Spencer Spotlight – July 2022

A Message from our CEO

As we reach the end of what has been yet another busy term and a very positive and productive school year, we are very pleased to share with you our end-of-term newsletter – Spencer Spotlight – full of news and stories about recent activities across the trust.

We are delighted to report impressive academy inspection outcomes and highlight our academies that have been accredited as World Class. In particular, we are also very pleased to have been able to celebrate the launch of our Charitable Foundation, Spencer Superstars, which has been a long-term ambition for the Trust. Next academic year we look forward to receiving nominations for our children and young people to support them in pursuing their passions and following their dreams.

I hope that all of you; our students, our families, and our staff, are looking forward to enjoying some time over the summer with friends and families and I would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support for everyone in our trust, across our family of schools, in everything that they do.

I value incredibly your hard work, your challenge, and the huge individual and collective contribution you make in delivering our mission which is to provide high-quality education and deliver the best possible outcomes to children and young people.

In the coming weeks, we look forward to celebrating exam successes with our Year 11 and Year 13 students and, in the Autumn, we will be able to share with you stories of their achievements and their next destinations.

We are also both incredibly excited and proud to be opening another brand new primary academy in September, named Millside Spencer Academy, which will serve the community of East Leake.

With my very best wishes and wishing you a wonderful summer.

Paul West

Chief Executive


SAT News

John Port Spencer Academy gains Good at first Ofsted inspection

John Port Spencer Academy recently received a turn around Ofsted ‘Good’ grading after their first full section 5 inspection since joining the Spencer Academies Trust following their conversion to academy status in 2018.

Paul West, CEO, ‘We are extremely proud of everyone at John Port Spencer Academy. Karen and the team have done an extraordinary job in receiving good at their first Ofsted inspection since joining the Trust.’

Derby Moor retain strong Ofsted Report

Staff and students at Derby Moor Spencer Academy were pleased to see the final strong report from their recent Ofsted inspection.

After a section 5 inspection it was concluded that Derby Moor Spencer Academy ‘continues to be a good school.’ The inspection captured much more than this overall judgement.

Well done to everyone at Derby Moor Spencer Academy.

Highfields Spencer Academy celebrates official opening

Highfields Spencer Academy celebrated their official opening earlier this month with many dignitaries in attendance.

Pupils from across the academy delivered a special musical performance, which was then followed by an inspiring speech by Artist John Waterhouse, who has been working closely with the academy. Spencer Academies Trust CEO Paul West, and dignitaries Councillor Alex Dale and MP Heather Wheeler also addressed the room to acknowledge the special occasion.

George Spencer Reaccredited World Class Status

Earlier this month George Spencer Academy were re-accredited their World Class Schools Quality Mark at an Awards Ceremony at St Marylebone School. Having successfully passed a rigorous student-led assessment process to prove they have consistently maintained a World Class standard of education since their last accreditation assessment two years ago.

Congratulations to everyone at George Spencer Academy.

Spencer Superstars Day

To mark the Trust’s 10th Anniversary and to help launch our Spencer Superstars Charitable Foundation, all 25 of our academies joined in our very first  ‘Superstars Day’ earlier this term and took part in a range of fundraising activities.

It was great to see all of our academies collectively dressing up, baking cakes and supporting our Foundation.

In total we raised an amazing £13,750.Thank you all for your support.

We can’t wait for next years celebrations.

Trust Parliament visit Matlock

Elected representatives from 14 of our Primary academies, and their staff, joined together at Matlock County Hall to celebrate the importance of democracy and the impact that they can all have on making a difference. Children from Years 1 to 6 were represented and selected from across our primary academies.

Whilst there, the children were introduced to many different Derbyshire County Council Counsellors and saw them at work in a cabinet meeting. The children asked plenty of questions and put the counsellors in the hot seat to learn about their roles and responsibilities.

Spencer Superstars Charitable Foundation officially launched

The Spencer Superstars Charitable Foundation was officially launched at our Inaugural Spring Ball on the 28th of May, raising a collective of £41,617. Hosted by Gem 106 presenter Jo Russell, over 200 partners and staff members attended the launch ball at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel and Spa.

The evening was opened by Nottingham-born Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, followed by an introduction to the Foundation, live auctions, raffles and music from Re-Take That.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far.

Celebrations for George Spencer Academy SCITT

We are extremely pleased to share that George Spencer Academy SCITT have been successful in their reaccreditation bid for the delivery of the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme, leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) from September 2024 onwards.

This was an extremely challenging process within a short timeframe – we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our partners who were part of this process, especially our SCITT partner schools, Lead Mentors and delivery partners.

SAT awarded World Class Status

Spencer Academies Trust is delighted to announce that we have been accredited as a ‘World Class MAT’ by the World Class Charitable Organisation.

This new accreditation has been rolled out in accordance with the quality of our students.

MAT’s leading the rollout have one or more schools already accredited as a ‘World Class School’.

Spencer Academies Trust granted EPAO Status

SAT are excited to share the launch of our End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). As an Apprenticeship Training Provider, we bring our passion and expertise to this new venture.

As an End Point Assessor, we are pleased to be able to work with Teacher Apprentices across our region and support the ITT providers as an End Point Assessment Organisation.’

Secondary Snapshot

Heanor Gate Spencer Academy

Heanor Gate Spencer Academy are immensely proud of their recent Ofsted report and despite it being a Section 8 inspection, meaning that the overall judgement of the school could not change immediately, it was recognised that the school could have been judged outstanding if had they been inspected under section 5. The report is recognition of the relentless focus and determination shown by everyone involved in the academy’s journey for the past 5 years.

Aside from Ofsted, the academy was shortlisted for the Community Engagement Initiative award at the National TES awards on Park Lane in London. The award recognised their support for the local community with their provision of Christmas hampers.

Academically their students are thriving and are really reaping the rewards of their  ‘Step Up’ initiative. Students have worked tirelessly through the first exam period since 2019 to give themselves the best chance of success. They are also proud to share that two year 13 students have been awarded deserved places at the University of Oxford.

Post-pandemic they have seen a return of all their major events. This year’s Heanor Fest was bigger than ever, with 3 stages hosting dance, drama and musical performances from students across all year groups. They have seen the return of their school show, this year a lively performance of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Students relished the opportunity to not only sing, dance and act together, but also demolish a chocolate cake on stage.

Their Summer Celebration Evening in July gave them the chance to praise 145 students for their work ethic over this year. Many of these students had overcome significant barriers to their learning thanks to their inspirational can-do attitude. As well as celebrating the students’ success, a number of staff prizes were also awarded.

They have also seen the introduction of a new event. This year, the academy hosted their first Visual Arts Exhibition, to promote the incredible work produced by their students.

In other exciting news they celebrated the Spencer Academies Trust 10 year anniversary with their contribution towards the ‘Spencer Superstars’ launch on 13 May 2022. Staff and students’ elaborate superstar fancy dress was something to behold and their extravaganza in the afternoon managed to raise a brilliant £2,500 for the charity.

In a true reflection of the academy’s improvement over recent years, they have confirmed a September intake of 270 students. This surpasses any previous years and has uplifted them from an 8-form entry to 10. These children spent 3 full days familiarising themselves with the school recently, culminating in a sports day.

A final really proud achievement for the academy came back in February where they took every child out on a school trip at absolutely no cost to the students. It was important for them to remember that the pandemic restricted children’s social and emotional interactions. This was their way of trying to consciously recognise that.


A Note from Fraser

Summer is here!

Wishing a wonderful summer holiday to students, parents and staff at all of our eight secondary academies.

It’s been a busy term but there’s been lots to celebrate – not least of which are three glowing Ofsted Reports for John Port Spencer, Derby Moor Spencer and Heanor Gate Spencer. Huge congratulations to each of those academies – it’s a tribute to the fantastic work going on there.

It’s been great to see our students enjoying a wide array of extra curricular opportunities this term – from sports day to musicals; to local, national and international trips. This side of our educational offer is something we’ve worked hard to restore and it is great to see so many of our students enjoying it.

Our Year 11s and Year 13s have the nervous wait for their examination results – we know they have all given it everything and please rest assured our academy teams will be there on hand to support them every step of the way come results day.

So have a lovely well-earned break – we look forward to seeing you in August and September.

Best wishes,



Primary Focus

The Mease Spencer Academy

It’s been a fantastic summer term at The Mease and, as they approach the holidays, it’s time to REFLECT on all that they have achieved. They are now at the end of their third year – and it’s been a busy one!  They currently have 80 children (110 in September!) and 15 members of staff. Their REFLECT curriculum, with its three elements based on Tom Sherrington’s Learning Rainforest, is really taking shape:

Establishing the Conditions – Developing positive mental health and wellbeing form the riverbed of their approach and are linking to their REFLECT values. They have focused too on developing meta-cognition strategies through teacher modelling, live feedback and time to REFLECT on what and how children have learnt.

Building the Knowledge Structure – Their curriculum is driven by their subject leader teams to ensure that learning is sequenced and tailored to meet the needs of their children.

Exploring the Possibilities – Enrichment days and school trips create wow moments and spark curiosity at The Mease. They love to explore their local environment and feel so privileged to have beautiful woodland walks on their doorstep and their Forest Schools programme has given them so many opportunities to be outdoors! They now have 9 clubs with more coming in September.

Their Measey Movers (dance club) went along to their first festival at Rosliston Forestry Centre and danced on stage in front of an audience of 400 people, their gymnasts have taken part in the Key Steps competition and they’re proud of their Football team who won a trophy in their very first competition!

It’s been a term of firsts:

  • To celebrate Spencer Superstars Day, they enjoyed their very first Mease has Talent competition!  The winner was a magician from Reception class who blew them away with his tricks!
  • In June they enjoyed their first REFLECT day where they had fun participating in activities linked to their core REFLECT values: Resilience, Enjoyment, Family, Life-Long Learning, Everyone Achieving, Communication and Trust. This will now become a termly tradition!
  • At the beginning of July, they enjoyed their first Arts Week and shared their masterpieces at their Art Exhibition.  The children were so proud to see the red dots on their art work to show that it had been sold.


Principal Julia Hart, said ‘We are proud to be called an Attachment and Relationships Aware School following a year long programme delivered by Derbyshire Virtual School. The first logo to add to our letterhead!  Relationships are at the heart of everything we do at The Mease – we want children to feel loved and looked after – and staff too!

We’re now getting ready for Year 3 and can’t wait to welcome our new children and families in September into the Measey family as we go into our fourth year! It’s fab to be growing!

Wishing everyone a great summer from us all at The Mease.


Catering Update

Congratulations to Chetwynd Spencer Academy for being this term’s star baker.

Another year is nearly over which saw Castleward Spencer Academy and St Giles Spencer Academy join us. We have introduced new menus across our academies, and although it’s been a challenging year with global inflation we have managed to produce healthy compliant menus. All our primary academies had jubilee-themed picnics, the Queen even graced Chetwynd Spencer Academy with a visit.

Millside Spencer Academy will be joining us in September, we look forward to working with them and the new catering manager.

Have a good summer break!

Tanya & Nicky


A few words from Angela

We have finally made it to the end of a very busy year. Despite the challenges we have faced it has been a joy to see the children in school getting back to learning in a fun, exciting and more ‘normal’ way.

Schools are full of energy again bursting with personality and it has been such an honour to walk around the classrooms to talk to children and immerse in their enthusiasm. The children have had the chance to get back out on trips again, have interesting visitors in schools and showcase collectively their creative talents. These experiences are key to our commitment to delivering a broad curriculum.

This doesn’t happen by accident; it takes many people within a school to make the magic happen. Some of these sit quietly behind the scenes and some you see every day greeting the children. I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of them for their dedication and talents. I also want to thank the Principals who have worked tirelessly to overcome whatever challenge or barrier has been put in front of them from Covid to heatwaves. They have been an amazing group of professionals to work with and have led with courage and commitment.

It has been a delight to watch our two new schools, Castleward Spencer and Clover Leys Spencer, settle into their first year of operation and integrate into a new community. Our latest family member, Millside Spencer, will be opening in September based in East Leake. We can’t wait to welcome you all.

We have had very positive inspections this year in Portland Spencer and Inkersall Spencer and some real success stories of progress and achievements across all the academies. Using this knowledge, and with even more determination, we aim to hit the ground running in September. We are planning more opportunities to work with other Spencer schools and ensure that our work and focus gives every child the chance to achieve their potential.

For now, I wish you all some quality time with your family and friends and time to recharge the batteries.

Thank you,



Estates Update

Summer Projects

This summer we are working our way through £2.4M for projects Trust wide, these are varied from full strip out and rewire of buildings, replacing heating service along with decoration and supporting additional play facilities. Your site manager will be playing an active part in running these projects supported by the Facilities and H&S team.

Millside Spencer Academy

With the planned opening of our new primary school in September, a lot of work has taken place behind the scenes such as furniture orders, new site team, setting up the systems, and all of this will be in temporary units for year 1, moving into a brand-new building September 2023.


We are focusing on sustainability Trust wide this year, with the support of a Sustainability committee, we will be rolling out guidance to help support schools develop their own sustainability plan. This will all link in with education as well as the estates plan for the next 3-5 years where we are going to focus on making sure our buildings are up to the best standard we can, such as insulation, new roofs, double glazing and ensuring heating replacements can be as low carbon as financially possible.

In addition to the above, some fantastic news that the Rushcliffe Eco Club have gained reaccreditation as an Eco School with Green Flag Award, but also with additional Merit! It was quite a substantial application that the students had to complete this time with lots of evidence, which the year 12 ambassadors were a massive help with. A comment from “Eco Schools” said “It’s wonderful that you have appointed such a large Eco-Committee. This shows your school’s excellent commitment to both the programme and the eco-cause”.

Brackensdale Spencer Academy

DfE funding of £835,00.00 was approved in April of 2021 for improvements to the buildings and teaching spaces. Phase 1 of the project, was completed during summer of 2021, resulting in 70% of flat roofs having additional insulation added together with new waterproof layer, repairs to brickwork and all lighting being replaced with energy efficient LED fittings.

Phase 2 of the project is underway to replace all the heating, electrical distribution and wiring in both the Infants and Junior buildings. Also, during this summer, over 320 Metres of security fencing will be installed around the site to control access, and improve safeguarding. Using EIG grant funding for the improvement of outside play areas, supported by some further trust funding, 3 playground spaces will be created together with covered outdoor learning space.

Project 2310

Project 2310 is a strategic masterplan to increase the school net capacity to 2310 pupils by 2024/25 at Rushcliffe Spencer Academy. This massive project has been in development for several years, work has started on site this summer.

The work involves demolishing the former Rushcliffe Leisure Centre, building a large new block to accommodate PE, Catering, English, Food and Textiles teaching; remodelling the 1960s CLASP Blocks (imaginatively named “A” and “B” blocks) to optimise accommodation in order to deliver the curriculum to what will be 12 forms of entry and an expanded sixth form, an eco “heart” landscaped area, and an additional all-weather pitch. Car parking and bus parking will also be optimised.

Funding has been awarded for preliminary enabling works (Leisure Centre demolition, new electricity substation, re-cabling mains supply to other blocks. Planning permission is due in July for the main works, which will then allow a funding agreement to be concluded and a main works contract entered in to. The major works should start on site in September with building handover in Spring 2024.



The team would like to share a big thank you to all staff and schools for supporting any of our strands of work, from the GSA SCITT and the Spencer TSH, to the Maths Hub, Research School and Spencer Apprenticeships. We value your support and being able to work in partnership with you. Find below our most recent bulletins, newsletters and other opportunities with the SALT teams on quick links below. Have a fabulous break all!

Spencer Teaching School Hub Bulletins
Derby Research School Bulletins
Appropriate Body Summer Newsletter
Spencer Apprenticeships Summer Newsletter
Maths Hub East Midlands West Newsletters


Vacancies & Events


For the latest vacancies across our academies and trust please visit: Spencer Academies Trust Careers


Upcoming Events

Events to acknowledge in the upcoming term:

  • Zero Waste Week- 5th-9th September
  • International Day of Literacy- Thursday 8th September
  • Jeans for Genes- 19th- 25th September
  • International Day of Peace- Wednesday 21st September
  • Rosh Hashanah 25th-27th September
  • European Day of Languages- Monday 26th September
  • October Black History Month
  • World Space Week- 4th- 11th October
  • Yom Kippur- Monday 4th October
  • World Teachers Day- Wednesday 5th October
  • Sukkot Jewish Holiday- Sunday 9th October
  • World Mental Health Day- Monday 10th October