The Spencer Academies Trust welcomes new schools

The Spencer Academies Trust is delighted to announce completion of the Trust membership process for the three schools of the Trent Academies Group and Hilton Primary School in South Derbyshire.

The membership process for Ashwood Spencer Academy in Derby will be completed on 1 November 2018.

In all cases, the transfer follows months of joint working and preparation.

At Ashwood Spencer, experienced Trust Headteacher Paula Baines-Chambers was appointed to an interim role at Easter before applying for and being appointed to a permanent role as Principal.

Nottingham’s Arnold Hill Academy has 1500 secondary pupils on roll. Trust staff including Director of Secondary Education Fraser Mitchell and a team of secondary Subject Directors have been working closely with Arnold Hill over the summer, and both sharing practice with, and learning from, departments including the school’s excellent maths teaching.

Staff from the outstanding Rushcliffe Academy have been working closely with staff from George Spencer Academy – the equally outstanding school from which The Spencer Academies Trust was launched in 2010. The intention is for both schools to benefit from peer challenge reflecting the existing high standards of education in schools.

Spencer Academies Trust Chairman Peter Marples wrote to staff across the enlarged Trust, saying “through our collaborative approach; our focus on staff development and school improvement, we will continue to see sustained improvement both within your school, and across the existing family of Spencer Academies Trust schools. We can all be better.”

Lastly, Trust staff have been supporting Farnborough Academy in Nottingham’s Clifton, where Rushcliffe Executive Principal Steve Lewis has taken on an additional executive role.

Hilton Primary School is located in Hilton in South Derbyshire, and is an unusually large primary with 844 pupils on roll. On last Ofsted Inspection in February 2018 the school was confirmed as ‘good’ by Ofsted, with Inspectors pointing to a culture of effective working and high expectations for staff and pupils.

Hilton Headteacher Mr Lomas said that his school was joining The Spencer Academies Trust as part of the school’s journey ‘from good to great.’

A 2018 Ofsted inspection confirmed education delivery at Hilton to be ‘good’ and said that ‘pupils are a credit to the school.’

As part of a consultation process preceding Trust membership, Mr Lomas wrote about his recommendation to governors that Hilton should join The Spencer Academies Trust. Mr Lomas said that he was ‘incredibly proud’ to lead a ‘happy, proud and successful school with a hard-earned reputation for high standards of achievement and pupil care.’

He concluded that in order to reach the outstanding quality of education to which the school aspired, “we need to look beyond our own school, and to work with the best in the country.”

Spencer Academies Trust Chief Executive Paul West said: “This has been a big day both for existing Spencer Academies Trust schools and over a thousand new colleagues across Nottingham and Derbyshire. Over the last year our journey as a trust has taken us from ten schools to sixteen, with Ashwood to join the Trust at the end of the month.

“Through considered managed growth in areas of strategic importance and by building relationships between primaries and secondary schools, we are working on giving children and young people access to an outstanding education from the start of their time in school to their choice of onward destination.”

Spencer Chairman Peter Marples said: “it has been an extraordinary year for our family of schools. In June, the prestigious Education Policy Institute found that – assessed against local authorities and other academy chains – Spencer Academies Trust now ranks as the second highest performing trust across the country for primary attainment. A majority of Trust secondary academies recorded their best ever results in 2018, with year on year improvement in progress and attainment.

“Year by year – across our Trust, and from primary to post-16 – hundreds of children and young people are leaving a Spencer Academy better equipped to succeed in the next stage of their educational journey and their lives. The relationships we have confirmed today constitute a significant increase in our capacity across the region and in our ability to deliver against the purpose for which The Spencer Academies Trust was constituted: to make a difference to the life chances of children across the East Midlands.”