CEO Briefing July 2019
Blink and you’ll miss it - academic year 2018-19 is nearly over!!! On the one hand, I can’t believe it’s been and gone. On the other, when I reflect on everything that’s happened across our Trust in the last 12 months, I’m given pause for thought on the many successes we’ve shared as well as the losses we’ve endured.
I think it’s important to start my end of year reflections by remembering those beautiful pupils who sadly passed away this year. Hilltop School lost Jack Burrows in September and Callum Blakemore in January. Both these pupils were in the same class and had been much-loved members of the school community for a number of years. We also lost Jack Ward at Pennine View in December, who died after a short and unexpected illness. Jack was a real character and so very popular with all the staff and pupils at school.
Whilst the passage of time will do nothing to lessen our grief and only make it more familiar to us, I do know that our schools have made sure that we honour the memory of our pupils and that they live on in daily conversations that our children and staff have about them. We have their pictures on display in and around school to remind us of the good friends we’ve lost and to allow us to keep them in our hearts and minds every single day. It is our privilege that their families placed such trust in our schools to care and love them, and for that I am truly grateful. As a parent myself, I know how hard it is for anyone else to care for your child. Jack, Callum and Jack were all loved by their school communities and they always will be, as will their families.
An essential way of honouring our friends is by maintaining the ties that bind us all together, and for our academies that’s by celebrating the success we continue to achieve.
In that vein, I’ll start at the end: it’s been wonderful to see so many of our young people finish their time in our schools in such a celebratory manner. I’ve attended a number of end-of-year events over the past few weeks and it’s been lovely (albeit, a little heart-breaking) to be at leavers’ assemblies where we’ve been treated to some old photos of our learners throughout their times in our schools.
I always think it most fitting when we see our young people walking away without looking back. We know we’ve done the best job we can for them if we’ve helped establish an exciting transition for them for next year and that they have the resilience and independence to be ready for that new start. For almost all our young people, they are genuinely excited about the next phase of their life. We couldn’t wish for more, and in my view that means our staff couldn’t have done a better job.
In addition to our leavers, it’s been a joy to hear from Headteachers about the successful transitions that our pupils have made. Be that new pupils joining our academies or existing pupils moving into their new classes ready for September, it’s been a consistently positive story to tell and we have big, ambitious plans for what we’re going to achieve in 2019/20.
From 1st September: Coppice, Heatherwood and North Ridge will be joining us as associate schools, as a precursor to them academising to join the Trust. These 3 special schools will bring great strength to Nexus MAT and we’re all delighted to be bringing them into our family. We’re also expecting Becton School to join the Trust in the spring of 2020 if not sooner, which will further change our Trust for the better.
Crags have still not converted - the saga of finalising the legal paperwork has frustratingly dragged on throughout this whole academic year, though we are now (cautiously) optimistic that Crags will convert on 1st September. We’ve been working really closely together for the past 18 months so the actual process of academisation won’t have a material impact on the way we work, but it will be a relief to finally get the conversion completed.
I would like to end this final briefing of 2019/20 by thanking the central Trust team, Headteachers and the whole academies workforce for all their efforts this year. The growth of the MAT is a direct result of who and what we are, which in turn is defined by all of you. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve grown, together. I would also like to thank the Members and Directors of the Trust for their challenge and support this year. Their selfless volunteering has made the Trust a better, stronger public authority. I would also like to thank all those who volunteer to be a part of our local governing bodies, as these play an essential role in challenging and supporting our Headteachers to ensure our academies are the best they can be.
Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to Caroline Firth, who is stepping down as a governor at Kelford after an epic 12 year stint, where she has fulfilled her duties brilliantly whilst commuting from Bradford for the majority of her tenure. Caroline will never be forgotten or replaced, and her legacy of excellent governance will continue to inspire us across the Trust to be relentless in our pursuit of the very best. Thank you Caroline, and all the best for the future. You will always be welcome in our academies.
Have a wonderful summer, one and all! Here’s hoping for sun, health and happiness for all of us (and maybe even a Cricket World Cup Win!).
Posted in CEO Briefs on Jul 12, 2019More News