The Governing Bodies of Cockburn School, Hugh Gaitskell Primary School, Middleton Primary School, Beeston Primary and Westwood Primary School have changed school category from a community school to a foundation school and have acquired a charitable trust status to be called The Learning Trust (South Leeds). The date of implementation was 1st July 2011. Our schools supported by the Trust will work to improve attainment and develop services to improve standards, outcomes and services for children, young people and their families in our local communities.
ANNUAL OVERVIEW OF THE TRUST 2011 - 2012
The Trust was inaugurated on the 1st July 2011, and a Trust Development Plan was written and in place by December 2011.
During this period the first tranche of Trustees was appointed, from the heads and chairs of Governing Bodies of the educational members of the Trust, as well as the Trust’s founder business partners. The inaugural meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on the 20th September 2011.
Previously, on the 12th September, a meeting had been held of the Trust Headteachers’ Group. At that meeting it was decided that there would be a joint training day for all staff (including support staff) and that a number of Priority Groups should be set up, each one made up of staff from the partner schools – in total there were eight groups, looking at how to make improvements in the areas of Attendance, Teaching & Learning, Early Years, English, Maths, Resources, Standards and Transition.
During the course of the next few months members Peter Nuttall, David Gurney and Zoe Adams attended a number of meetings with different Families of Schools across Leeds, which were interested in examining whether or not to become Trusts themselves, and in the latter part of February negotiations began with the staff of Beeston Primary School, who were intent on joining the trust. This school became a full member of the Trust on 31st August, 2012.
The Trust and the Middleton, Beeston and Cottingley Cluster consist in the main of the same schools - the exceptions being St. Anthony’s (a diocesan trust school) and Cottingley Primary, which is being turned into an Academy - and this does lead to a good deal of cohesiveness in the education provided by inner south Leeds schools. Changes driven across the board by Trust members have led to significant improvements in primary and secondary education, and the working together of the school staffs has led to the spread of good practice across the Trust.
The Trust has been working closely with Leeds Ahead to develop work related activities in its partner primary schools, and the trust is also working with Leeds City Council’s Road Safety Officers and Travel to Work officials to run schemes in schools highlighting the benefits of cycling to school, cycling safety and maintenance.
A significant development was the decision of the Trust to enter a competition, held by Leeds City Council, to build a new primary school on the site of the South Leeds Sports Centre. The results of this competition should be known by October 2012.
The staff of all the schools remain enthusiastic about the trust, although it is felt that a fairly narrow number of senior and middle leaders is involved, and therefore in the new academic year Peter Nuttall will be holding meetings with all school staff members to give them an update on what has been achieved so far.
The Trustees would like to thank those companies and schools for the hard work and commitment they have shown over the last academic year.