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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

MET Matters March 2018

From the CEO

I am pleased to be writing this short newsletter about our Trust’s work over the past term. As you can gather from this, it has been a very busy one. Most of my time has been spent at Witchford Village College where I am currently Interim Principal (in addition to CEO). We are rapidly moving the school forwards and the ‘green shoots of recovery’ were noted in a review conducted on behalf of the Local Authority. There is news on the appointment of Principal below.

Elsewhere we are pleased to be making progress with The Cavendish School, the special free school for children with autism that is planned to open on the site at Impington prospectively in September 2020. Recent site surveys have broken the soil for the first time; something we were delighted to witness and plug on social media! There is an important meeting with the DfE on 12 April and our brief for the actual building is taking shape nicely.

Robert Campbell
Chief Executive Officer
Morris Education Trust

 

News and updates

Witchford Village College (WVC)

We are delighted to announce that we have appointed a new Principal, Dan Baxby who will be starting at WVC on 25 June 2018. Dan is currently Vice-Principal at Wrenn Academy, Wellingborough and he will be joining the college at an exciting time in its development as it looks to introduce a new curriculum and vertical tutoring for September 2018.

Dan said ‘I am looking forward immensely to taking up the role of Principal at Witchford Village College. It was extremely clear to me during the very short time that I spent talking to the students and staff, that the College has huge potential for the future and that everyone is excited for the journey ahead. I also look forward to engaging with all members of the school community, inviting all stakeholders to plan and deliver the success and opportunities that all of our young people deserve.’

Impington Village College (IVC)

Impington Village College has been recognised nationally for its excellent exam results in 2017 (top 5% of schools in DfE league tables) based on data from the Department for Education and Ofsted, analysed by SSAT (the Schools, Students and Teachers network). Impington Village College was found to be among the best performing secondary schools in the country, receiving two awards for being in the top 10% of non-selective schools nationally for attainment and progress.

IVC remains committed to providing a wider education for its students and not just focusing on exam results. For September 2018, IVC are launching a new, timetabled enrichment programme, ‘iCAS’ or Impington Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS), which all students will participate in on a Wednesday afternoon. This will provide their students with the chance to try out new and exciting opportunities, offered by IVC staff. The programme is based heavily on the CAS component of the International Baccalaureate and means that all students will engage in a number of exciting options over the course of a year. Current ‘Creativity’ choices include pottery, weaving, LAMDA, calligraphy, dress making, photography, rapping, song writing, illustration and numerous other activities offered by our Arts specialist staff. This provision is just one of the things that makes the experience at IVC a totally unique one!

MET Living

We are really pleased to announce that the Adult Learning programme from September 2018 will be a joint offering for the first time across both Witchford and Impington Colleges. The staff at both colleges have worked closely together to ensure that the needs of both communities are being met by the programme. One benefit of being part of a trust is sharing the load whilst also expanding the offering and we hope both communities will benefit from this change.

The Sports Centres have both had a busy start to the year. New classes and timetables have started to be introduced at WVC and we are continuing to look at new developments which we hope will make it easier for customers to book facilities and activities at either centre. More to follow on that in the summer!

Data Protection

As the implementation date for the GDPR approaches on 25 May we are continuing to review and update our procedures and systems to ensure that we will be compliant with the new regulations. If you have any questions about this then please contact us via email on DPO@tmet.org.uk.

Morris Teaching School Alliance (MTSA)

We are delighted to report that the MTSA is expanding its reach and influence and we welcome Rackham Primary School and Waterbeach Community Primary School as strategic partners. We also have a reciprocal partnership with Fenland TSA.

We are working in partnership with other Teaching Schools as part of the Nucleus Network (MTSA, CASSA, Anglian Gateway, Fenland TSA and Lark TSA) and putting together an exciting portfolio of Continuing Professional Development courses for teachers that will be delivered from September 2018.

We are also working with the Research School Network, through Littleport and East Cambs Academy, to inject evidence based practice into teaching.

Staff Wellbeing

Across the Trust there is a continued focus on the physical and mental wellbeing of our staff. We want to ensure that all employees of the Trust feel that they are valued. Both schools have Staff Wellbeing groups and these are starting to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of school staff. They organise a variety of events from coffee mornings, giving staff a chance to chat and catch up, to staff lunchtime classes (including a choir and ballroom dancing) to supporting each other to start running and complete a 5k or half marathon. By promoting workplace wellbeing we hope that our staff with create a caring community that support each other and work together as a team, which also will enhance the experience of our students.

If you have information to share with the Morris Education Trust please get in touch with Amanda Hartwright, Business Support Manager on ahartwright@tmet.org.uk

MET MattersDecember 2017

Dear colleagues and friends

2017 has certainly been a busy year for the Morris Education Trust; we welcomed Witchford Village College to be part of the MET family, we received approval from the Department for Education to develop plans for The Cavendish School for young people with autism spectrum condition, we have established the Morris Teaching School Alliance, and we have started working across both village colleges to make connections.  During 2018 we will continue to look for opportunities to support our schools and grow our Trust. 

In 2018 there will be change at Witchford Village College as, following four years of dedicated service, the Principal, Chris Terry, has decided to leave.  Chris has moved the school forward significantly during this time, which was reflected in an improved Ofsted rating in 2016, getting the school to ‘Good’.  Our gratitude and thanks go to Chris for his commitment, enthusiasm and kindness over the years. 

Starting in January I will be taking on the role of (interim) Principal of WVC for two terms alongside my role as CEO of the MET.  We will seek to appoint a new Principal in the New Year to start in September 2018.  From January 2018, Fran Difranco will also be taking on enhanced responsibilities as the Chief Operating Officer for the MET.  In this role Fran will lead on all non-educational aspects to our work as a Trust.   

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, and to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Robert Campbell

Chief Executive Officer

 

News and updates

Community, Adult Learning and Sports Centres

As a Trust we embrace the village college ethos, placing high value on the community-facing dimension of our work.  However, there is a challenge that is facing all schools who have a community dimension; How do we support community hire of facilities, adult learning and the sports centre without compromising school education budget?  We know that the current model for community-facing activity across our schools is not sustainable so work is underway to identify how we can make improvements that will work both for our schools and communities.  “MET-Living” is the name of the new entity that will oversee this developing a new model for management of all community-based activity across the Trust.  This term we have been working with our Sports Centres, adult learning teams and community customers to start planning how we can support a more joined up approach.  This work will continue in 2018 under the direction of Fran Difranco.

Within the MET-Living team there are some changing faces.  Amy Wormald, who has support our community-facing work for many years, will be leaving us at the end of January.  Although it is sad to see Amy go, we are very pleased to welcome two new members to the MET-Living team (who have remit to work at both Impington and Witchford); Ryan Baxter, Fitness Manager and Emily Clark, Membership and Administration Officer.

Finance and Administration

This term has been an intensive period for finance and administration teams across the Trust.  We successfully completed a full finance audit followed by the production of statutory financial statements.  Health and Safety audits have also been completed for both colleges to ensure compliance.  We are now in the process of completing a data protection audit ahead of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will take effect in 2018. 

The MET schools, alongside most state-funded secondary schools around the country, face tough financial challenges at the moment.  As a Trust we are doing all we can to support our schools.  During the past month we have submitted several bids to the Department for Education for funding including support for school improvement, and funding for multi-academy development and improvement.  The bidding process is extremely competitive and we wait to hear news in early 2018 as to whether the funding will be awarded.

School Improvement

At the heart of any multi-academy trust must be a drive for school improvement and we have spent time developing a framework for this which we have called ‘Excellence as Standard’.  To lead the development and adoption of the school improvement strategies the Trust decided to appoint a Director of School Improvement.  We are delighted to announce that Victoria Hearn, Vice-Principal at IVC, will be taking on this role starting in January 2018.  Victoria will spend one day a week leading school improvement across the Trust and supporting all schools.

Morris Teaching School Alliance

This year we secured funding to establish the Morris Teaching School Alliance, which will play a leading role in the training and professional development of teachers, as well as contributing to the raising of standards through school-to-school support.  This term we appointed two new part-time roles to run the alliance: Beth Morrish as Director and Sarah Giles as Administrator.  We look forward to sharing more news with you in 2018 as work gets under way to develop the alliance.

If you have information to share with the Morris Education Trust please get in touch with Amanda Hartwright, Business Support Manager on ahartwright@tmet.org.uk