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Bridge Academy Trust

Letter from CEO to parents - January 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

As the Chief Executive Officer for Bridge Academy Trust, of which your child’s School is a part of, I wanted to give you a brief update of the work we have been doing this academic year.  Although formed some years ago, Bridge Academy Trust has only recently in the last year or so been a truly ‘Multi’ Academy Trust (MAT), now comprising of eight schools.  There are four schools in Chelmsford and four in Ongar – 2 secondary( Moulsham High; The Ongar Academy) and 6 primary phase schools ( Chipping Ongar Primary; High Ongar Primary; Mildmay Infants; Mildmay Junior; Oaklands Infant; Ongar Primary).

 

Although the term ‘MAT’ is what we are called in the educational world, I think a better, and more accurate term is that we are a ‘Charitable Schools Trust’.  We are the organisation now (previously the Local Authority) accountable for the academic standards/outcomes for your children, and for all school funds across the Bridge Academy Trust schools.  I am delighted to inform you as parents/carers that in times of educational hardship, financially, Bridge Academy Trust has managed its finances well and we have processes in place to ensure that we continue to be financially stable.  As for outcomes across the Trust, as a collective, I can report to you the following:

 

Phase

Bridge Academy Trust schools (collective)

Early Years Foundation Stage

Yr 2 SATs Combined (Expected)

Yr 2 SATs Combined (Greater depth)

Yr 6 SATs Combined (Expected)

Yr 6 SATs Combined (Greater depth)

GCSE Basics (Eng & Maths combined) at 5+

GCSE Basics (Eng & Maths combined) at 4+

Attainment 8 (All subjects)

Progress 8 (All subjects)

A Level Qualifications (A*-B, A*-C, A*-E grades)

Post 16 Vocational Qualifications

Above the national average

Significantly above the national average

Significantly above the national average

At the national average

Above the national average

Significantly above the national average

Significantly above the national average

Significantly above the national average

Well above the national average

All Significantly above the national average

Significantly above the national averages

 

So, in our initial couple of years together, we have been very successful and, of course, our intention is to further build upon this.  Our core purpose has been agreed as; High quality continuity of every child’s journey through education from 3-19, and a community and school-led school improvement system.  Working with our stakeholders, we have developed a 5 year Strategic Plan to achieve a number of objectives, which myself and the Trustees are responsible for, which can be found on our website www.bridgeacademytrust.org.

 

Our approach to supporting the schools and school leaders with school improvement is through access to high quality resources and information and through the development of staff to improve the quality of classroom practice in every classroom in every school within the Trust.  From listening to parents, a key priority is having a great teacher in every classroom and we are committed to this approach.  Every child deserves this and no less.  We have put in place a range of coaching, networking and professional development support for staff at all stages of their careers –from newly qualified staff to Headteachers.  All of the Headteachers meet regularly and it is so exciting to work with so many great leaders and to see the development of potential/future leaders too.

 

Alongside coaching for senior and middle leaders, we have flexible central staff who can provide direct support when required. Our network groups, which have staff from every school, meet termly, and currently we have groups for English/Literacy; Mathematics/Numeracy; SEND; Science.  These are opportunities for staff to hear first-hand the best practice, have time to discuss how to implement new ideas and then share back at their own schools with their own staff so that our children receive the best and most up-to-date delivery.  We also

ensure that schools come together to review whole school practice, and to moderate/quality assure their work so we know, with confidence, that the children are making good progress.  I am very much looking forward to bringing together all of the staff from our schools on Valentine’s Day for a joint training day.  We have been able to provide new or promoted roles to 18 members of staff with numerous others leading sessions for staff, developing their own practice and development.  This shows the value we have for our staff within Bridge Academy Trust.

 

On occasions we can also access funding that schools otherwise could not, and this year we have been able to centrally fund several projects for our schools.  To give you a flavour of what we have been able to fund, these include:

  • Coaching programmes for middle and senior leaders  
  • SEND Reviews and training for staff   
  • Climate Teacher status development   
  • NPQH Leadership Courses for future leaders   
  • Literacy Intervention worker  
  • SEND support work   
  • A Family support Worker    
  • Forest School development   
  • Character Education development  
  • PSHE across a number of schools  
  • Specific Maths training for staff   
  • Phonics strategy and resources for schools   
  • Resources across subjects.

 

Trustees continue to be keen to have a local focus on ‘Governance’, which now primarily focuses on the provision for the school and for its community.  Parents or local residents can still be, and we would fully encourage you to be, local governors.  There will be a flier coming out very soon about how to become a local governor and what this entails.  It would be great to have a list of people who are interested in finding out more about becoming a Governor and I would encourage you to make contact, however informally at this stage, with our clerk, Aishia Jeffries on clerk@bridgeacademytrust.org

 

I shall, of course, be in communication with you as we continue our work across and for our schools moving forwards, but, for now I would like to thank you for your continuing support for your child’s school and hope you have a wonderful start to the new decade.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mark Farmer

Chief Executive Officer

Bridge Academy Trust

 

 

Bridge Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 07663795.

Registered Office: c/o Moulsham High School, Brian Close, Chelmsford, CM2 9ES.

           
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