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Monthly Newsletter June 2017

Since my last monthly update, the General Election has been and gone but it has not given us the certainty we had hoped for about the future for schools’ funding. All the main political parties promised to allocate more money towards funding for education but we do not yet know what that will mean for us. However, we have had some good news since the election:

Castle School Education Trust (CSET) and Olympus Academy Trust (OAT) have been awarded national Teaching School status with Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) as named lead school as part of an innovative new partnership, recognising our excellence as separate organisations, and now working together on key aspects of local education training and leadership.

Operations will be based at the BSCS site in Bradley Stoke, but CSET and OAT staff from our combined 14 schools will work alongside each other on a day-to-day basis to deliver the provision.

Introduced in 2011, Teaching Schools are partnerships centred on strong schools and take a leading role in recruiting and training new entrants to the teaching profession. They identify and develop leadership potential, provide support for other schools to bring about school improvement, and work with schools across their Teaching School Alliance to help improve standards of teaching.

Our collaboration is one of over 65 in England to be granted Teaching School status in the latest recruitment round and one of only 3 in the whole of the South West region. We believe this is an exciting opportunity for all involved with our Trust.

We have had nearly 20 trainee teachers completing their training with us this year, with a number of them managing to secure posts within our Trust schools or other local schools as they near the end of their course. We have recruited over 20 trainees for next year and they attended an induction event with us this week in readiness for September. There is a recruitment and retention challenge in schools across the country at the moment so it is increasingly important for us to be involved in training our teachers for the future. Please point anyone you know who is interested in training to teach our way. There is information on the Trust and school websites.

In light of recent terror and fire incidents elsewhere in the UK, I wanted to reassure you that we are reviewing our health and safety arrangements and have taken advice about how we prepare our schools for emergencies, including lockdown procedures.

In our schools, we have been busy finalising staff recruitment for September, including some movement of leaders and other staff between Trust schools. Transition events have started for students progressing from one phase or school to another and exams are all but over for most of our learners. There is a myth that this stage of the year is quiet in schools but the reality is that in addition to planning for the next academic year, there are enrichment activities and trips, sports days, performances and proms to prepare for and enjoy and a programme of improvements to sites and facilities to oversee during the school holidays. Before we know it, we will be sharing in the successes of our Year 6, 10, 11, 12 and 13 learners when they receive their results!

Thank you in anticipation of your continued support.

With best wishes,


Dave Baker

CEO, The Olympus Academy Trust

@MrDaveBaker         @olympustrust