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CEO Monthly Update -January 2017

Partnership Update

Firstly, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year and hope that 2017 is a good one for all associated with The Olympus Academy Trust. I wrote about developments at Winterbourne International Academy (WIA) in my update last month and things have moved on in the meantime. I have spent the first 2 weeks of this term filling in as Principal there while we made arrangements between OAT and Castle School Education Trust (CSET) for at least the rest of the academic year, pending a decision by the Department for Education about the long-term arrangements. Further details are available in a press release here.

As CSET is a neighbouring Trust, we have already been working together on initial teacher training as we have a cohort of 16 trainee teachers who are on a School Direct postgraduate course which we run in conjunction with the University of the West of England. The trainees spend the vast majority of their time in school, with the obvious benefit for us that we are growing our own good teachers for our schools once they have finished training. The programme is led and coordinated by Jenny Sutton Kirby who was previously Headteacher at Bradley Stoke Community School.

Shortly before Christmas, we submitted a joint bid between OAT and CSET, with Bradley Stoke Community School as named lead school, to become a Teaching School Alliance which would give us some funding to lead provision in 3 areas: school-based initial teacher training, school to school support and leadership development. These are all aspects we have been working on already so it seemed logical to seek support to formalise that work for the local area. We will find out in March whether we have been approved.

We know that we will be inspected in at least 3 of our schools in 2017 so we are in a state of readiness. It is unclear whether the inspections will be coordinated to include scrutiny of the support provided by OAT but we assume that this will be the case.

OAT Staff Team Update

If you read the OAT school newsletters regularly, you will know that there is a vast amount of activity in every school every week. Once a year, we try to pull together highlights and publish them in a Trust newsletter to give an overview of Trust and school activity from the last year. This year’s newsletter has just been completed and is available on the OAT website: Olympus Academy Trust Newsletter 2017 – I hope you enjoy it.

Katie Stobbart

One of the functions that is provided by OAT for our schools is a marketing and communications role and this is ably led by Katie Stobbart who is also clerk to the Trust’s Board of Trustees. What Katie doesn’t know about OAT and our schools isn’t worth knowing! She supports the schools and Headteachers with their websites, prospectuses and media presence as well as coordinating OAT communication, including the Twitter account and the Trust newsletter.

We know how important it is for us to work alongside you to ensure the best possible experience for your child(ren). Learners make the most progress when there are strong links between home and school so we listen carefully to your views to help shape aspects of our approach. Please do take the opportunity to let us know what works well and what works less well from your perspective.

As ever, thank you for your ongoing support. I hope I will see you at some point in the coming weeks.

Thanks and best wishes,                                     

Dave Baker

CEO, The Olympus Academy Trust

@MrDaveBaker         @olympustrust