Spencer Academies Trust welcomes John Port Spencer Academy

The Spencer Academies Trust is delighted to welcome John Port School as a full member of the Trust family of schools.

From 1 February 2018, John Port School will be known as John Port Spencer Academy.

John Port is a large academy in the village of Etwall, south of Derby. With over 2,000 students on roll, the school is one of the largest in the country, and includes sixth form provision.

The unique size and catchment of John Port – covering 31 county parishes – has in the past given rise to challenges. In 2017, the school was placed in special measures by Ofsted inspectors, with the report identifying failures in governance, safeguarding and attainment.

The Spencer Academies Trust has been providing support to John Port since the summer, working with an Interim Academy Board chaired by Sir Barry Day.

The concerns raised by Ofsted have been addressed, with actions taken to support the school including:

  • An absolute focus on safeguarding, making sure that safeguarding is effective at every level of the school
  • The appointment of a new Principal, Karen Squire, with a proven track record of taking schools out of special measures and improving outcomes for the young people in her care
  • New appointments across the senior leadership team, including a new Vice Principal, and the creation of an additional Vice Principal post with a focus on behaviour
  • Additional permanent appointments to the teaching staff, boosting expertise in core subjects
  • Regular support from National Leaders of Education, including Spencer Academy Trust Chief Executive Paul West and Director of Secondary Education Fraser Mitchell
  • High quality support and training from school improvement teams, including subject-based partnership support from the Spencer family of schools across the East Midlands
  • A remodelled curriculum, which gives every child the chance to be successful

Actions taken have helped to restore ‘strength and stability’ to leadership, and the Spencer Academies Trust now looks forward to supporting John Port on a journey back to status as an outstanding school, highly regarded within the local community.

Principal Karen Squire has said that she expects trust membership to underpin the work now underway at John Port. Ms Squire said: “We are starting to see real improvement at John Port, including in our results. The signs are good, but there is still a lot to do, and with the support of parents and children, we expect the pace of change to increase in months ahead. We will not rest until John Port becomes a flagship school for Derbyshire – one that we can all be proud of.”

The Chief Executive of The Spencer Academies Trust, Paul West, said: “We are delighted to welcome John Port Academy to our family of schools at The Spencer Academies Trust. Staff at John Port share our commitment to deliver the highest possible standards in our schools, and to ensure that children and young people in Etwall and the surrounding villages receive an exceptional education.”

The Chair of the Board of Directors at The Spencer Academies Trust, Peter Marples, said: “As a high performing regional Trust with a national reputation for excellence, we have high expectations for all Spencer academies. We look forward to supporting John Port as it returns to status as an outstanding school for the local community.’