by more than £500,000. The plans also aim to raise the quality of maths post-16 by working with the University of Brighton and the National Collaborative Outreach Programme.  

• Improving mental health and resilience for young people in Hastings - supporting young people with mental health concerns so they know where to go and what help they can access. This will build on the success of programmes like the i-Rock service, offering advice and support for emotional and mental wellbeing.  

• Broadening horizons of young people and developing vital employment skills - through high quality careers advice and helping them to develop the wider life skills that will aid the transition to adult life, such as access to activities through sports and volunteering.  

Helen Howard, Director of School Improvement, University of Brighton Academies Trust, contributed to the development of the plan’s improving literacy project with several of the Trust’s Principals. Helen said: “I am delighted that our academies will have access to a range of additional funding and resources to support the improvements we have already made for our pupils in Hastings. All of our academies will be participating, either in receipt of support, uptake of training or by leading programmes”.

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive, University of Brighton Academies Trust said: “I believe this plan will have a significant impact for Hastings over the coming years. By the end of the funding period I anticipate that we will also be sharing best practice with other schools locally and nationally. We will continue to work together with our academies and other providers of education in the town to achieve excellence and improve outcomes for all children and young people”.

Read more about our academies 

View the Hastings opportunity delivery plan 

Follow the Hastings Opportunity Area Twitter account 

Trust Academy ranked in top ten schools in West Sussex
23 January 2018

Blackthorns Community Primary Academy in Lindfield, West Sussex has been ranked in the top ten schools in West Sussex, in a school league tables compiled by The Times.

The top ten schools were selected from the 222 primary schools in West Sussex based on pupils’ average scores in reading and maths, the percentage of pupils meeting the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, and the percentage of pupils achieving at a higher standard in reading, writing and maths.

Blackthorns scored above local and national averages in all categories. At 16% the score for pupils achieving at a higher standard in reading, writing and maths was the highest in the West Sussex top ten.

Marianne Brand, Principal at Blackthorns said: “This is a pleasing confirmation of our position as a valued school for the local community. I would like to thank our wonderful students, their parents/carers and our dedicated staff for their contribution to our fantastic results in 2017.”

Helen Howard, Director of School Improvement, University of Brighton Academies Trust said: “I’m delighted that Blackthorns Primary Academy has been recognised in this league table.  Our 15 academies across Sussex support each other to achieve excellence, so this is a boost to us all as we strive to deliver the best possible outcomes for all our pupils.”


Visit the Blackthorns Community Primary Academy website

Read about how we support school improvement