Please read below for our Autumn newsletter. To view a PDF version, click here.
Dear BPET Governors, Staff and Parents,
With the new academic year, well underway, we wanted to share with you the extraordinary achievements that have been taking place across the Trust.
Our schools continue to provide a high quality education, offering a broad and balanced curriculum to all the 1,120 pupils we serve this year. Our 180 staff across the Trust are doing an excellent job in supporting the pupils to develop and it is a delight to see them become more independent and confident every day!
Boyed by the excellent recognition our schools have received from their OfSTED inspections last year, schools that are about to receive an Ofsted inspection are well prepared to show how well they are doing in supporting and developing their pupils.
Thank you to everyone who supports the schools, especially the excellent fund raising that has taken place this year, for charitable events and for equipment for the schools
With best wishes
Mark Greatrex, Chief Executive
In the last academic year, OfSTED inspected the two Trust schools that opened in September 2014, with Whitehall Park School being visited in April and Braywick Court School in May.
We are delighted that Whitehall received a ‘Good’ with outstanding provision for personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils rating. Braywick received ‘Outstanding’ across all categories. These results are a direct reflection of all the hard work by the staff team, governing body and parental support at both schools—many congratulations to all involved.
Four schools which opened in September 2015— Kilburn Grange, Watling Park, Halley House and Deer Park—have now entered the OfSTED window and can expect to receive their inspection anytime now. It is also three years in July since Rutherford House school received a Good OfSTED inspection and therefore can also expect to receive their second inspection from July 2018.
Our schools are performing very well across the Trust, with 81% of pupils achieving a Good Level of Development (above 2016 national of 66%) and 88% of pupils passing the phonics screening in Year 1 (above 2016 national of 81%). Three schools with Year 2 pupils took their SATs test last year. On average, 88% passed in maths (against a national of 75% in 2017), 88% passed in Reading (against a national of 71% in 2017) and 81% passed the writing test (against a national of 76% in 2017). This has all been achieved by our pupils receiving a wider curriculum offer from the schools, in line with our vision.
The Trust now has five buildings, which although complete are not full of pupils until 2023 in some cases. With the approval of the ESFA, the Trust has entered into partnership with two children’s charities, who were seeking office space in the short to medium term. This income has been put into an Enrichment Fund, which can be used for the benefit of all schools. Trustees are keen to use this fund to invest into staff development and pupil enrichment activities. The first of these activities is developing Thinking Skills across the schools, which started last year with Thinking Maps. For more information about this fund, our partners and the activities we are investing in, please visit www.BPET.co.uk/enrichmentfund.
Excellent Parent Survey Outcomes 2017
In May 2017, we invited parents across all schools to take part in our annual BPET Parental Survey. We had a really encouraging level of engagement and received useful comments for the forward planning of the schools. Across the schools, we are delighted that 97% strongly agree or agree that their child enjoys coming to school and that 92% of parents are likely to recommend the school to other parents. In addition, 95% of parents strongly agree or agree that the school’s values and attitudes have a positive effect on their child.
Staff Survey Outcomes
In June we also conducted a Trust-wide staff survey and again, we are delighted that so many teachers are proud of the school they work in and enjoy the team they are part of. We are very pleased that teachers feel supported and we will continue to work with Headteachers and the Governing Bodies to provide ensure further professional development is available, to develop their careers within the Trust.
After operating for 5 years as a Trust, the Board of Trustees is seeking to appoint two parent trustees to the Board. Parent governors from the current local governing bodies are being invited to nominate themselves, with a skills based analysis to be carried out. These appointments will take the current Board of Trustees to nine. Information on the Trustees can be found at www.BPET.co.uk/trustees
Rutherford House wins grant for Erasmus+ CPD programme
Staff at Rutherford House School were successful in their application to the Erasmus+ programme in May 2017. Erasmus+ offers exciting opportunities for UK participants to study, work, volunteer, teach and train abroad in Europe and this is an excellent continuing professional development opportunity for the teachers attending, bringing back the skills to benefit their pupils.
The title of the project is Spanish for Teachers – embedding Spanish in the curriculum and school life at Rutherford House School.
The grant for £36,000 secured by the school will cover training for 17 members of staff to visit Spain. Their trip will include Spanish lessons and information on the Spanish Education System. The teachers will then use their newly acquired knowledge during some lessons to embed Spanish into daily school life, with the chance to practise the language in lessons such as Music and Maths, outside of their regular Spanish lesson.
This is an excellent opportunity for the staff and pupils to develop and deepen their understanding of Spanish, its culture and traditions.
State-of-the-Art Buildings for our new schools
The Trust continues to support schools in developing the school buildings for our new schools, with our first two brand new buildings completed. Below is an update on progress:
Whitehall Park School, Islington
Whitehall Park moved into their new building in February 2017, with the Chair of Trustees, Claire Delaney formally opening the school at an excellent event on 25 March 2017. Following two and a half years of children being educated in temporary accommodation, that included moving FIVE times, the school is finally settled in its amazing new building. The event had an excellent turnout from parents, pupils and friends of the school who have supported the long and challenging journey to the permanent building!
Kilburn Grange School, Kilburn
Kilburn Grange School gained complete occupancy of their building in April 2017, having shared it with a boys’ secondary school for 18 months, since the school opened in September 2015. The building was transformed into a full primary school over the summer holidays, ready for the new academic year in September 2017. Following the works, the building is smart and ready for the pupils to continue enjoying their school, in a calm, nurturing environment!
Watling Park School, Burnt Oak Watling Park School recently moved into their brand new building. The children have been amazed at the size of the building, with an excellent outdoor area, hall, dance studio and arts room available to them. The final works of a multi use games area is set to be finished in November 2017 with an formal opening planned in the Spring.
Braywick Court School, Maidenhead
The new school building has been subject to delays, which has been a frustration to the parents, staff and Trust. Additional funding has been allocated by the DfE as the tight picturesque site, remains a challenge for all involved. The school will remain in their temporary accommodation until August 2019, which is being further enhanced.
Deer Park School, Richmond
Planning permission was granted in February this year for the school that will be based above a supermarket! Colleagues at Lidl are awaiting for the planning conditions to be approved, when demolition is expect to start in December 2017. The target completion date is August 2019.
Fundraising across the schools continues to be a great success with summer fetes and various other Parent Teacher Association (PTA) events filling up social calendars! Some highlights from this year include:
- £1,500 raised at Halley House Summer Fete (1st ever!)
- PTA at Deer Park raised £4,500+ over the year. Whitehall Park fundraised over £10,000 through various events.
- £7,300 raised at Rutherford House Summer Fete
- Kilburn Grange School & Watling Park also held their first summer fetes, helping to raise awareness of their schools in the local community.
National Fair Funding Formula update
Many of you will be aware that the Government have been looking at how all schools are funded nationally and have committed to change the funding formula, so it is fairer for all. This will have an impact on our schools, as London schools have long been funded higher, since it was last reviewed over 15 years ago.
With recent announcements, the Department for Education has announced more funding for schools, though as we understand it, this will only delay the reduction through the Fair Funding Formula changes, through:
The impact on Trust schools is likely to be –2.8% which is suggested will be phased in over a few years, starting in September 2018. Some like Braywick and to a lesser extent, Kilburn will benefit from the changes.
The rest of the schools will have the full reduction. Any reduction in education funding is always disappointing. For our small and growing schools, we are best placed to accommodate the proposed changes in funding. It is estimated for most this will be an overall reduction of about £50K per academic year when schools are full.
With BPET staff living in the most expensive area of the country and many recently out of higher education, with the fees that are associated, the Trust is keen that all staff are able to save for their retirement. All staff have access to the Teacher pension or the Local Government Pension, though these require a high employee contribution. We are offering a lower or zero contribution scheme for staff to consider as an alternative. So as part of the Trust responsibility and commitment to staff is to set up an employer contribution stake holder pension. In October the Trust will go through auto enrolment and we hope that the new pension will help and encourage those staff currently not in a pension to join.