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Trust spells out its vision for Burton Borough School

The new leadership team at Newport’s Burton Borough School have met with parents to spell out their vision for creating a ‘culture of continuous improvement’.

John Sullivan and Jane Hughes (front) at the Burton Borough parent information events with governor Mark Austin, plus Paul Roberts and Paul Jones
John Sullivan and Jane Hughes (front) at the Burton Borough parent information events with governor Mark Austin, plus Paul Roberts and Paul Jones

The school will officially become part of the Telford-based Learning Community Trust in January, joining other local secondary schools Hadley Learning Community, Ercall Wood, and Charlton.

Members of the Trust’s senior leadership team this week held two information evenings at Burton Borough to give current and future parents chance to hear about their plans, and ask questions.

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Trust chief executive Jane Hughes, chief operating officer Paul Jones, and executive director Paul Roberts joined the school’s chair of governors, John Sullivan, to explain what becoming a member of the Trust will mean to students, and staff.

They said the primary focus for Burton Borough would be built around four strategic objectives – creating engaged and successful students, ensuring high quality teaching, continuous improvement, and effective leadership and governance.

And they laid out a number of initial plans in a brochure handed out to parents. These include creating a positive learning environment that is ‘more inspiring for students’, developing appropriate day-to-day behavioural cultures, and refocusing the school’s enrichment offer with sport and music at the forefront.

Jane said: “Burton Borough is a school with a proud and distinctive heritage. While our schools all share common values, we also recognise the importance of each retaining its own distinct identity. Community interaction is very important to us.

“We have been working with the team at Burton Borough for the last two terms in preparation for them joining us, and are keen to work in partnership with parents and stakeholders to shape our vision for the future.

“Students need a sense of belonging, and must feel supported to want to be, and to stay, in school. First and foremost, students need to feel safe and enjoy their time at school if they are to thrive and succeed.”

Paul Roberts added: “Making children feel like they can walk on water the minute they come through the doors is what our approach is all about.

“We do this by collaborating, working together, and building a culture of continuous improvement which starts by creating an engaging and inspiring environment with a broad and rich curriculum.

“If the culture of a school is right, the learning will be right too, and results will follow. That means valuing and respecting every single child.”

The Trust is currently in the process of recruiting a new principal for Burton Borough, and the team told parents they had attracted an ‘incredibly strong field of shortlisted candidates’.

They also answered a wide range of questions from parents on issues such as communication, teacher recruitment and training, and policies for tackling bullying – and confirmed there were no plans to change the school’s uniform.

Paul Jones said: “Retaining the uniqueness and identity of Burton Borough is important to us.”

John Sullivan told parents: “We have been working hard to move the school forward, and believe we have found a Trust which has shared interests and values, and a clear vision.

“It is almost exactly 12 months ago that we began investigating academy status. Governors were keen to find a partnership that would provide the additional support necessary for performance to continue to improve.

“The Learning Community Trust will allow us to retain our own distinctive community ethos, and wants to support our staff and students in reaching their full potential. We are excited at the opportunities this partnership will bring.”

The Learning Community Trust was established in June 2017 to create a multi-academy trust driving school improvement and ensuring the best possible outcomes for students, and several of its schools are now over-subscribed.

In addition to secondary schools, it also runs special schools including Queensway in Telford and Severndale in Shrewsbury, plus primary schools in Wellington, Crudgington, Hadley, Ketley Bank, and the newly opened Allscott Meads.

The Trust has over 5,000 students and more than 1,000 staff.

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