Double Department for Education visits across SAT Academies

Spencer Academies Trust were delighted to host the Department of Education recently to see four of our academies in action and how they each serve their diverse range of communities and catchments.

Kelly Hughes, Sally Gladwin and Emily Bonnett were inspired by the leadership at two of our secondaries – Derby Moor Spencer, in Littleover, Derby, hot off the back of its recent ‘good’ inspection, and Rushcliffe Spencer- one of our inaugural ‘World Class’ academies in West Bridgford in Nottinghamshire.

Derby Moor Spencer Academy Principal, Scott Doyle was delighted to showcase his academy;

‘It was great to have representatives from the DfE visit our academy. They saw what I get to see every day – great relationships, a unique community, focused young people and a highly effective academy.’


Rushcliffe Spencer Academy, Principal Damian Painton;

“It was a pleasure to welcome Kelly, Sally and Emily to Rushcliffe so that they could meet our wonderful pupils and staff and experience the school in action. We were delighted that they took the opportunity to hear from pupils about the impact of the pandemic and the great work going on to return so many aspects of school life to normality.”

The afternoon was spent at Sunnyside Spencer, a transformed primary academy in Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, where they saw strong leaders, excited children and even a visiting artist. Our DfE colleagues talked about how ‘powerful’ it had been to see our Trust behaviours and values embodied across such different settings.

Sunnyside Spencer Academy Principal, Laurie Baczynski was thrilled to welcome the DfE team;

“It was an absolute joy to share our wonderful school with our visitors from the DfE. During our walk around Sunnyside we were able to showcase how our embedded use of technology enhances our teaching, learning and assessment.”

Recent turnaround academy, Farnborough Spencer was the venue for Permanent Secretary, Susan Acland-Hood, alongside DfE leaders Helen Pledger and Carol Irons. They got the opportunity to see first-hand the staff, pupils, endeavour and energy that went in to Farnborough’s recent journey from ‘Serious Weaknesses’ to a ‘Good’ school in every category. They visited a range of lessons and met with the fantastic students who are ‘proud’ to be part of Farnborough Spencer, as well as Principals from all phases of other successful Spencer Academies.

Farnborough Spencer Academy, Principal Graeme Smith was honoured to present Farnborough’s recent success;

“Everyone at Farnborough was proud to have had the opportunity to showcase our wonderful Academy community. It was an honour to welcome visitors from the Department for Education. Our staff and students spoke with pride of their Academy community. In particular, our students who met the DfE team were exceptional in sharing their views.”

They were joined by key leaders from the Trust Executive Team who shared their insights and perspectives on Trust improvement.

Paul West, CEO of Spencer Academies Trust;

“Our academy teams were very pleased to welcome officials from the East Midlands Region of the Department for Education, as well as the Permanent Secretary. We are very proud of our journey of improvement at Spencer Academies Trust.”