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University of Brighton Academies Trust praised by Ofsted

Published: Friday, 6th September
The University of Brighton Academies Trust, a network of 15 infant, primary and secondary schools in Sussex, has been praised by Ofsted following an evaluation in June 2019.  
 
Ofsted’s ‘Multi-academy Trust Summary Evaluation’ was conducted by a team of senior inspectors over four days in June with the findings released recently. The evaluation involved detailed scrutiny of data and documentary evidence, and numerous meetings with trustees and local board chairs, the Trust’s executive team, all academy principals, senior staff and teachers from across the Trust’s academies.  
 
Inspectors praised the Trust’s strategic plans which: ‘are rightly focused on improving the quality of pupils’ educational experiences and outcomes’; the strong leadership in academies which ‘leads to a culture of high aspirations, in which dedicated staff use a range of effective approaches to ensure pupils’ welfare and safety’; as well as trustees and the executive team, who are ‘determined to improve pupils’ life chances through providing high-quality education for all of the pupils in their schools’.

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive, said: ‘I am absolutely delighted that Ofsted has recognised the tremendous achievements and hard work of everyone in the Trust. We truly believe that education transforms lives and ensuring our 7,600 pupils are inspired to meet their potential. I am extremely proud that our work and plans have been praised in this way. 14 of our 15 academies are now judged to be good or outstanding by Ofsted, and we are committed to continuing to improve the educational outcomes and progress of all of our pupils in partnership with our stakeholders.’
 
Professor Chris Pole, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Brighton which sponsors the Trust, added: ‘The senior Ofsted team conducted a very thorough review of almost every aspect of the Trust’s work, including the collaboration between the Trust and the University itself. The University regards school sponsorship as a cornerstone of its strategy to raise attainment, improve progression and increase participation in higher education for the most disadvantaged, and I am very pleased that Ofsted has endorsed the work of the Trust so positively.’

Ofsted also commended:
 
    •     ‘The multi-layered approach to ensuring that pupils are safe.’
 
    •     ‘The sharp and unerring focus [of trustees and the executive team] on school improvement, ensuring that the Trust’s central values of “excellence, innovation and integrity” are at the heart of their strategic decision making’… ‘School improvement is at the heart of the work of the Trust.’
 
    •     ‘Leaders [who] have ensured that effective systems are in place to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between the Trust’s schools.’
 
    •     ‘[the priority given to] staff well-being and training. This helps to improve the quality of teaching, increases staff retention, supports succession planning and adds capacity to the Trust as a whole.’ 
 
    •     ‘Local boards [who] play a useful role in supporting school leaders, monitoring behaviour and safeguarding, and maintaining strong links with local communities.’ 
 
    •     ‘The central services provided by the Trust [which] are highly efficient so that leaders can focus on educating pupils’…  and have ‘been instrumental in improving the education of the pupils.’