Posts Tagged ‘Olympus Academy Trust’

Trust CEO’s “lack of representation” gibe triggers schools minister visit

Posted on Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 10:57 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of schools minister Nick Gibb MP (centre) on a visit to Patchway Community School.

Schools minister Nick Gibb MP has paid a flying visit to several South Gloucestershire schools, including Patchway Community School, following criticism from a local academy trust leader that the district’s MPs aren’t doing enough to push for an increase in the level of school funding.

The visit came just three weeks after Dave Baker, CEO of the Olympus Academy Trust (OAT), appeared to be critical of Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti for not attending a debate held in parliament to discuss a public petition titled ‘Increase funding for schools’, which had attracted over 100,000 signatures.

Mr Baker tweeted: “We are in the lowest-funded local authority area in the country and our MP was apparently not present for the debate about school funding. Looking forward to meeting with Jack Lopresti on Friday to talk this through.”

Following his subsequent meeting with Mr Lopresti, Mr Baker wrote in an article published on the OAT website that he had shared his “concerns about our lack of representation in regard to inadequate school funding in our area”.

Mr Baker went on to report that Mr Lopresti had “committed to requesting a meeting with Nick Gibb (minister of state for schools) in the coming weeks to share the serious concerns of school and trust leaders in South Gloucestershire.”

He also reported that Mr Lopresti had pledged to liaise with other local MPs, including Luke Hall and Chris Skidmore, “so that they can show a united front in highlighting concerns from across the education sector in South Gloucestershire”.

Noting that the Castle School Education Trust had recently been awarded £14 million in additional capital funding, Mr Baker added that he was looking forward to “an update in regard to the financial support also urgently required for schools within the Olympus Academy Trust, and specifically at Patchway Community School”.

More: Minister invited to "discuss the challenges of funding…" »

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Trust CEO tackles Lopresti over “lack of representation” on school funding

Posted on Friday 8th March 2019 at 4:34 pm by SH (Editor)

Collage of images (l-r) Dave Baker (CEO, Olympus Academy Trust) and Jack Lopresti MP.

Dave Baker, CEO of the Olympus Academy Trust (OAT) which incorporates Bradley Stoke Community School, Meadowbrook Primary School and several other secondary and primary schools in the wider local area has met with Jack Lopresti MP to express his concerns about a “lack of representation in regard to inadequate school funding in our area”.

In a tweet made earlier this week, Mr Baker appeared to be critical of Mr Lopresti for not attending a debate held in parliament to discuss a petition titled ‘Increase funding for schools‘, which had been signed by over 100,000 people. He wrote: “We are in the lowest-funded local authority area in the country and our MP was apparently not present for the debate about school funding. Looking forward to meeting with @JackLopresti on Friday to talk this through.”

Following today’s meeting, Mr Baker tweeted: “There has been a lot of interest in my meeting @bradleystokecs with @JackLopresti this morning to discuss @olympustrust schools funding. He made a commitment to raise our concerns with others and I agreed to provide specific information about our budgets.”

A news item titled ‘Funding for schools in South Gloucestershire‘ subsequently appeared on the OAT website in which Mr Baker reports that Mr Lopresti has pledged to “liaise with other local MPs, including Luke Hall and Chris Skidmore, so that they can show a united front in highlighting concerns from across the education sector in South Gloucestershire, which is the lowest-funded local authority area in the country.”

Noting that the Castle School Education Trust was recently awarded £14 million in additional capital funding, Mr Baker says he is looking forward to “an update in regard to the financial support also urgently required for schools within the Olympus Academy Trust, and specifically at Patchway Community School”.

The background to the debate in parliament, which took place on Monday 4th March, along with a transcript and video recording of proceedings, may be be viewed at:

Mr Lopresti has been approached for comment.*

Photos (l-r): Dave Baker (CEO, Olympus Academy Trust) and Jack Lopresti MP.

More: Comment and tweet from Mr Lopresti »

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Winterbourne secondary to join Olympus Trust

Posted on Monday 12th February 2018 at 9:50 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of acting headteacher Peter Smart with students at Winterbourne International Academy.

Winterbourne International Academy (WIA), currently placed in special measures by Ofsted, has been approved to join the Olympus Academy Trust in February 2018.

The school is currently being led on an interim basis by CEO Dave Baker from the Olympus Academy Trust and headteacher Peter Smart on secondment from the Castle School Education Trust. The school currently has approximately 1,820 students on roll including 370 in its sixth form, making it one of the largest secondary schools in South Gloucestershire.

The school is one of the highest-attaining in South Gloucestershire, earning it a place in The Times top 250 schools in the country during 2017. Significantly, however, student progress was lacking, with pupils leaving between 2015 and 2017 making “well below average” progress compared to national averages.

Last year, the school was told it needed to improve financially by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, based on financial projections that the school would be £1 million in deficit by September 2017.

Olympus CEO Dave Baker commented:

“We are pleased to be able to share news that the uncertainty surrounding the future for Winterbourne International Academy has been resolved. The school community is in a strong position to push forward on all fronts for a successful future and we are delighted to welcome them into the Olympus family of schools.”

More: "The widely reported £1 million deficit no longer exists" »

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Ex-BSCS student now has former head as ‘boss’

Posted on Friday 29th December 2017 at 10:22 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Dave Baker with Amelia Newport at Charborough Road Primary School.

One of the first cohort of students to attend Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) has found that she now has her former headteacher as ‘boss’ after taking on her first full-time job since completing her A-levels at the school.

Amelia Newport, who started at BSCS in 2005 and progressed to be amongst the first entrants into the school’s brand new Post-16 centre in 2010, is now a fully qualified teacher on the staff of Charborough Road Primary School.

The Filton primary, like BSCS, is a member of the Olympus Academy Trust (OAT), which means that Amelia is now on first name terms with her ultimate boss, OAT chief executive officer Dave Baker, who was her headteacher during her early years at BSCS.

Her new job is the latest in a series of educational ‘firsts’ for Amelia, which began when she started at Bradley Stoke’s Wheatfield Primary School when it first opened its doors in 1998.

Speaking to the Journal, Amelia explained how she believes learning in brand new environments inspired her to make the most of the educational opportunities on offer and eventually take up teaching as a profession: “Growing up I always liked school and a massive part of that was the teachers who dedicated their time to giving me the best possible education I could have received. I was lucky enough to go to not only one, but two brand new schools built in the Bradley Stoke area.”

“At BSCS, I was fortunate to enjoy a purpose built building with a team who had created a unique and fun learning environment. It was there that I was able to begin to looking into the possibility of becoming a teacher, the career I’d wanted since I turned 7 after having a string of fantastic and enthusiastic teachers at Wheatfield Primary School.”

After finishing her GCSEs, Amelia studied English Language, History and Geography in the BSCS sixth form. This was followed by a three-year undergraduate degree course at the University of the West of England where she studied Education, Learning and Development.

Amelia continued: “My degree focused on the importance of student voice in teaching and how to work with children to build the best learning environments for them using their ideas and understanding. During my dissertation work I actually went back to Wheatfield and used its fantastic parental engagement skills for the basis of my thesis. It was surreal to go back and be sat across from Mrs (Lois) Haydon, one of the women who had made me want to teach in the first place nearly fifteen years previously.”

More: "I just need to make sure I don’t slip up and call Dave ‘Sir’" »

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