24 Mar

Graham

Three governing body meetings, one regional award, eight gold medals, one visit by a National Leader and another school applying to join our Group……all in a week’s work!!

New Bridge School, Hollinwood Academy and Spring Brook Academy have all had their full governing body meetings this week. The governors have an essential (and at times a thankless) job in monitoring the effectiveness of all our schools. I am aware that some Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) have disbanded their governing bodies. Our MAT sees them as an crucial link between our local community and what we do in school. We spend a huge amount of public money, so being held to account by our local community seems entirely sensible to me.

Some of you will have read the Facebook news that we posted last weekend regarding our Future Finders supported internship programme being awarded the ‘Volunteers of the Year’ in Oldham Community Leisure’s staff awards. Future Finders is now in its second year of operation and its impact for our young people has been tremendous. All of them are involved in either volunteering or working in our communities. I know that Daniel has some amazing news ‘hot off the press’ regarding one of the young people – please keep an eye out for his blog here.

I was delighted on Tuesday to welcome back some very excited young people from the Greater Manchester School Games at the Armitage Centre. I know that at times I am rather competitive and have to remember that taking part is important…..but it is also lovely to win! What made this success particularly special is that the team was made up of children from across all our schools, playing together as one team – well done, everyone (and another gold medal for our cabinet!).

On Wednesday the National Leader from the New Schools Network (NSN) visited us to see how we could work together. The NSN supports the development of free schools across the country and they are exploring how a number of Multi Academy Trusts can work alongside them to ensure we are able to build new special schools across the country. We won’t run them but maybe we can encourage others to bid for and then operate them.

I was amazed when I saw some of the statistics that relate to the growth within our sector. The Council for Disabled Children and the True Colours Trust revealed, in their latest research, that there are now around 73,000 disabled school children (aged 5 to 16) in England who have complex needs – this compares to 49,300 in 2004. Add to this the improved diagnosis for children on the autistic continuum and there is little doubt that we need to ensure we build new schools and further develop provision within the mainstream. Our MAT is delighted to be able to add value to these processes and advise other organisations in any way we can.

This week our trustees agreed to carry out a due diligence on another school to allow them to join our Group. Unfortunately I am not able to name the school at present but I can state that the school has been judged outstanding in its last three inspections, is a National Support School and has a regional reputation for excellence. They will an absolute asset to our Group and they will offer a huge amount of expertise and experience. I will keep you in the loop as I am able to share more information.

Well, that’s about it – all in a week’s work!!!

Have a great weekend,

Graham