I can hardly believe that another academic year has passed. What a year this has been for the Trust. I feel so proud of our learners and staff and I think this edition of The Buzz really does show the vast range of talent in our academies.
Our Values Driven Expectations behaviour model is central to ensuring the highest of standards and creating an excellent climate for learning. When I visit our academies, I am delighted to see learners from all year groups enjoying their lessons and rising to the challenge of Dreaming Big. I am also so pleased to see how learners are co-operating and supporting each other in lessons.
"I am delighted to report an excellent start to the autumn term as we return to our rebranded academies. You will have noticed the smart new signage and the significant building work taking place across the Trust; indeed, we managed to secure almost £5 million of funding to carry out a range of essential works in the schools. This continuing investment will be a key feature of our strategic plan as we move forward."
Dudley Academies Trust, Chief Executive: Jo Higgins has today praised students across the Trust, as they collected their GCSE results. Commenting on the performance of the four schools within the Trust: High Arcal, Castle, Holly Hall and Hillcrest she said: “I’m satisfied that the provisional result are showing that we are moving in the right direction in terms of our transformational agenda. We still have a great deal to achieve but there are some positive signs such as a 10 % increase in higher grades (9-7) in English and mathematics at Holly Hall Academy and a 10% increase overall in mathematics success at Hillcrest. Whilst there was a positive trend across the Academy, no general pattern emerged when it came to individual subjects in each of the four schools. At Castle and Holly Hall learners achieved a 100% pass rates in several subjects including French, whereas at High Arcal learners fared better in German and Drama than the other schools. At Holly Hall there was also a 100% pass rate in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, which was an improvement on last year and 21% of learners in that school achieved the Ebacc qualification which is marginally below the national average.”
Dudley Academy Trust is embarking on a new era of its development with an ambitious new Strategic Plan and a new image for its schools. Starting from September 2018 High Arcal Academy will be known as Beacon Hill Academy, Holly Hall Academy is becoming Pegasus Academy, Hillcrest Academy is changing to The Link Academy and Castle Academy is to be named St James Academy. The names have been developed by students and mark a new exiting time for the four schools.
We are pleased to announce that Mr Landers has been appointed Principal of Holly Hall Academy. Mr Landers has been interim Principal since January 2018. One of his key tasks will be implementing the DAT’s new strategic plan, which was released this week. He said: “I am delighted to be taking up the reins at Holly Hall. I truly believe this is an exciting time for the Academy and for the Trust as a whole. I am fully committed to delivering all of the strategic priorities in our new plan, as I believe the young people of Dudley deserve the very best from their education, which I will work tirelessly with my staff to give them.”
Dudley Academies Trust (DAT) has committed to accelerating the pace of progress in its schools with the publication of its blueprint for change: The Dudley Academies Trust Strategic Plan 2018-2021. The Plan sets out an ambitious transformational agenda for the four schools of Castle High School, High Arcal School, Hillcrest School and Community College and Holly Hall Academy.
Following the publication of an Ofsted report which identifies the overall effectiveness of Holly Hall Academy has “inadequate” the newly formed Dudley Academies Trust (DAT) has committed to accelerating the pace of progress in the school and improving the outcomes for learners. The Trust which took over responsibility for the school in September 2017 was recognised by Ofsted as a source of positive change. The official report praises The Trust commenting: “The newly formed trust has swiftly gained an accurate view of the quality of education in the school. They have acted quickly and there are signs of standards improving.” Inspectors observed that the newly formed board of trustees had “taken swift action to improve outcomes for pupils.” In particular they had seen evidence of the trust making sure resources were available such as the provision of additional support for English and mathematics teaching and the delivery of a bespoke training programme for the school’s leaders.
The newly formed Dudley Academies Trust (DAT), which is under the sponsorship of Dudley College of Technology, has made another key appointment with the engagement of Jo Bull, to the role of Headteacher: High Arcal School. Jo, who is currently Interim Headteacher, will take up the post with immediate effect.
Dudley Academies Trust wishes to hear all views on the proposed new mission and vision statements for the Trust. These will provide the underpinning goals of the Trust and set the future strategic direction.
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