Headteacher's Newsflash 18/05/2018
Gateacre School Academy Order
I am sure you are probably aware that two years ago today (18.05.2016) Gateacre School was inspected by Ofsted which placed the school into Special Measures. The previous Headteacher retired at the end of that academic year and I took over the school from September 2016.
Schools that are placed into an ‘Inadequate’ category are then subject to an academy conversion.
This situation is obviously very unnerving because there are lots of ‘what if’ questions. However, since September 2016 Gateacre School has transformed from what it was previously.
In November 2016 we were visited by HMI for a one day monitoring visit who noted the incredible changes taking place. In April 2017 a Department for Education advisor visited the school to look at how the school was improving and further supported what we knew that the school was rapidly improving.
Summer 2017 saw some of the best results in its recent history for GCSE, A Level and Vocational (A Level/Vocational being top 10% nationally). We are of course humbly proud of these modest achievements that are a sign hopefully of even better things.
October 2017, we were re-inspected by Ofsted which was initially just a Section 8 Monitoring visit to check that the school was continuing to improve, we were of course. But in the morning of day 1 the lead HMI had a conversation with me to state that because of the improved results and initial views of the school the team were converting to a full Section 5 Inspection. The outcome of this took the school out of Special Measures and a particular highlight was the recognition that our 6th Form provision is ‘Good’. We knew this, but it is always nice to have someone else say it too.
After the positive Ofsted outcome myself and the Chair of our Interim Executive Board wrote to the Regional School Commissioner to ask that the Academy Order placed on the school prior to me starting be lifted.
In April 2018 another Department for Education advisor visited to once again check how the school was improving. The report was sent to the Commissioner’s Office and we awaited an outcome.
Finally, this week we have received a letter from the Regional Schools Commissioner for our region and I am very pleased to confirm that the Academy Order for Gateacre School is being revoked pursuant to section 5D Academies Act 2010.
As we are going to continue to be a local authority maintained community school I need to identify two very important next steps for us all:
1. Continue to improve attendance for all pupils so that it is at least at the same level nationally. Anything less is unacceptable. We have an ambition to be at or above 97% for all pupils in all year groups.The very minimum target attendance for your child is 95% which equates to no more than 9 days total absence during the whole school year, September to July.
2. Continue to improve pupil outcomes so that Gateacre School at very least attains national average for pupil progress at Key Stage 4 – GCSE and Key Stage 5 - A Level/Vocational.
Good attendance is crucial to performing well at school but it also embeds excellent habits and expectations to be successful beyond school in the work place. How many of us get frustrated when someone is late or if we have organised for someone to come and do a job and they don’t turn up? We will continue to focus our efforts and energies on ensuring attendance is our top priority so that your child can receive a good education and get excellent outcomes in their exams.
Please remember everything we are doing is to benefit your child and to improve our local community.
Next Week's Exams
Zoe’s Place / National Children’s Hospice Week
Next week is National Children’s Hospice Week. To support Zoë’s Place we have offered to be a clothing collection point for the week. If you have any unwanted clothes, shoes or accessories please place them in the box to be collected. It does state clearly what is and isn’t accepted on the box. All suitable item donations will be greatly appreciated.
On Friday 25th May we will be placing all the lost property on blue tables close to the main office, to give students a chance (after school) to claim their lost items. We will be giving parents/carers the opportunity to collect items on Tues 29th May (during half-term). Any items left over will also be placed in the box for collection.
Safeguarding update – Digital self-harm
Have you heard of ‘digital self-harm’? I hadn’t until I read an article on the BBC this morning click here to read it.
In summary an extensive piece of research into the habits of young people online showed that a minority of young people who state they are a victim of cyber bullying are in fact creating false accounts and ‘trolling’ (a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people) themselves.
The research and interviews conducted with some of the young people who did these behaviours explained that part of what they wanted was attention. In the same way people get an addition to ‘likes’ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the positive affirmation gained from social media friends to negative or hurtful comments becomes important.
As young people’s use of different online social worlds expands with websites and apps they are opening themselves up to the unknown. Schools are becoming more and more involved in resolving online disputes often with children who are communicating with unknown individuals.
We emphasise the importance of the block and delete functions for any unwanted attention. We also strongly advise that sometimes its better to not even be part of the online social media groups, going outside, playing and talking with friends is much healthier and easier for us as parents to manage. Something we should consider after reading this article.
Dates for Your Diary:
28th May Half Term
6th June Y9 Vaccinations
25th June Y11 Prom
3rd July Y6 Primary School Parents Information Evening - doors open 5pm (Headteacher welcome at 6pm)
13th July Y10 & Y12 Mock Exam Results
13th July Y13 Prom
20th July End of Term
(23rd & 24th July INSET Days)
4th September Start Of Term - Back To School staggered start times for year groups
Term Dates and Key Dates can be found on your MyEd parent app or on the school website here: https://www.gateacre.org/about-us/term-dates/