MET Matters July 2019

From the CEO

This year has been a truly successful one for our Trust. Our two secondary schools, Impington and Witchford Village Colleges have gone from strength to strength under the excellent leadership of their two Principals, Ryan Kelsall and Dan Baxby. Our community and sport provision, MET-Living, has enjoyed another successful year increasing membership and participation, alongside creating a hub for Cambridgeshire netball – with the England team’s success in recent weeks, this should see even more players involved in this rejuvenating sport.  Our project to open a special school for children with autism has (finally) progressed; the appointed contractors, McAvoy’s, are based in Northern Ireland and it will see most of the school constructed in their factory before assembly on the site at Impington. Our plans go to South Cambs District Council soon and we hope to be able to see groundwork commence in early 2020.

For the past four months, I have been Interim Head of Burwell Village College Primary, an immensely rewarding experience and one, which has given me a real insight into the leadership and management of primary education. Whilst it is true that there is some similarities between running a school (regardless of the age of the children), there are fundamental differences. The experience will be of even greater importance with the announcement that the governing body of Girton Glebe Primary School has voted to join MET; the first primary school to do and we very much hope they will be the first of a number to make this decision. Our Trust vision is to grow a family of schools who are united by their shared ethos and values for education.

We wish everyone across and beyond the MET family, an enjoyable and relaxing summer.

Robert Campbell

Chief Executive Officer

Morris Education Trust


News and updates

Witchford Village College (WVC)

Dan Baxby has now been in place as the Principal for his first full academic year and has led the school through change and transformation.  There have been many pleasing improvements made to the school, including updating many of the classrooms and social areas for the students, improving behaviour and attendance and making several key staff appointments.  School improvements continue to be secured and there have been several successful bids for funds to enable changes to be made.  The school has also been successful in its application to the Arts Council to secure Artsmark Gold, which recognises the commitment of a school to Arts and creativity across the curriculum.  Applications to join the school in Year 7 have risen sharply and we now expect 160 children to join the school this September – undoubtedly a testament to the hard work and commitment of the team at WVC.

Impington Village College (IVC)

Staff at IVC have so much cause to celebrate.  They have had a very successful year having achieved ‘Transforming’ Status in both Principled Curriculum Design and Quality Assurance, from the Schools, Students and Teachers Network, securing its place as one of the leading schools in the UK in these areas. Impington has also recently been awarded the Gold Status of the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award for Schools, the first school in Cambridgeshire to pick up the award which recognises the value school places on the wellbeing of its staff and students. Simon Warburton, Assistant Principal who has done so much to lead in this area, had the honour of collecting the award.

The college has enjoyed another year of excellent results for the IB students attending the Impington International Sixth Form, with 95% of the cohort passing the challenging academic Diploma Programme and securing an average points score of 33 (equivalent to ABB at A Level). These results come on the back of an outstanding five-year evaluation of the sixth form in April, where the IB heaped praise on the ethos and values that shine across the college.

Fittingly, its Principal, Ryan Kelsall, was nominated for Secondary School Headteacher of the Year in the National Teaching Awards and received an award for his achievements in improving the school over the past three years.

MET Living

MET Living continues to offer integral support within the local community. Memberships to suit all ages and abilities are available whether you are looking for a long-term commitment to a sports centre or something more casual.  Focus has been on continual improvement to deliver programmes which the community and customers want.

We are excited to announce that we have been successful in securing funding from Sport England for a grant of £60K to develop the netball courts at Impington.  A planning application will be submitted for this project shortly and we hope the work will take place early 2020.  At Witchford we are exploring the possibility of a 25m pool and a host of other improvements.

From September, there are big changes within the world of Adult Education. Cambridgeshire Council has withdrawn its funding from almost all adult programmes and it will be up to centres locally to determine what courses and activities are on offer. A new programme of Community Learning has just been launched which will commence in September; places are now available to be booked for almost 120 different courses, being delivered from both IVC and WVC.  The updated course programme includes new art and craft classes with new tutors and more family workshops than before.  Look out for the brochures due out shortly.

Morris Teaching School Alliance (MTSA)

The TSA has had an incredibly successful year, training teachers, developing existing staff and supporting other schools.  Some of the highlights are:

  • 22 trainee teachers recruited for 2019/20
  • DfE funded ‘Powerful Words Project’ up and running in 22 primary schools across East Cambs and Fenland, with further professional development being rolled out to more schools next year
  • 85 days of professional development delivered this year, including for Early Career Secondary School teachers; a rapid reading intervention programme; Teaching Assistant training; Leading a Mentally Healthy School training; PSHE programmes; and KS2 assessment and moderation training.
  • 32 days of School to School support delivered by National and Specialist Leaders of Education
  • Working with 53 schools from across 10 school clusters in Cambridgeshire

Beth Morrish, MTSA’s excellent Director, is leaving at the end of this academic year and will go on to join the new school at Northstowe as its first Assistant Principal.  Beth and her team have continued to do some fantastic work since the formation of MTSA and we wish her every success in the future.

The Cavendish School (TCS)

We continue to expect to open the doors of this exciting new school to students in September 2021.  As reported by the CEO above, there has been a great amount of work undertaken for this project since Easter, with the confirmation of McAvoys as the contractor for developing the school.  Plans for the school are almost ready for submission to planners and a consultation evening was held at the beginning of July that gave interested parties an opportunity to see what the building may look like using 3D VR technology.

If you would like further information about the plans for the Cavendish School, please visit our website or send your questions to hello@tmet.org.uk.

And finally….

After a long and thorough consultation, Girton Glebe has passed its resolution to start the process to join MET. The 200-pupil school has flourished under its Headteacher of the past three years, Drew Simpson, securing a ‘Good’ judgement from Ofsted and achieving its highest-ever KS2 results this summer. The school will bring this excellence and ethos to the Trust who in turn will work in partnership with the governing body to create an even stronger sustainable future. The vision for MET was always about growing a family of schools that represented all phases and settings of education and this decision by Girton grows the Trust to four schools. We very much hope that other like-minded schools will follow Girton and engage with MET about the merits and benefits of joining.

If you have any questions about MET or have information to share, please get in touch with Jenna Bickley, Business Support Manager on jbickley@tmet.org.uk.