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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org