WIGSTON ACADEMY END OF TERM TRUST REPORT:
Dear Parents and Carers,
The last term has been the most turbulent in Wigston’s secondary education for a very long time. This is no surprise: two merging high schools; age range change; multiple building works; legacy decisions made before I took up my post and a new Headteacher, as well as a new Executive Headteacher make for a lot of change. Now that I have had a term as Executive Headteacher, I write to you with a report on where we are with our school. There is much that is good but there is too much that is not yet good enough and I want to reassure you that I am aware of what needs to improve and have clear and detailed plans to implement improvements speedily.
It has been a privilege to join the Trust this year. I believe in our children and I believe in the aims of the Trust: to transform education in Wigston for the better for a generation. I have enjoyed meeting you and especially enjoyed meeting the Academy’s young people. I will use all of my experience as a Headteacher who has raised schools’ OFSTED categories; my experiences of leading wholesale school change in several settings and my experiences as a practising OFSTED inspector to bring this about for them.
The following table shows where there are areas that have needed attention and demonstrate what I have asked leaders to do about them.
|Years 7 and 8 based at Site A and not using Site B and the reverse for Years 9 and 10.
This is a legacy decision and was planned to run for the year. It has caused several issues with behaviour and has sometimes interrupted the flow of effective teaching. It also split departments across two sites and has unnecessarily added to the workload of teachers and other adults. Just as importantly, it has separated friends in different year groups.
|All students in all years will use all parts of the building
All students will be free to mix with each other at lunch and break times
Departments will be back together in one area of the school so that students move to lessons
|January 4th 2017||Students will finally be able to own their school and feel part of all of it
Students will be able to mix with their friends across the year groups
Teachers will be able to ensure smooth entrance and dismissal of students from lessons
Teachers will work in their own classroom and departments will be able to take greater ownership of their areas which will contribute to good behaviour management
|The timetable is poor and has far too many split groups, especially in lower years.
This is also a legacy I inherited.
|I have been able to undertake a partial re-timetabling for the school||January 4th 2017||Re-timetabling has greatly reduced groups with multiple teachers and has minimised the impact of split classes through better organisation
Now that departments are back in separate areas, all students will see the same teacher in the same classroom each time
|There are too many supply teachers at the Academy.
The Academy had several vacancies in September when I started and this has been exacerbated by staff illness (some of which has been life threatening).
|I have been able to appoint staff in Maths, English and Science. These are high quality appointments and their impact will be quickly seen. I have further work to do in Science, where Science teachers have been difficult to recruit (this is a national problem)||January 4th 2017 and ongoing||All staff appointed have recent relevant and successful GCSE experience and will contribute to raising standards
We are now fully staffed in English and maths
|There have not been enough senior leaders to respond to the Academy’s development needs.
I inherited few senior leaders and, whilst they are skilled individuals, their reduced number has hindered the pace of development.
|I have made two external Vice Principal appointments, with one having the sole responsibility to improve student outcomes
I have also appointed two Assistant Principals, one of whom will have responsibility for staff development
|January 4th 2017||The flow of performance data to parents and students will be more regular and better explained
Departments will be able to more rigorously challenge under -performance and highlight excellent performance
|Late running building works.
Building work was already considerably late running when I started at the Trust.
|I have authorised a delay to the new conference centre and staff room (at the front of the building) so that the physical link between buildings and the new whole school dining hall can be completed for the Spring term||January 4th 2017||Students will be able to move about all areas of the academy freely
All students will be able to use the new dining hall and have access to the full range of high quality food
My vision for Wigston’s secondary education is clear. I believe that Wigston is entitled to an outstanding secondary school and sixth form so that the town’s young people are job and life ready. I want them to be happy and capable individuals able to acquire skills quickly and without undue stress so that they can compete in the world market. Our young people’s confidence and happiness are, for me, just as important as exam success and I believe profoundly that the first two factors are what drive academic performance.
I will write to you in the New Year with details of further changes that I have put in place. I am also looking forward to inviting you to see the Academy at work during the day so you can see how our children are doing and also have a look at the new parts of the building. This will likely be in March when the windows and building work is finally at an end. I have also asked leaders at the school to keep you better informed as to what your children are learning each half term and I look forward to this being sent regularly so you can more easily help your children with their work.
Finally, OFSTED will publish its report on the latest monitoring visit at the Wigston College shortly. It will be a good report which describes the positive impact the Trust and its new leadership has had on the pace of improvement. I will write to you when it is published.
I wish you all a safe, prosperous and, above all, happy holiday. Term starts for students at 8.25am on Wednesday 4th January 2017.