There are nine secondary academies within Greenwood Academies Trust, including one all-through academy (3-19). Seven of the academies have Post-16 provision.
Our aim is to ensure that all academies provide the highest quality of education provision, so that all pupils achieve their best outcomes and realise their full potential. We are committed to ensuring that all of our pupils are safe and are equipped with the knowledge skills and confidence to successfully move to their next stage of education, employment or training to empower them to lead happy and successful lives.
Our Secondary Improvement Framework has been designed to deliver sustainable school improvement at scale through the sharing of resources and access to specialists, knowledge and expertise across multiple geographical locations. The ethos of our strategy is one of collective responsibility and our model is built on the premise of collective leadership in order for us to effectively harness our joint capacity. We recognise and respect the diversity and different characteristics of our academies and their communities and believe it is important that they are connected to their own community, establishing their own identity and a curriculum that meets the needs of the local children. We do not therefore operate a one size fits all approach but one of consensual alignment to drive the pace and scale of improvement and help to manage workload and systems efficiency.
We ensure that we appoint the highest quality leaders to the Education Directorate Secondary Team (EDST) who have the necessary skills, breadth of experience and capacity to effectively support academies. The Senior Executive Principal and Executive Principals enhance this structure by each contributing to a Trust wide portfolio or leading across a number of academies, as well as other academy leaders. This flexibility and breadth of opportunities are central to developing leadership expertise to drive and secure rapid improvement as well as to support the retention of our best leaders and staff.
Central to this is also our commitment to professional development with a programme of high-quality professional learning cross phase in response to local, regional and national priorities.
Our ‘Improvement and Support Strategy’ is made up of 3 key elements.
- Assurance boards and specialist and subject networks
- Trust-wide and bespoke academy support activities to address priorities, including professional development and training
- Assurance activities including risk management
Assurance Boards & Networks
These are structured around the basic premise of what we teach, how we teach it and what difference this has made to our pupils, as well as focusing on their wider provision. As we recognise and value the diversity across our academies, our boards develop a range of solutions relevant to the full range of contexts and pupil profiles.
The Education Assurance Board (EAB)
The purpose of the Secondary EAB is to ensure that we provide the best quality learning environment in all of our classrooms, particularly for SEND. Also, that all leaders and teachers are equipped with strategies to help overcome the barriers for those who are considered disadvantaged, including through opportunities to develop their fluency in reading and literacy, numeracy and technological advances. It applies evidenced-informed approaches whilst applying them contextually and intelligently to meet the needs of individual academies. The Effective Principles of Teaching & Learning, constructed by the board set the expectation and overarching framework for this.
The Raising Achievement Board (RAB)
The role of the Secondary RAB is to ensure that all pupils achieve. They are the chief advocates of pupils who are not performing as well as they should. It focuses on the impact of curriculum, teaching and learning and other aspects of academy life to formulate interventions to address underachievement in order to further accelerate outcomes for all pupils. The RAB leads on assessment, providing in-depth analysis of pupils’ achievement in relation to national benchmarks and Trust targets.
The Character Assurance Board (CAB)
The purpose of the Secondary CAB is to ensure that the curriculum and wider provision effectively provides for pupils’ broader personal development, by ensuring that each academy provides support, opportunities and enrichment so that all pupils are equipped, not just with academic knowledge, but with the cultural capital to go on to be successful and happy citizens. The board’s remit also includes attendance and behaviour to ensure that these do not become a barrier to learning and wellbeing.
Specialist and Subject Networks
Networks are a key element of the secondary Improvement Framework to support academies in raising standards. They have been developed within the spirit of the strategy, which is to fully utilise our collective capacity through the collaboration of our middle leaders and external partnerships to accelerate the pace of improvement whilst helping to effectively manage staff workload.
Particularly given the context of the communities we serve, disadvantaged and SEND pupils are a priority to ensure they have the same opportunities and achieve in line with all pupils. Leaders of disadvantage have the opportunity to work together and are also supported by Education Directors to ensure the effectiveness of their Pupil Premium Statement and provision. Leaders of SEND including SENCOs are also able to access support and networks including as part of the SEND Improvement Strategy. Pupils from these groups are considered across the appropriate risk register indicators.
All academies receive both a core entitlement and a bespoke offer from the Education Directorate.
Each Principal is supported by a link Education Director, who is their main, but not only, channel of communication from GAT academies. They provide the Principal with professional challenge and support, help them to evaluate their academy’s performance and identify priorities for improvement and plan effective change.
Each academy has their own Academy Improvement Plan (AIP). This plan addresses the unique challenges facing each academy and reflects where they are on their improvement journey, including actions for improvement from previous inspections. The AIP informs academy improvement support alongside the outcomes of the risk register. As the commissioner of support for their link academies, each Education Director leads on a termly Trust Academy Plan which details bespoke support provided both internally and externally and its impact as well as assurance activities. This is in addition to the core entitlement received by each academy.
Within our strategy, there are a range of mechanisms to enable us to develop a robust, data and evidence informed view of each academy. These are designed to ensure that all stakeholders have an accurate view of standards and to drive change. These processes include our risk management process, data reports and a range of reviews.
We operate an annual cycle of risk management for each academy. The purpose of the Secondary Academy Risk Register is to understand and to identify the risk to each academy’s improvement agenda. This enables the Education Directorate and wider Directorates to be able to commission appropriate levels of support and assurance. Each academy will be given either a Red, Amber or Green RAG rating which is based on a range of factors and agreed with the Principal.
Each academy will also receive a number of reviews, including Performance Dialogues, based on their RAG rating and the outcomes from previous reviews. These are in addition to other assurance activities at academy level. Whilst carried out under a common framework, these activities are bespoke to each academy to focus on their individual priorities and identify strengths as well as areas for development.