The Garrard Academy and the Harris Federation Information and Consultation: Spring 2017
Education with drive and ambition
Welcome Dear Parents, Carers, Pupils and Staff, We are delighted that your school will be joining the Harris Federation from September 2017. We know that, with the right support and resources, standards can and will be transformed. The Harris Federation is a charity led and run by teachers. Now in our 26th year, there are 41 Harris academies in and around London. Like The Garrard Academy, many of these joined our group having been placed into Special Measures. All are now rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. Our motto is happy and successful education and we are pleased that our schools are popular with parents; there is an average of five applications for every available place. Our aim is to accelerate the path of The Garrard Academy to becoming outstanding, so that pupils have the best possible education. We know that you will be as keen as we are to see education at the school improve quickly and effectively. We have outlined the key proposals in this leaflet and hope you will find the time to come to the information events being held at the beginning of May. Details of these plus the contact details you should use to get in touch are at the back of this leaflet – we would appreciate your views. Yours sincerely,
Ms Carolyn English Secondary Director
Ms Sabeena Hasan Primary Director
Sir Dan Moynihan CEO
Our track record in primary and secondary education There are 41 Harris academies. All of these are located in and around London with the closest to your school being Harris Academy Falconwood (Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ 2011 and 2014) and Harris Academy Greenwich (Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ 2014). We are experienced in running all-through academies; these include Chobham Academy, which we were asked to run in the former Olympic Village as part of the legacy of London 2012. With places for children from nursery to university, it is rated ‘Outstanding’ and there is huge demand for primary places because it is so successful as an all-through school. With each school that has joined us, the expectations we set ourselves have increased. In primary and secondary education, the outcomes achieved for pupils far exceed national averages:
Nationally in 2016, 53% of Year 6 children met expected standards in reading, writing and maths.
Progress 8 is a new measure introduced to show how much progress pupils make at school between Years 7 and 11, compared to similarly able children in other schools.
At Harris the average was 71%. 39% of children at The Garrard Academy met this standard.
The national average is always set at zero. The average Harris score in summer 2016 was +0.5, showing pupils achieve more with us than they would on average elsewhere. Last year Progress 8 at The Garrard Academy was -0.55.
As well as wanting our pupils to be engaged with learning, we want them to be happy. We place a great deal of emphasis on pastoral care. There are also many extra-curricular activities for children and teenagers of all ages and interests.
Harris has been recognised as a top performer by researchers at the Department for Education, Sutton Trust and Education Policy Institute – as well as Watchsted and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The Harris Federation: Our commitment to you We are working with leaders at your school to make sure we can create an outstanding academic and pastoral environment for pupils, building on the improvements they are already putting in place. But we feel that with our support and expertise we can really accelerate the rate of progress. In doing so, we are not here to change what is already great about the school; instead, we will work with you on the areas that would benefit from extra support from the Federation. So, what does this mean in practice?
• Developing a culture where every pupil achieves their personal best, including if they need to be stretched or need extra support; • Ensuring there is a balanced but demanding curriculum, with a wide range of extra-curricular activities;
• A team of nearly 50 expert teachers (primary and secondary) at the Federation who will work with your school as needed to support improvement; • High quality professional development for teachers and leaders – our training is regularly cited as outstanding; • Excellent support with financial management to ensure the school’s resources are used in the best possible way for pupils; • Close working with parents and carers. We will keep the admissions policy for the primary phase exactly the same as it is now. For secondary, the only change to the admissions policy we propose is to reduce the number of places in Year 7 from 210 to 180. This change would apply from September 2018 onwards. Children in the primary phase would still get a place automatically. This is unlikely to affect local families because, in recent years, intakes at the school have not been higher than 180. Having 180 places is also far more practical and efficient than an intake of 210. It allows six classes of 30 children in some subjects or seven classes of 25 or 26 in other practical subjects. By deploying the school’s budget as effectively as possible in this way, we will be able to increase standards in the classroom and ensure children with particular needs get the help and support they require.
Questions and answers We hope this section of our leaflet covers many of your questions. For anything else, please come to the information events we have planned or get in touch directly.
What is the Harris Federation’s track record? Every Harris academy so far inspected by Ofsted has been rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’. On average, there are five applications for every place available. While our academies share a commitment to high standards, each is as unique as the teachers and leaders in charge of running it. There is great support for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with Special Educational Needs – these pupils achieve much more highly at Harris academies than they do on average across the country. I would like to visit a Harris academy. Is this possible? Yes. We would welcome this. Please contact us if you would like us to arrange a visit. What will the uniform be? We will work with pupils at the school to identify a new logo and colours for the uniform. Items will stay the same where possible, but anything new will be provided to all current pupils free of charge so that parents are not out of pocket. The uniform will be smart, practical, durable and cost effective.
My child is in Year 10/Sixth Form. Will they be able to carry on with the same GCSE/A Level options? Yes. All pupils currently working towards their GCSEs will be able to continue these. Likewise, all sixth formers will be able to continue with the subjects they have already started. We believe that, in any school, the curriculum should be full and demanding. Our secondary academies gear their options towards ensuring all pupils have a full set of academic qualifications so that they can look forward to successful futures. But as a general rule of thumb, when we work with your school to develop its curriculum we are likely to add new subjects rather than take away from what is already popular and successful. Will the name of the school change? Yes. It will be known as the Harris Garrard Academy. We are pleased to be using the name Garrard in the title to reflect the work and support that The Garrard Foundation and Sir David Garrard have put into the academy so far.
How will staff be supported? All staff will have the option either to stay on their existing contract or move to a Harris contract. In our experience, almost all teachers choose the Harris contract. This offers an excellent range of benefits including a healthcare cashplan and bonuses for attendance, punctuality and performance. They will be given industry-leading professional development, including through our Teaching School which trains teachers at all stages of their careers. Being part of the Federation also means that there is a ladder of career opportunity and it is common for staff to move between Harris academies as they develop.
How will you minimise disruption for pupils? We donâ€™t expect that there will be disruption for pupils. We are already working closely with staff and leaders to plan a smooth transition. What are the next steps? This consultation will run until 25th May 2017. We are keen to meet with and hear from as many pupils, parents and staff members of your school as possible. We will take on board your feedback and suggestions as we develop our plans.
We welcome your ideas, suggestions and questions There are two information sessions for parents taking place at the school: â€˘ Secondary phase parents and carers: Tuesday 2nd May 2017 at 7pm â€˘ Primary phase parents and carers: Wednesday 3rd May 2017 at 2.45pm and 7pm The closing date for comments on the consultation is Thursday 25th May 2017. If you have any comments, questions and suggestions and cannot make the information sessions please write to Mr Chris Randall. He can be reached by email on email@example.com or by post via our office (see back of document for address).
Harris Federation 4th Floor Norfolk House Wellesley Road Croydon CR0 1LH Follow us on Twitter @HarrisFed www.harrisfederation.org.uk