CET and MET Merger

20 March 2020

Dear staff, governors, parents, carers and students,

The trustees of the Morris Education Trust have been in dialogue with those of the
Cambridgeshire Educational Trust, about a proposal to merge our Trusts. We are writing to you now to share our reasons for proposing this, describe the process, and invite you to contribute.

What is being proposed?

CET (which includes Chesterton Community College and Downham Market Academy) and MET (which includes Impington Village College and Witchford Village College) are both small multiacademy trusts in North Cambridge, with a strong track record of excellence. We are proposing that we merge CET and MET to form an enlarged multi-academy trust. The Chief Executive of the merged trust will be Lucy Scott, currently CEO of CET, Ryan Kelsall, principal of IVC, will be deputy CEO.

Why is the proposal attractive? Why now?

The discussions between the trustees are the result of collaboration and a deepening
relationship between Chesterton Community College and Impington Village College that began in 2017. The reason for thinking about it now is that Rob Campbell, after thirteen years as principal of IVC and then CEO of MET, is fully relocating to Cumbria this summer.
As the discussions between the trustees progressed it became apparent to all of us that the combination of our schools and resources would create an organisation that could significantly enhance the quality of education provided for all students in our trusts. For example, we could offer a broader curriculum and enhanced student support services; and we would cover a geographically coherent area to the north of Cambridge.

What is the process that will be followed?

Before any merger can go ahead we will follow a series of steps to ensure that the decision is carefully considered and that the views of stakeholders have been taken into account:

• The trustees of both CET and MET must carry out due diligence.
• The Regional Headteacher Board, chaired by the Regional Schools Commissioner, must
agree.
• We will carry out a consultation with stakeholders, including staff, governors, parents
and students, during April.
• We hope to make a final decision in time for any new arrangements to be in place for the upcoming academic year, which starts in September 2020.

The great strength of our schools is the skill and professionalism of our staff and governors, and the commitment and engagement of our students and their parents. To be really successful, a merger needs the informed support of all these stakeholders.
The trustees are conscious that this is a stressful and uncertain time for families and staff alike and did consider delaying the merger process. However, the advantages of being able to start the new academic year with the merger complete, and the benefits that this will provide to students’ education, outweigh the challenges.
In normal times we would have held a series of face-to-face meetings to allow all stakeholders to ask questions and provide feedback, but this is not possible under the present circumstances. Instead we have set up a website (www.cet.tmet.org.uk) with a comments section where you can ask questions and provide feedback. Those questions and the trustees’ responses will be visible to everyone accessing the website.

 

Yours sincerely

Martin Rigby

Chair of Morris Education Trust

Alan Rodger

We are very sad to announce that on Friday 3 January, Alan Rodger, former governor and Chair at IVC and founding Trustee of MET, died peacefully at home. Alan served us for more than 25 years and was a devoted and wonderful advocate for our organisations. He was a deeply respected man whose impact was felt way beyond MET schools. He served wonderfully on Cambridgeshire’s Schools Forum, supported other schools’ governance and lobbied tirelessly for improvements to funding for our authority. He was also a formidable intellect who understood so well the challenges faced in our schools. He will very much be missed by us here at MET, within our schools and in the wider educational community.

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.

MET Matters November 2018

From the CEO

We have marked our second anniversary as a multi-academy trust as MET came into legal existence on 31 October 2016 and at that stage consisted solely of Impington Village College. It was a bold endeavour to form a new MAT for Cambridgeshire, when there were already some excellent and well-established local trusts. Over the past two years we have grown to include Witchford Village College and, in development, The Cavendish School, Cambridgeshire’s first dedicated special school for children with autism. Alongside this we have formed the Morris Teaching School Alliance which came into existence last November and is flourishing under the team led by Beth Morrish, our Director. Our distinct ethos and values are attracting genuine and keen interest from other schools who are considering in prospectively joining MET. If you think this might apply to you, we are very happy to hear from similarly-minded schools. Please contact me on rcampbell@tmet.org.uk

When we established MET our vision was indeed to develop a family of schools that are individual in character – respecting the autonomy of our different institutions whilst finding commonality of purpose around our three goals:

  • Building a better world through education
  • Ensuring excellence as standard for all
  • Creating strength through community

Our aim is to find the perfect balance between respecting individuality whilst gaining more through the familial bonds that we have in common. Too many Trusts look to standardise and prescribe how to do things. For MET, autonomy is assumed.

Our aims were to ensure that our Trust represents all phases and settings. We currently include secondary and with the building of TCS, that will extend into primary and special education, something we are very excited by. Our work with The Morris Teaching School Alliance has demonstrated so strongly that schools (no matter the type or context) have so much in common and can learn from each other.

I am hugely proud and privileged to be the first CEO of MET and have this opportunity to develop an ethical and compassionate trust for Cambridgeshire.

Robert Campbell

Chief Executive Officer

Morris Education Trust


News and updates

Witchford Village College (WVC)

The new Senior Leadership Team is now in place at WVC led by Dan Baxby (Principal) and is palpably generating a more positive and purposeful ethos; it already looks and feels a wholly different school, with a strong focus on uniform, behaviour and attendance, alongside the broader challenge of raising aspirations across the whole community. There are new and vibrant teaching spaces for all to access and the welcome that visitors now receive through the revamped main door is a clear signal of the new direction for WVC. The news of this change is out and the Open Evening was very well attended, with those coming to the college marvelling at the difference in the look and feel of the place.

Impington Village College (IVC)

Building on its successes from 2016 and 2017, IVC enjoyed outstanding IB and very strong GCSE results; there were also excellent BTEC outcomes (a programme that is strengthening year on year within the Sixth Form) and pleasing A Level grades from the penultimate small cohort of that qualification. Key headlines were:

  • 96% pass-rate for the IB Diploma (80% across the globe) with an average points score of 33.7, with 8 students achieving over 40 points and two of these (both IVC ‘homegrown’) securing the maximum 45 points, a standard only 0.5% across the globe reach
  • 74% of students gained the new ‘Basics’ measure at GCSE with 80% of students achieving 4+ in Maths and 85% in English and 43% of all grades achieved were at 7+ and 30% of all grades achieved were at Grade 8/9
  • Very impressively,15% of all grades achieved were the new Grade 9

September saw the launch of the new Creativity, Action Service (iCAS) curriculum which sees all students (from Year 7 to Year 13) learning and working together on self-selected areas of interest. Examples include knitting, horticulture, creative writing and coding. It is a wonderful addition to the college’s culture.

MET Living

MET Living has successfully grown to include both Witchford and Impington Sports Centres and now incorporates Adult Learning and Community, creating a very strong ‘non-school’ team focused on ensuring our village colleges continue to reflect the ethos of Henry Morris, who we are named after. Over 100 programmes are offered across the two sites, ensuring that adults, as well as young people, are able to access and benefit from the village colleges.

Morris Teaching School Alliance (MTSA)

Morris Teaching School Alliance has had tremendous success in its first year of operation, securing funding from East Cambs & Fenland Opportunity Area to deliver a range of projects within our partner schools:

  • We have been awarded over £300,000 in total for three different projects
  • Two projects focus on strengthening the effectiveness of mental health support for young people within their schools
  • One project focuses on accelerating the progress of disadvantaged children and young people in the acquisition and development of communication, language and reading
  • Twenty four schools in total are involved in the three projects (six secondary and eighteen primary)

Indeed the main project (funded from the DfE) was one of only two across the whole of the Eastern region to be successful in bidding. We have additionally secured £20k funding from Sport England to work on a project with IVC to raise the profile of PE and Sport across the school in order to support whole school improvement.

The Cavendish School (TCS)

After frustrating delays from the Department for Education, the plans to build and open TCS, our special free school for children with autism, are beginning to take greater shape.

Our recent Discussion Forum looking at ‘Educational environments for children and young people with autism’ brought together researchers, professionals and the local community for a successful and inspirational afternoon of sharing ideas, investigating the latest research and sharing our plans for TCS. We plan to hold more events so please sign up to our mailing list to find out more at http://www.thecavendishschool.org.uk/

Central Team

Our small central team at the trust provides support and advice to our schools. We are pleased to announce that Susan Kay has now joined the team as Interim MET HR Manager and is training and advising the HR admin support at the schools along with offering advice and guidance centrally on non-routine HR matters. It means that expertise resides in the central provision offered to schools so that headteachers and their teams are able to focus better on the work they are experts in – namely leading and running a great school!

And finally…

This has been a momentous and highly successful first two years. We are looking forward to establishing ourselves further as a trust of excellence for our local authority.

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

Leading The Way: Gender Pay Gap

rob

Robert Campbell

CEO Morris Education Trust (MET)

The Morris Education Trust is delighted to report on an almost neutral gender pay gap in our Trust which reflects the support and encouragement we provide to all our staff in seeking promotion if they so choose.

It is extremely rewarding to see the work we put in to staff development paying off and allowing all colleagues to reach their potential.

In the MET, the average woman earns 8% more than the average man making us one of only 14% of companies that have reported a pay gap that favours women.  In education, where almost 3 out of 4 school teachers are female, one would hope that senior positions are filled by a combination of male and female employees: unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Recent press coverage has reflected the imbalance in the gender pay gap in many industries with education, ironically, being one of the worst sectors.  At the MET, there is no gender bias in recruiting.  We value expertise, effort and promise regardless of gender. Having identified the need to support female staff in their career progression, we provide bespoke high quality coaching and mentoring to enable women to progress with their careers.

pay gap