Posts Tagged ‘Olympus Academy Trust’

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Trust warns of looming funding crisis at BSCS

Posted on Friday 17th March 2017 at 11:49 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Community School.

Parents of students attending Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) have been warned of a looming financial crisis that could lead to the school day being shortened and/or class sizes being increased in order to save on staff costs.

Other “unthinkable” cost-saving suggestions being put up for discussion include reducing support roles, such as teaching assistants, and asking parents/carers to make regular financial contributions to the school.

The funding issues, which affect all seven schools operated by the Olympus Academy Trust, are said to result from historically low levels of government funding for schools within South Gloucestershire, in comparison with other areas of the country. This has left the trust with less money in reserves to fall back on in hard times. On top of this, it is claimed that government funding has not been increased to compensate for inflation and increased costs that have fallen on schools in recent years.

Trust CEO Dave Baker said:

“We have had to make cuts year-on-year for several years now because of the government’s ‘austerity’ policy, which has meant ‘flat’ budgets for education – in reality this has meant reduced funds to run our schools each year because we have had to pay for things along the way which previously we did not have to pay for, such as increased employer pension and national insurance contributions for staff, the apprenticeship levy (a new tax from April this year), unfunded cost of living pay awards for staff, inflationary costs, provision of services that were funded externally before, e.g. careers advice and guidance, behaviour and mental health support for students etc.”

Mr Baker predicts that the trust’s expected funding levels for the next academic year (2017/18) will make it their “most challenging year yet”. The trust’s two secondary schools, BSCS and Abbeywood, are likely to be hit hardest, with both having to “reduce spending by over 8 percent by September”, equating to £400,000 less in each school.

More: Parents encouraged to write to local MP Jack Lopresti »

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School leaders celebrate Duke of Edinburgh’s Award success at Buckingham Palace

Posted on Saturday 25th June 2016 at 9:31 am by SH (Editor)

Olympus Academy Trust leaders at a Duke of Edinburgh's Award presentation.

Olympus Academy Trust (OAT) leaders were recently invited to attend a once-in-a-lifetime Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) Gold Award presentation at Buckingham Palace, London. At the event, the trust was presented with a special plaque from the DofE charity, acknowledging their commitment to running the DofE and thanking the organisation for giving young people the opportunity to transform their lives.

The DofE is celebrating its diamond anniversary throughout 2016, having supported millions of young people in the UK and across the globe to achieve the awards since it was founded in 1956.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Earl of Wessex and HRH The Countess of Wessex joined those that were present including school leaders, charities, corporate sponsors, and of course most importantly, many young people who have completed their Gold Awards over the last 60 years!

Led by the Olympus Academy Trust, Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) has been delivering the DofE for four years. In that time, more than 60 of its young people have achieved a DofE award after volunteering in their community, learning a skill, getting fit and going on an expedition.

Participation continues to grow, with another group of 55 students currently working towards their awards from across the Trust.

The award is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people.

More: Students encouraged to push themselves outside comfort zone »

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Olympus Academy Trust looks set to expand

Posted on Sunday 8th May 2016 at 10:03 pm by SH (Editor)

Dave Baker, Executive Head at Bradley Stoke Community School.

The Olympus Academy Trust (OAT), which currently comprises four local schools, including founding member Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS), has announced that it is in talks with four further schools about possibly joining the trust.

The news comes just weeks after the government announced that all schools will be required to become academies by 2022, although OAT says it had been in discussions with the four potential new member schools “for several months, and well in advance of the recent government announcement”.

The schools which have requested to join OAT are Patchway Community College, Stoke Lodge Primary School, Callicroft Primary School and Filton Hill Primary School.

Writing in the BSCS school newsletter before the recent announcement, Dave Baker, executive headteacher and CEO, said:

“We are clear that we need to be a bit bigger as an organisation to be able to benefit from economies of scale for joint procurement and to provide our own school improvement services.”

Statement issued by the Olympus Academy Trust (OAT)

On 23rd March, the Board of Directors agreed to the following plan of action, based on requests from the following schools to join OAT:

  • To enable Patchway Community College (already an academy) to join OAT, subject to appropriate financial support from the Department for Education
  • To conduct due diligence with a view to Filton Hill Primary School joining OAT
  • To conduct due diligence with a view to Stoke Lodge Primary School and Callicroft Primary School (already academies within the Cosmos Academy Trust) joining OAT. The Cosmos Academy Trust would cease to exist as a multi-academy trust.

All of these schools are located within our local partnership area and we already have close working relationships with them. Some pupils from all the primaries already transfer to OAT secondaries at the start of Year 7 and Patchway is a key partner in the Concorde Partnership which provides all our shared post 16 and some Key Stage 4 courses. The Board of Directors recognises that some additional support will be needed from the Trust for these schools if they join OAT but also that they will bring additional expertise and capacity into the Trust when they join. The earliest any of these schools could join OAT would be September 2016 and we would aim to complete the transfer for all of them by the start of 2017 unless there are unforeseen difficulties.

More: Final decision will be made by Regional Schools Commissioner »

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Secondary schools extend invitation to celebrate launch of academy trust

Posted on Wednesday 13th March 2013 at 6:50 am by SH (Editor)

The Olympus Academy Trust Launch Event on Thursday 14th March 2013.

The Olympus Academy Trust would like to invite you to join them in celebrating their official launch this Thursday (14th March) at Bradley Stoke Community School and Abbeywood Community School.

The event will include a learning showcase tour at both schools as well as presentations, refreshments and opportunities to meet and chat informally.

Dave Baker, Executive Headteacher at both schools, said:

“This is a great opportunity for you to come and see both schools within The Olympus Academy Trust and to hear about the exciting plans for the Trust.”

The event begins at Bradley Stoke Community School at 11am and at Abbeywood Community School at 1:20pm – we would encourage you to visit both schools and transport between the schools is provided.

To assist with our planning, please RSVP to Sarah Morris (01454 868872 or sarah.morris@bradleystokecs.org.uk).

Source: Olympus Academy Trust

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BSCS creates new Associate Headteacher role

Posted on Saturday 26th November 2011 at 11:05 am by SH (Editor)

Dave Baker, Bradley Stoke Community School

Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) has announced the creation of an ‘Associate Headteacher’ role, to ensure that there is clear leadership in the school on a day-to-day basis while Executive Headteacher Dave Baker (pictured) splits his time between BSCS and the struggling Abbeywood Community School in Stoke Gifford.

Mr Baker took on the leadership of Abbeywood in early October, after the previous headteacher resigned for personal reasons. The school, which moved to new £30m premises at the beginning of the current academic year, was served notice to improve after an inspection by Ofsted in October 2010.

A monitoring inspection in May 2011 concluded that the school was making “satisfactory progress in addressing the issues for improvement and in raising the pupils’ achievement.”

An article in the Bristol Evening Post this week said Abbeywood is now:

“… waiting the arrival of Government inspectors who will decide whether the school is providing a satisfactory standard of education or requires special measures.”

Mr Baker told the paper he has seen clear signs of improvement, adding:

“There has been progress since the notice to improve was given. Things are moving in the right direction. It’s a matter of whether they have moved far enough.”

With Mr Baker spending a lot of time over in Stoke Gifford, governors at BSCS have decided to shift former Deputy Headteacher Jenny Sutton Kirby to the role of Associate Headteacher.

More: BSCS to become academy on 1st Jan. Abbeywood to follow? »

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